The Art of Fugue: A Polyphonic Instrumental Video Featuring Five Women Working in Trades, 2019
Five-channel Synced HD Video + Stereo Sound
16'19" (seamless loop)
by Emilie Crewe
The Art of Fugue is a multi-channel video installation featuring five women working in trade industries. The artwork is a chorus of female performers telling stories through the repetitive actions and movements of skilled work. Edited using the traditional musical structure of a fugue, each screen acts as a singular voice contributing to the artwork as a whole. Arranged and composed using a metronome set to 80 beats per minute and a 4/4 time signature, the framework and timing of each video component is highly intentional.
Similar to a musical composition, the videos harmonize in tone, texture, colour, rhythm and contour. The artwork is polyphonic, meaning there are multiple "melodies" that are simultaneously present. Highlighting women in trades is both an aesthetic decision and a symbolic choice. There is strength and resilience to be found in a performer whose work is in a typically male-dominated field. This contributes to the spirit of the video, with the intention of authentically capturing the tenacity and power of the female voice.
*We acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts. // Nous remercions le Conseil des arts du Canada de son soutien.