Sylvia Matas, Artist – Winnipeg

Sylvia Matas is an artist working in video, bookworks, text, and drawing. Her work often combines images and writing that present dream-like narratives questioning the nature of reality and blurring the distinction between the familiar and the strange. Her narratives depict moments of transition, anticipation, and altered experiences of time and space. Suspended moments intersect, blurring the boundaries between places and times, between the mind and the external world.

She received her MFA from the Chelsea College of Art in London, England. Her work has been exhibited at The Winnipeg Art Gallery, Plug In ICA, YYZ Artists’ Outlet, Gallery 44, the Art Museum, Mercer Union, the Maclaren Art Centre, Truck Contemporary Art, and Útúrdúr, Reykjavík. Her recent show at YYZ Artists’ Outlet is reviewed in the current issue of Border Crossings. Her work is also included in the group exhibition Suddenly, no, at long last, which opens online at the PLATFORM centre for photographic + digital arts on May 1. In-gallery viewing hours will be determined as the Manitoba government updates health and safety procedures.

  1. Chantal Akerman’s Jeanne Dielman, 23, Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles

This film follows the meticulous daily routines of a woman in her home over three days. It is a hypnotic sequence of minimal shots and repeated actions. I was so mesmerized watching her go about her everyday activities that when a room was shown from the opposite angle it was so destabilizing I just about cried.

  1. The Picture Collection

The Picture Collection is a pre-internet image archive at the New York Public Library dating back to 1915. The postcards, advertisements, and photographs are categorized by over 12,000 subjects like crowds, gates, sadness, waiting rooms, whales, etc. Most of these images are now online and while I’ve been at home it has been a great place for source material for making videos.

  1. The Lonely City

In this combination of memoir and research, Olivia Laing writes about her experience of isolation and explores the idea of loneliness through the work of David Wojnarowicz, Klaus Nomi, Andy Warhol, and others. She looks at loneliness by circumstance, by difference, and by mental health, and considers the solace that can be found in a shared experience of loneliness.

  1. Not turning on the lights

It’s nice sometimes to not turn on the lights when the sun goes down. I like to leave the curtains open and watch the world (and the house) grow darker.

  1. Finding quiet sounds

When I’m out in the world, I like to find and tune into the quietest sounds, the ones that you have to find beneath the other noise. For example, the hum of the freezers at the grocery store. I find this so relaxing.