Fine Line: Check Check

February 1 - April 11, 2020
Reid Gallery

Fine Line: Check Check 
Ian Johnston

The Fine Line series marks a shift in Ian Johnston’s artistic practice from a focus on the materiality of a consumer culture to an investigation of the role of doubt in mass culture.

In Check Check, the ubiquity of the self-doubting individual is inextricably linked to a mass culture marked by distrust of the very mass media that gives it shape. Stepping into a space intersected by four large projection screens, the viewer is surrounded on all sides by a looping series of vignettes, screened variously in fragments and in their entirety and accompanied by a four-channel score from composer Don MacDonald. The events and the non-events in Check Check unfold in a sequence that subtly choreographs the audience’s movement within and around the installation.

Johnston’s turn toward video for this piece stemmed from the consideration of an obsessive behaviour familiar to most, namely our highly emotionally charged relationship to screens and digital devices.