A Moving
Paul Wong, 2013
18:21 min., colour, stereo

This video/performance collaboration was a response to Letters, an exhibition of abstract paintings by Michael Morris (1942-2022). Morris has been a key figure of the west coast art scene since the 1960s and his contribution to the development of Vancouver as a contemporary art city has been immense. Morris was engaged with Concrete Poetry in the 1960s. The Concrete Poetry movement was perhaps the first global art movement, springing up in South and North America, Japan and Europe in the mid to late 1950s.

During this time, Morris was also working on his most ambitious series of paintings, Letters (produced from 1967 to 1969) —for the first time all seven are presented in this exhibition; Paris, London, New York, Peking, Rome, Los Angeles, Madrid. Composed of vertical bands of gradated colour and divided into triptychs by plexiglas and concave mirror insets, the Letter Paintings were named after the “Letter” column in Art International magazine.

Michael invited me to make a video. A Moving is inspired by his paintings and influenced by my interests in conceptual art, structuralist film, video art, experimental dance and music. I attended the dance work in development that included conversations with the choreographer Rob Kitsos and Michael Morris. I arrived at the video concept quickly and concisely. I knew exactly how to film. A Moving is constructed of recordings of the two back to back performances that took place in the exhibition space. Each performance was recorded with three fixed cameras. The top is the front view and the bottom is a side view. Performed March 29, 2012 in conjunction with Letters: Michael Morris and Concrete Poetry Exhibition, Jan. 12 – Apr. 8 Belkin Art Gallery, Vancouver, BC.

Dance performed and created by Rob Kitsos and Kim Stevenson with music by Martin Gotfrit. The title of this dance is taken from a discussion in 1982 between Monroe Beardsley, Sally Banes, and Noel Carroll about the nature of what constitutes dance movement. This debate, which continues today (and was challenged in the post-modern dance movement in the 1960s) hinges on the difference and the context between the way we move in everyday life and the added “vigor, fluency, expansiveness or stateliness” found in ‘dance’ movement. “A Moving” pushes the boundaries of this question in the context of a contemporary moving installation.

Martin Gotfrit is faculty member at the School for the Contemporary Arts at SFU. He teaches people how to use machines to make music/sound and how this is done for the moving picture. As a composer/performer his work is either performed live or presented synchronously with other media. He is a founding member of the Canadian Electroacoustic Community (CEC).

Video Concept: Paul Wong
Paintings: Michael Morris
Choreographer: Rob Kitsos
Performers: Katie DeVries, Rob Kitsos, Kim Stevenson
Music: Martin Gotfrit
Camera: Paul Wong, Brian Gotro
Editing: Paul Wong, Brian Gotro
Post-Production: Patrick Daggitt
Distributor: Vtape