Sunday, December 13, 2015

Vexation Island (1997)

Twenty years before Rodney Graham's dealers saturated the market with his photo-based work (to the point where the artist has no choice but to stop making this kind work in order to excite a re-interest in it), he "represented" Canada at the Venice Biennale with a 9 minute looping film called Vexation Island (1997).

Although many point to Vexation Island as Graham's breakthrough (as a market artist), I prefer to see this piece not as the beginning of Graham's commercial success as a maker of short films (in which he stars), but, by virtue of the small abstraction on his forehead, the beginning of his work as a painter.

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