The zen of post-conceptual art

(Artist – Liss Platt)

When not collaborating in the media-fusing collective Shake-n-Make, Platt creates dizzying, large-scale works based on Spirograph patterns, plus slow-mo, deep look/deeper study Super 8 films. Forget patient; Platt is a zen monk staring at a mountain and waiting for it to blink first.
Platt’s work is grounded in, and fuelled by, elaborate literary and mathematical systems, precisely calculated schemes for readings of reality (that’s the “conceptual” part), but is ultimately more interested in material results than theories (that’s the “post” part). Thus, her work appeals to the theoretically minded as well as the visual pleasure seeker (not that the two are always mutually exclusive).
To wit, Platt’s latest exhibition, Constant, at MKG127: a visual diary of a summer spent observing, then re-observing, recording then re-recording, a single object suspended in place while the world around it shifts, both radically and subtly. The object turned subject is a humble one – a swimming raft anchored in a cove, little more than a banged-together flat bed of wood resting on the water. What could be more mundanely Canadian?
Or, conversely, profoundly Canadian? Under Platt’s observation, everything beside, above, and beneath the raft is in constant flux, from the clouds to the tides, creating an abundance of shifting visual information. Looking at her dozens of neatly parcelled, time-lapse photographic captures of the raft – framed together in blocks of images – one witnesses shifts in the backdrop, so to speak, from flat water and clear skies to churning water and fat bellied skies, and everything in between.
The raft, apart from the different grades of sunlight reflected on its surface, remains unchanged, like the proverbial stoic mountain. And the colours Platt finds in the water and the sky – from eggplant purple to orchid pink to linen white to jade green – are unabashedly lovely, meant to both engage and engulf the senses.



2 comments on “The zen of post-conceptual art

  1. Hello, Very well done. I believe understanding the unique nature of each living thing’s perceptions is a big step in becoming a whole person..I think expressing it is a social achiement in a world rife with duplicity and delusion..I think expressing it to render an image through song or other artistic media is an artistic achievement..this critique (post) is impressive..Peace Tony


  2. granbee says:

    Without even seeing this artwork, I want so much to be on that raft after reading your totally artistic description of the processes and products of Liss Platt. I also enjoyed, and dreamed into for a while, your mosaic at the top.


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