Saturday, November 18th to Saturday, December 16th, 2006
Opening reception: Friday, November 17th at 8:00 pm

The term “objective correlative,” made famous by T.S. Eliot in his essay Hamlet and His Problems (1919), describes the formula by which specific reactions can be evoked in the arts through the appropriate combination of images, objects, and descriptions. In terms of visual effect, the idea of such universal “correlatives” set the stage for, among other things, the perceptual tour de force of Op Art, Minimalism, and Sunsets.

To contrast this, Daniel Oates’s recent work takes geometric abstraction as a departure point for imagining an optically-based art which conforms in scale to the individual—a subjective correlative, if you will. These modest works rely on parallax—the apparent displacement of an object produced by a change in a viewer’s position—to create a three-dimensional effect, thus revealing optical experiences to be contingent, participatory events. Oates’s onsite works suggest constructivist notions of line, plane, colour, and form—historically imagined as a powerful system of forces—and in so doing recall the political aspect of formal innovations in the last century or so.

New Yorker Daniel Oates is in fourth year of general arts at the Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design, and is also a curator of Instead Gallery at ECI. In viewing his work, it may come as a surprise to some that Daniel is partially colour blind and also has difficulty with double-vision due to a rare condition involving misaligned pupils.