Demetrius Oliver: Canicular

The Print Center



Demetrius Oliver, Deutan, 2014, green flood lights and infrared heat lamps; and Heliometric, 2014, buckets, steel, slide projector, and single slide as part of Demetrius Oliver: Canicular at The Print Center. Photo by Andrew Pinkham Photography.


Demetrius Oliver, Canicular, 2014, observatory with dog door, live-feed projection, and sound installation,
12’x11'x11’ as part of Demetrius Oliver: Canicular at The Print Center. Photo by Andrew Pinkham Photography.


Demetrius Oliver, Messier, 2013, digital c-print, 12.5\x19\". Courtesy of The Print Center."


Installation view of Demetrius Oliver: Canicular at The Print Center, 2013, mixed media, dimensions variable. Photo courtesy of The Print Center.

Challenging the Print Center's daily regimen as well as its audience's expectations, New York-based Demetrius Oliver has puckishly conceived an exhibition that will tantalize through episodic visibility. Canicular consisted of a new live-feed video projections that draw from a high-power telescope aimed at Sirius (the brightest star in the night sky) and the constellation Canis Major, of which Sirius is a part. This projection was 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 illuminated, and a pre-recorded composition played by the artist on a dog whistle (and therefore inaudible to human ears) was broadcast. Additional events organized by the artist and the Print Center's Jensen Bryan Curator John Caperton were presented offsite, 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 stargazing blackouts. After the exhibition closed, all this ephemeral activity found lasting form in two publications—the first monograph on the artist's work, and an accompanying artist's book.