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Video Installation: “Best Minds” by Jeremy Shaw

: Nov 17 - Apr 30, 2018
The Polygon Gallery

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Part of the group exhibition N. Vancouver at The Polygon Gallery

Jeremy Shaw’s “Best Minds” is co-presented in partnership with
the Goethe-Institut and Germany @ Canada 2017 – Partners from Immigration to Innovation

The Polygon Gallery opens its doors to the world with its inaugural exhibition N. Vancouver, the organization’s most ambitious project to date, providing an opportunity for the Gallery’s first audiences to witness the imaginative possibilities of visual artworks in discourse with the immediate surroundings of its new home.

Reflecting the shifting nature of their locale, existing and specially commissioned works will evolve over the course if the exhibition, bringing new works by the invited artists into the exhibition during its run. A publication, assembling material about North Vancouver and its diverse histories, will be published in spring 2018.

With his two-channel video installation “Best Minds” Berlin-based visual artist and musician Jeremy Shaw features the slowed-down handheld digital camcorder-footage of the crowed at a straight-edge hardcore concert in Vancouver. As a subset of hardcore punk, this music genre levels a critique against traditional hardcore and does away with common prejudices associated with punk. The two channels surround the viewer, who as a result becomes not only an observer but also a participant.

While the low resolution of the footage already provides a feeling of disintegration, Shaw also replaced the original video sound with a score of The Disintegration Loops (2002) by avant-garde composer William Basinki. The result is a vibe of visual and aural decay.

“Best Minds” refers with its title to the opening of Allan Ginsberg’s seminal poem Howl (1955), as well as to the straight-edge belief that a self-imposed lifestyle is a better one. The melancholy tempo and tone of the composition in combination with the video footage transposes the violent display into a meditative and graceful one.

Price: Admission by donation

Jeremy Shaw, born 1977 in North Vancouver, lives and works in Berlin. Adopting strategies from the realms of conceptual art, documentary film, music video and scientific research, Shaw’s work has addressed topics ranging from psychedelic drug use and brain imaging to teenage violence and time travel.

Part of Germany @ Canada 2017
Partners from Immigration to Innovation

Germany @ Canada 2017


The Goethe-Institut is the Federal Republic of Germany’s cultural institute, active worldwide. We promote the study of German abroad and encourage international cultural exchange. With our network of Goethe-Instituts, Goethe Centres, cultural societies, reading rooms and exam and language learning centres, we have been the first point of contact for many with Germany for over sixty years. Our long-lasting partnerships with leading institutions and individuals in over ninety countries create enduring trust in Germany. We are partners for all who actively engage with Germany and its culture, working independently and without political ties. In Canada we are represented by three Goethe-Instituts in Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto. Outside of these cities we offer special online courses as well as examinations centres with...
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