Potent Pair

Rating: NNNNdutch artist jeroen kooijmans'sCloud Factory is one of those nothing-much-happens video pieces that suck you in, forcing you to.

Rating: NNNN

dutch artist jeroen kooijmans’sCloud Factory is one of those nothing-much-happens video pieces that suck you in, forcing you to lean against the wall for longer than you’d anticipated. It consists of a single, unwavering shot of a suburban factory whose smokestack divides the frame. The blue sky is very summer day, and a few sparse clouds float overhead. It almost makes heavy industry look pleasant.

But quite quickly you realize that the smoke is in fact pouring into the stack rather than out. Thanks to editing trickery, an enormous white cloud is diving ever-so-slowly down the tube.

Complicating this serene work is the sparse flow of traffic in front of the factory: the cars are moving forward, just as they should. By means of a video effects program, Kooijmans has split the screen, reversing the motion of the smoke while maintaining the proper motion of the automobiles.

It’s a peaceful piece that lulls you with its simple beauty while at the same time awakening you to the reality that there is no reality in video.

At the back of the gallery, Helen Cho’s brightly illuminated work is the pink soap to Kooijmans’s blue sky in a dark room. She’s created a masterpiece of archaeological excavation out of sugar cubes.

Scattered about the ruins are curiously shaped structures made of pink and yellow soap. Across the room, hollowed-out soaps in various soft colours lie on beds of fine sugar.

The effect is luminous and magical.Write Art at art@nowtoronto.com

Jeroen Kooijmans and Helen Cho at YYZ (401 Richmond West) to March 23. Rating: NNNN

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