The Musée d’art contemporain of Montreal is thrilled to present Phase Shifting Index, a major work by the Vancouver-born, Berlin-based artist Jeremy Shaw.

This exhibition is located at Fonderie Darling.

Curated by: John Zeppetelli and Raphaëlle Cormier (coordination)

Jeremy Shaw, Phase Shifting Index, 2020
Seven-channel video installation, colour, sound, 24 min 20 s.
Installation view at Centre Pompidou, Paris.
Photo: Timo Ohler.
Courtesy the artist and Bradley Ertaskiran. Photo: Timo Ohler

A vast, immersive, seven-channel video installation—the culmination of Shaw’s work of the last few years—Phase Shifting Index is an exhilarating, para-scientific reverie of enormous intellectual and artistic ambition. In what seems to be an anthropological assessment from a distant future, a narrator retrospectively comments on the emergence of baffling new realities on seven screens that display what appear to be archival documents of various movement-based groups dating from the 1960s to the 1990s, captured in their corresponding twentieth-century media formats, from 16-mm film to VHS and Hi 8 video. 

The cathartic and ritualized movements performed on each of the independent but simultaneously playing screens, which can be experienced either individually or more collectively from a raised platform, suggest unique cultures, with belief systems formed around their aspirations of inducing parallel realities through movement. 

Shaw subverts viewers’ trust in the truthfulness conferred by documentary strategies, transporting the audience to uncharted artistic and sensorial territory, while exploring how altered states and embodied corporeal practices also transform the perception of time. The work seems to explore the gap between the timeless notion of transcendence and the scientific attempts to explain, locate and define it.

Beautifully combining staged documentary, choreography, evocations of spiritual practices, neuroscientific research, drug-induced psychedelic revelations, club subcultures, visual effects, music and alternative movement therapies, the screens conspire in an intriguing narrative that unfolds skillfully and inexorably into thrilling chaos. The artwork culminates in an inevitable, yet surprising, “transtemporal” synchronized collective ecstasy—with all the subjects on all the screens performing the same hypnotic dance. A breathtaking glimpse of rapture.



Jeremy Shaw interview

Dive into the heart of our new exhibition Phase Shifting Index with this video and explore the fabulous work of artist Jeremy Shaw at Fonderie Darling.

Biography of the artist

Jeremy Shaw (1977 North Vancouver, Canada) works in a variety of media to explore altered states and the cultural and scientific practices that aspire to map transcendental experience. Often combining and amplifying strategies of verité filmmaking, conceptual art, music video and scientific research, he creates a post-documentary space in which disparate belief-systems and histories are thrown into an interpretive limbo. Shaw has had solo exhibitions at Centre Pompidou, Paris, MoMA PS1, New York, Schinkel Pavillon, Berlin, and MOCA, Toronto, and been featured in international surveys such as the 57th Venice Biennale, and Manifesta 11, Zurich. Works by Shaw are held in public collections worldwide including the Museum of Modern Art, New York, Centre Pompidou, Paris, Tate Modern, London, the National Gallery of Canada and Sammlung zeitgenössische Kunst des Bundesrepublik, Germany.

Phase Shifting Index, 2020 by Jeremy Shaw is presented in partnership with The Polygon Gallery (Vancouver)

Media partner