2012 Exhibition

For two electrifying nights in 2012, DLECTRICITY brought thousands of people into Midtown Detroit to experience 35 projects by local, national and international artists. 25 of those projects were selected from an open call.

Download the Guide

Download the Guide

Whale

12. Whale

A large-scale three channel video projection in which the artist’s paintings are brought to life through animation, immersing the viewer into an underwater seascape featuring a nearly life-size whale.

While there is a clear and quite complex process involved in their creation, Olivier does not set a thematic agenda for the works, or for their relationship to one another. The films are instead imagined as windows onto converging, and often elegantly simple, moments of daily life. In Calling, for instance, a village church comes into view as a bird beats its wings overhead. A phone call is made from a booth on the street and as it rings a mother and her children walk down a staircase. A pink house floats by, and a figure draws back the curtain to view the world outside. This figure might be the same character Olivier was inspired by:

“I imagine the exhibition to be about a guy behind a window of his house looking at the things outside, mixing them with his own memories and desires, with the whale upstairs representing his thoughts. That’s all I need to make it work in my head, but is not necessarily something the viewer sees, or even has to see.”

Artist Credit

Jacco Olivier

Jacco Olivier

Jacco Olivier fuses painting and moving image to create short, intimate animations. Olivier’s works are, with few exceptions, almost exclusively small-scale single projections of concise narrative episodes that appear in a microcosmic world. Every painting is repeatedly reworked in generous, casual strokes and systematically photographed at each stage of development. The resulting films are enigmatic and experiential – moving in and out of abstraction they reveal the traces and decisions made by the artist in the process of painting. While there is a clear and quite complex process involved in their creation, Olivier does not set a thematic agenda for the works, or for their relationship to one another. The films are instead imagined as windows onto converging, and often elegantly simple, moments of daily life – a bus journey, a swim in the ocean, or a walk through the woods. At this convergence of painting and cinema, however, lies an uneasy tension, a feeling that something is about to happen or has just happened that is unexpected and beyond our control.

Born in 1972, Jacco Olivier lives and works in Amsterdam. In 2010 the artist had solo exhibitions at CAB – Centro de Arte de Caja de Burgos, Burgos, Spain and the Blaffer Gallery, University of Houston, Texas. He has also exhibited at ZKM, Museum fur Neue Kunst & Medienmuseum, Karlsruhe (2007), MCA Denver (2006), Centre pour l’image Contemporaine Saint-Gervais, Geneva (2006) and Istanbul Modern (2005). Olivier is also included in the 8th SITE Santa Fe Biennial: The Dissolve, curated by Daniel Belasco and Sarah Lewis, June 18, 2010 – January 2, 2011.