Tasman Richardson

Curated by: Shauna Jean Doherty
Project Director: David Liss

Kali Yuga

Sep 17 - Dec 20


Sep 17, 6 - 9 p.m.

Tasman Richardson, 2019, Camcorders, projectors, robotics, printed circuit board, speakers, laptop

Tasman Richardson's Kali Yuga consists of six media artworks, carefully arranged in a slightly askew, nearly symmetrical layout. The works address themes of erosion, distance, surveillance, exhibitionism and telepresence. As viewers navigate the gaps between sculptural elements, the presentation of the themes alternate between individual and group viewing. They also alternate between portrait and landscape, live generative video and pre-recorded playback, and abstract versus figurative representation. The single unchanging thread throughout is iterative reflections. This fragmented quality hints at the exhibition’s title, Kali Yuga, which refers to a Hindu apocalyptic tale. According to the Sanskrit scriptures, the Kali Yuga is the last of the four stages the world goes through. The Kali Yuga is the end of all eras, the last before time itself ends (and begins again), and this catastrophe is brought about by the awakening of a deity that is dreaming our universe and all the perspectives within it.

By manipulating the relationship between subject and object, ways of seeing and being seen, Richardson focuses our attention on the futility of perfection, the fleeting nature of beauty and the relentless passage of time. He critiques the artifice of the image and the parasitic relationships our images have with one another. In closing, Kali Yuga is a commentary on our age of untruths and spectacles, in which all participants are simultaneously performing the role of guard and prisoner. 

The exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue, available for sale at Arsenal Contemporary Art Montreal.

Based in Toronto (Canada), Tasman Richardson has exhibited extensively throughout the Americas, Europe, and Asia. His practice uses primarily video collage using the JAWA method (the manifesto he authored in 1996), fully immersive media installations (Necropolis, MOCCA 2012), and live audiovisual performances. His themes to date have been a critical response to the spectacular, emotionally potent illusion of media culture.