Only an artist can turn a crashed computer screen into art.
While working on a piece called The Formation of Clouds in 2008, Nicolas Baier’s computer crashed.
Anyone else might have hit the restart button, but not the Montreal-based contemporary photographer, who put the red image on the screen in a light box and named it Failed.
The piece is one of 16 others –including ink-jet prints and chromogenic prints– featured in Baier’s solo exhibit, entitled Pareidolias, which opens at the National Gallery of Canada Friday.
Pareidolia is a psychological phenomenon used to describe how the human mind sees familiar objects in abstract forms.
Baier’s subjects include antique mirrors – Vanitas, comprised of 40 images made by directly scanning the surfaces of antique mirrors – and paper stained with window condensation from a storefront.
Contemporary art is “all about interpretation,” said exhibit curator Bernard Lamarche, who is also the curator of contemporary art at the Musée régional de Rimouski. “It’s how you project yourself into works of art in order to make meaning.
“It makes the viewer responsible for what he or she sees,” said Lamarche.
People should come into the exhibit with an open mind, he said. “If you come here with a total open mind, its probably where you’re going to have most of the fun,” he said.
“There’s a mission in my work,” said Baier. “To open people’s minds. People wait for artists to do it, but they can do it for themselves. Watching and observing helps with happiness and tranquility.”
Baier will be speaking about his work at the NGC at 12:15 p.m. and 2 p.m. Friday.