Dil Hildebrand: It is a Complicated Business
Pierre-Francois Ouellette art contemporain is pleased to present the exhibition It is a Complicated Business featuring recent paintings and collages by Dil Hildebrand. In his most recent work, Hildebrand further explores the parallels between architecture and painted images.
This exhibition takes its title from a passage in The Nature of the Physical World by physicist Sir Arthur Eddington. In it, Eddington describes how the seemingly simple act of entering a room becomes a series of complex reflections as he considers the role that gravity, the rotation of the earth around the sun, and the fourth dimension all play in the movement of his body through a passageway, writing:
“I am standing on the threshold about to enter a room. It is a complicated business. In the first place I must shove against an atmosphere pressing with a force of fourteen pounds on every square inch of my body. I must make sure of landing on a plank travelling at twenty miles a second round the sun – a fraction of a second too early or too late, the plank would be miles away. I must do this whilst hanging from a round planet, head outward into space, and with a wind of aether blowing at no one knows how many miles a second through every interstice of my body. The plank has no solidity of substance. To step on it is like stepping on a swarm of flies. Shall I not slip through? No, if I make the venture one of the flies hits me and gives a boost up again; I fall again and am knocked upward by another fly; and so on. I may hope that the net result will be that I remain about steady; but if unfortunately I should slip through the floor or be boosted too violently up to the ceiling, the occurrence would not be a violation of the laws of Nature, but a rare coincidence. These are some of the minor difficulties. I ought really to look at the problem four-dimensionally as concerning the intersection of my world-line with that of the plank. Then again it is necessary to determine in which direction the entropy of the world is increasing in order to make sure that my passage over the threshold is an entrance, not an exit. Verily, it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a scientist to pass through a door. And whether the door be barn door or church door it might be wiser that he should consent to be an ordinary man and walk in rather than wait till all the difficulties involved in a really scientific ingress are resolved.”
Hildebrand proposes that such paralyzing ambivalence can serve to describe “the act of making and perhaps even encountering paintings – a physical revulsion to the prospect of being transformed by the experience.” The sense of the body’s instability in motion described so eloquently by Eddington finds its parallel in the dizzying experience of entering the pictorial space of Hildebrand’s paintings and collages, where the illusion of varying planes of space is contradicted by punctuations of flat line and textured surfaces.
The Gallery thanks SODEC for its support.
Dil Hildebrand is an artist living and working in Montreal. Hildebrand’s work has been shown internationally in such venues as the National Art Museum of China, Beijing (2010); the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa (2012); Herron Galleries at University of Indiana, Indianapolis (2013); Choi&Lager Gallery, Cologne (2013); Union Gallery, London UK (2012&13); University of Manitoba School of Art Gallery, Winnipeg (2013); YYZ, Toronto (2011); Galerie de l’UQAM, Montreal (2013); Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal, Montreal (2014); AUT University Gallery, Auckland NZ (2007); and Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art in Toronto (2006). Hildebrand is an MFA graduate of Concordia University, Montreal and has been awarded a number of distinguished grants and awards including the International Residency at Acme Studios, London UK (2013); the Banff Centre Thematic Residency (2009) and was winner of the RBC National Painting Competition (2006). His work has been collected by major public institutions throughout Canada, including the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal, the National Gallery of Canada and the Art Bank of the Canada Council.