Hermes, 5682 North Street To Feb 7
How many different ways can we know things? You can know, for instance, the world's highest building is in Dubai. You can also know that a fear of heights will mean simply stepping foot in it will cause your skin to prickle with terror.
Both forms of truth, along with many others, float in Hermes' latest show, How Do You Know, featuring works by three Halifax-based artists: Angela Glanzmann, Sam Kinsley and Anne Macmillan.
Macmillan's work, an audio-visual digital animation piece, has chopping footsteps that splice compartments like city blocks. Words flash as new constellations of roads crop up: "Lipstick/Cigarette/butts/and/their/footsteps" flash by. If someone made a map documenting every late-night walk home, it would be this. And really, what other way is there to know a city?
Kinsley's work, meanwhile, shows us her (arguably) most intimate digits by documenting her monthly budget. Covering two thick pieces of paper, inward-and-outward facing pin pricks track the flow of each cent in and out of her bank account.
The growing shape is unplanned, but the accidental symbolism of the outgoing funds becoming a large cloud is beautiful.
Both works are colourless, subtle, yet somehow stark.
This starkness ties into Glanzmann's piece of unflinching eye contact between viewer and artist. As it plays, we watch her, covered in protective netting, be swarmed by mosquitos. The uncomfortableness of her gaze reaches through the recording.
Viewers watch, surrounded by her soundtrack of nature's quietness and know, somehow, that though she's covered, her skin itches and prickles.