Malcolm Levy

Other Frames

February 28

through March 21, 2015

Opening Reception

Saturday, February 28, 7 – 11 PM

Gallery Hours

Viewings every Saturday at 2–6PM and by appointment


TRANSFER is honored to release a new essay “Other-frames: Malcolm Levy and Sensing Images” from Nathaniel Stern in conjunction with the exhibition.

TRANSFER is pleased to present Malcom Levy’s ‘OTHER FRAMES,’ the artist’s first solo exhibition with the gallery.

‘Other-Frames’ is a new exhibition of work from Canadian artist Malcolm Levy, exploring the relationship between the analog and digital processes of the digital camera. The exhibition will take the shape of 4 custom built lightboxes using Backlit DuraTran Prints, in conversation with selected framed videos, shot on location in Sao Paulo, Paris, Berlin and Shanghai.

As Nathaniel Stern writes in his essay accompanying the exhibition: “Malcolm Levy’s other-frames perform how digitality is a construct, and a precarious one at that. Some of Levy’s stills look like dramatically shot architectures, others as if abstract expressionist painter Mark Rothko had made a photographic contact sheet. I see Caribbean roller coaster motion blurs, and unicorn hairs under a microscope. Video game skylines after bedtime, and drunken firefly time lapses. Green lagoon waterfalls, and dark and dirty rainbows streaked by coarse, dry paintbrushes. But Levy’s works are none of these things; his process is not to take images of something, or from somewhere.

In the video ‘Shanghai Future Cities Model 3’, Levy focused on a miniature design model of what the largest city in the world might eventually become, located in the Museum for Urban Planning in Shanghai. The 59-second video begins as a pool of bright blue oceanic light that seems to cross-fade from image to image, like glowing slivers projected through an overhead aquarium. Five seconds in, blurry brownish-green algae sprouts from the sea floor, followed by diagonally-traveling, tan-colored cubic creatures that stretch into grainy, banana taffy pieces as they crawl to disappear beyond the upper left quadrant of the frame. Before long there is nothing. Greens and browns, pinks and reds, clouds and starships, boats and amoeba dissolve and reappear in a gorgeous cascade of rotating life and non-life. Every-thing throbs in and out, between rhythm and syncopation.

The other sites featured as part of this exhibition’s artworks include Passages Jouffroy in Paris, the inspiration for Walter Benjamin’s Arcades Project, and the Judisches Krankenhaus Berlin, a Jewish hospital throughout World War II. These choices are, of course, never absent from the videos and prints. The spaces, Levy’s motivations for choosing them, his gestures with the camera, his amount of sleep or exercise, what he had for breakfast and his plans for napping later in the afternoon, his inspiration from the structuralists, his busy schedule and son’s daily needs, and more, are all folded into every sequence. But Levy intentionally magnifies the impact and implication of the digital apparatus in this series.

Malcolm Levy’s other-frames do not reveal the ghost in the machine. Rather, they finally render the possibilities and potentials beyond those human constraints we thrust upon our machines, with micro-control. This exhibition and body of work do not position digital technologies and digital images as, or on, a grid of known and desired quantities. They do something else. They do something more. They ask us to do something else and something more.”

Malcolm Levy, is an artist and curator whose artistic practice focuses on abstract photography, video and further contemporary image making.

Recent exhibitions include the Maraya Arts Park (Sharjah), CSA (Vancouver), Gallery 295 (Vancouver), Supermarkt (Berlin), Audain Gallery (Vancouver), Grim Museum (Berlin), Nuit Blanche (Toronto), the FCMM (Montreal) and Next Wave (Melbourne).

He was the Director of the New Forms Festival from 2001 – 2014, and the curator of CODE Live, the Digital Festival during the 2010 Olympics Games in Vancouver. He is the Artistic Director for the International Symposium of Electronic Art in 2015, and is currently finishing an MA in Media Studies at the New School for Media Studies.