Demetrius Oliver: Canicular

10 Jan - 22 Mar 2014
The Print Center, 1614 Latimer Street, Philadelphia


Demetrius Oliver, Diurnal, 2014, eight-channel video on 32” flat screen monitors. Photo courtesy of The Print Center.

Challenging the Print Center's daily regimen as well as its audience's expectations, New York-based African American artist Demetrius Oliver has puckishly conceived an exhibition that will tantalize through episodic visibility. Demetrius Oliver: Canicular consists of two new live-feed video projections that draw from high-power telescopes aimed at Sirius (the brightest star in the night sky) and the constellation Canis Major, of which Sirius is a part. These projections will be viewable in the Print Center's galleries only one hour per day. At the appointed time, a dog-fur-covered sign on the building's façade will illuminate, and a pre-recorded composition played by the artist on a dog whistle (and therefore inaudible to human ears) will be broadcast. Additional events organized by the artist and the Print Center's Jensen Bryan Curator John Caperton will be presented off site, bringing together Oliver's interests in astronomy, music, and the visual arts, and keeping the show in the public eye outside of the regularly scheduled star-gazing blackouts. In the end, all this ephemeral activity will find lasting form in two publications—the first monograph on the artist's work, and an accompanying artist's book.