Vic Balanon explores the idea of place in a three-channel video projection titled ‘Chimera’, occupying the expanse of the gallery’s largest wall. A progression of his multiple channel video works since 2010, this project archives, documents and maps Balanon’s protracted capturing of the city and its spaces we inhabit.
The chimera denotes both mythological creature and the state of suspended desire: an illusory object beyond the grasp of the real. As a tripartite piece, the video work surfaces these aspects of lived space seemingly within, yet really beyond, reach. It juxtaposes images of natural ecologies, built environments and the artist’s own studio as separate and interconnected aspects of the city.
Balanon employs the animation technique of hyperlapse, which captures different frames of the subject while shifting from one viewpoint to another for an extended period of time, to produce the works. This protracted process of shooting yields thousands of stills and frames, distilled into moving sequences projected on the exhibition wall.
Balanon approaches both process and subject as dialectical forms. In hyperlapse, for instance, the relationship between motion and stillness is reversed. He talks about how, here, the camera remains in motion, capturing something that is still. “The camera is the movement,” Balanon says of this process.
This same sense of reflexivity is implied in his images, where the urban landscape is broken down into components and encounters with the banal: centering on trees, buildings and walls, which often fade out of one’s consciousness and memory as mundane objects. Yet these structures actually comprise the very backdrop and fiber of our own recollections and understanding of the city, converging in the image of the room: a personal space invisible yet inhabited by all. Perhaps this is where the illusory chimera resurfaces: a signifier of how senses, perception and vision are interchangeable and in flux.