15 Restless Nights is an exhibition of large-scale images of reconstructed unmade hotel beds, plus a noir-like soundtrack with 15 Moments by author Diane Schoemperlen in French and English about anonymous nights spent in different cities in motels. This exhibition is a collaborative project between the artist and those who worked on the sound piece including a writer, a music composer, five voices, a translator, and a jazz trio. The images of rumpled motel beds hang on a high tech outdoor industrial veil scrim material and hang freely from the top, allowing the veils to move slightly, like breathing. For the course of a year, Besant traveled across Canada spending every night in a different motel and photographing the unmade beds in adjacent rooms every morning.
15 Restless Nights
April 8th to May 13th, 2010
Artist: Derek Besant
Opening: Friday, April 16th at 5PM
About the Artist
Derek Michael Besant is well known for his unorthodox use of materials and technology in creating exhibitions, installations and collaborations as a Canadian artist. The hybrid forms he realizes often include soundtracks that relate to his themes of memory, language, and the body as metaphor.
The dislocation of the figure often haunts his imagery, whether he explores the themes of sleep, dreams, migration, forgetting, falling, silence, reflection, or submersion. The physical / psyche balance is always in question in Besant’s projects, from his illusion in the form of a 50 foot high mural of a pinned veil on a building façade, a transported 115 foot high waterfall to the heart of Toronto’s banking district, two mammoth steel chairs balanced on one another, or a stretch of prairie sky arching over six lanes of traffic; his public art pieces always take on their own life within the setting they are integrated into.
Besant’s exhibitions in museums are often constructed around the ephemeral underpinnings of a concept without answers… only questions. Figures blur into oblivion, fall out of reach into nothing, leave their impressions in unmade motel bed sheets, or sink below surfaces in poetic choreographed movements accompanied by strange soundscapes. These audio works including voice patterns reconstructed as water, train stations, and freeways from London to Tokyo, bird and insect territorial calls erased by wind, or overheard partial phone conversations. But there is always a connection to the tactile materiality and the breath of whatever subtle gestures are investigated in his work.
Funding and Sponsors