Blocks / 5:15 minutes
Artist name: Joanne Gervais
In this video we see the hands of a young girl constructing a house using toy blocks. The video is combined with a photographic image of the house that her grandfather grew up in. The images, both containing sentiments surrounding the family home and familiar toys, merge, at points, into a single hybrid image demonstrating reciprocal reflexivity that occurs when media forms merge into one. The still image of the family home is only recognized when combined with the video imagery. Each image, the photographic image of the house and the video clip of the hands building with blocks, relies upon the other for its significance and meaning within the overall effect.
Joanne Gervais is an interdisciplinary artist working in video, mixed media, installation, and photography. Her practice has included documentaries, promotional videos and performance collaborations. Her recent art explores cultural identity through nostalgic constructs of the past. Joanne holds an MFA in Interdisciplinary Studies from University of British Columbia.
My work often investigates narrative constructions of the past and their associated visual imagery. This exploration of history involves the acknowledgment and accepting of its failings as well as its pleasures in order to allow for new possible meanings and understanding. By layering and masking images, both spatially and temporally, distinct elements can be combined and merged to dislocate the viewer from the normal cues used to orientate them to one specific narrative, while also depicting the multifarious nature of historical accounts. Through the creative nature of nostalgic reflection and the imaginative restructuring of events, alternative interpretations can be imagined and understood in a more comprehensive and future orientated way.