New York-based artist Demetrius Oliver is creating a 'star struck' work of art inside of Philadelphia's Print Center.
Canicular is a new exhibition that challenges viewers' ideas of form, function and appreciation. The artist is asking, "What constitutes a print?" In turn, this will satisfy Oliver's craving to create a show that shifts the typical functions, organization and expectations of a gallery space.
How will this be done? By abandoning The Print Center's usual 'print-based' criteria, the artist has assembled a video installation that projects a live-feed from a high-powered telescope focused on Sirius, the brightest star in the night sky. Thanks to the fine folks at the Franklin Institute, the feed will be coming directly from a telescope that is mounted a-top of the museum. The video feed from the telescope will be shown inside a large, round structure, built by Oliver, inside one of the gallery's rooms; which is meant to mimic the experience of a small observatory. The show's name, Canicular, is based off of a term which is meant to describe all things dog-related. The word is often used in reference to Sirius, which has been nicknamed "the Dog Star".
In addition to the celestial projection, the exhibit will also include a connected series of other video installations and a telescope sculpture that has been constructed from multiple five-gallon paint buckets.
Here is the catch: The exhibit is only open for one hour each night. When the sky is clear, the artistic observatory will be open 7-8 p.m. from Tuesday-Saturday; this allows viewers to catch the star during its prime time. An illuminated photographic image of dog fur, on the outside of The Print Center, will signal to passersby that the exhibit is open for viewing.
The opening reception for Canicular takes place on Thursday, Jan. 9 from 6:30-8:30 p.m. with a special gallery talk, by the curator John Caperton, which will kick things off at 6 p.m.
The exhibition will be on view at The Print Center (1614 Latimer St.) from Jan. 10-Mar. 22. It is free and open to the public. Visit printcenter.org for more details.