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THE NEXT 7 DAYS:     EVENTS (18)     +     OPENINGS (8)     +     DEADLINES (5)     +     CLOSINGS (13)
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Left: Dave Kemp, The One Pixel Camera Project (front view), 2014.
Right: Dave Kemp, The One Pixel Camera Project (perspective view), 2014.

Dave Kemp: The things you know but cannot explain
June 19 to July 19, 2014
Opening reception | Thursday, June 19 at 7:30 P.M.

Featuring video and photography by Canadian artist Dave Kemp, The things you know but cannot explain explores how different combinations of knowledge can shape our understanding of the world.

The exhibition includes works that deliberately offer single or very limited modes of knowledge transfer derived from mundane, everyday occurrences. The aptly titled Series of Boring Videos, for example, features water boiling, paint drying, and grass growing. Yet each of these videos is presented in a manner that encourages the viewer’s engagement through what Kemp calls a process of extended looking. The pot only boils when playback of the video is initiated by the viewer. The paint dries next to a version of itself playing in reverse, highlighting the distinct changes in what we might have assumed is a seamless, uneventful process. Grass grows from a patch of soil into a lush lawn in real time over the course of 30 days. With this video, it becomes clear that the focus is not the lawn itself but the many things happening around it: changes in sunlight, shadows cast by overhead trees, neighbours conversing in their backyards.

The things you know but cannot explain also includes two series of photographs, the first taken with a one pixel camera designed and built by Kemp (pictured). Its design restricts the resulting images to what are best described as colour field monochromes. It is only through the descriptive titles that we learn what they depict: cliché subject matter featuring sunsets, children’s birthday parties, and Niagara Falls. The second series, Locations, depicts banal, yet enigmatic landscapes without any descriptive text. The logic and rationale behind these images remain intentionally ambiguous.

While Kemp’s work might initially frustrate viewers used to quick online research, they ultimately have the potential to enhance our appreciation and understanding of discreet processes in real time. As Kemp puts it:

“I am interested in different kinds of knowledge and how they form our perception and understanding of the world. It is easy to quickly label something based on one’s pool of knowledge and then simply walk away. With these works, the nature of their presentation encourages the viewer to really experience what is happening with these everyday occurrences.”

Kemp is a visual artist whose practice looks at the interactions between art, science and technology. Currently working on his PhD in Art and Visual Culture at Western University, he is a graduate of the Master of Visual Studies program at the University of Toronto where he also completed the collaborative program in Knowledge Media Design. Prior to this, he earned a BFA in Image Arts (photography) from Ryerson University and a BSc. in Mechanical Engineering from Queen’s University.

Dave Kemp: The things you know but cannot explain is organized by McIntosh Gallery in collaboration with Western University’s Department of Visual Arts PhD program in Art and Visual Culture

Join us on Thursday, June 19 at 7:30 P.M. for a public reception with the artist in attendance.


For more information, please contact Kay Nadalin, Communications and Outreach Coordinator, at 519-661-3181 or


McIntosh Gallery
Western University
1151 Richmond Street
London, ON, N6A 3K7

Monday to Friday 10 A.M. to 5 P.M.
Saturday 12 P.M. to 4 P.M.

Free admission





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