A glimpse of Brock professor’s work displayed in learning commons


Associate professor Arnold McBay will have a new video screening on the Learning Common’s digital Wall and will be featured in collaborative exhibition with Duncan MacDonald at Grimsby Public Art Gallery

The Matheson Learning Commons Digital Art Wall will house a new video from one of Brock University’s own professors, Arnold McBay, over the course of the next few weeks — a piece from his upcoming exhibition.

Presencia began on Feb. 2 and will be featured on the Digital Art Wall at Brock until Mar. 27.

Presencia is a video-poem that invites the viewer to ponder the function and magic of time and the senses, and through its digital assembly (and presentation) frames the contemporary proliferation of digital imagery within a historical context,” said McBay. “As a creative and documentary activity is a form of research, an inquiring of the world without and within. Physically, it skates across the surface of a sheet of paper or glass, penetrating only the interior realms of our imagination. It is a process which seeks to describe, navigate and map out a subject whether physical, or intellectual.”

McBay is a Visual Arts Facilities Technician and part-time professor on campus. He holds an B.A. from Brock University (1988), a B.Ed. from the University of Western Ontario (1990) and later returned to Brock to complete his Masters degree in Contemporary Literature and the Arts.

He explained how photography can never fully capture the totality of a subject; there is always a blindness at the core of the photo. He created Presencia with the intention of exploring the mysteries and poetics of photography. The piece also reflects the nature of perception and how people absorb photographs.

“Photography is an elusive process with a delectable futility at its core,” said McBay.

Presencia is the first video piece that McBay has done and stems from the two-person exhibition he is featured in along with Visual Arts Associate professor and Chair, Duncan MacDonald, titled Parallax.

MacDonald is a contemporary interdisciplinary artist who has been featured in exhibitions worldwide. He works in a number of mediums including audio, performance, video, photography, drawing and diverse media. Currently at Brock, he has also taught at The Nova Scotia College of Art and Design.

McBay and MacDonald’s collaborative exhibition, Parallax, is four years in the making and after a lot of planning and hard work, will be featured at the Grimsby Public Art Gallery from Feb. 7 to Mar. 22, curated by Rhona Wenger.

“The Parallax exhibition will be the culmination of ongoing interests, experiments and discussions between Duncan MacDonald and myself,” said McBay. “My efforts in this project have focused on widening my range of activity past and beyond drawing to embrace installation, video and collaboration in a more substantive manner.”

Many of the pieces that McBay will feature in Parallax are posted on his website. Most are glassbox sculptures that are made up of antique glass plates positives and negatives. These pieces were the inspiration for much of the experimentation in his work that came thereafter. There is also a video clip available for viewing that features a segment of the video, which will be featured in the exhibition.

The opening reception for the exhibition will be Feb. 8 from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. at the Grimsby Public Art Gallery and both McBay and MacDonald will be present for the event. For more about Presencia and Parallax and to learn more about Arnold McBay’s work, visit aureolstudios.com.

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