E.V.E. Absolute Matrix

Gunilla Josephson

2009, 48:00 minutes, colour, sound


Specializing in performing New Music and works by contemporary composers, Eve Egoyan is a powerful and commanding performer. In E.V.E. Absolute Matrix, Josephson captures Egoyan's intensity as she performs a 5-hour epic for piano, the 12 part "Inner Cities" by composer Alvin Curran. The piano and the performer’s hands are not visible, nor is the music audible.

In this work Josephson aims to dissect and to grasp the emotional and intellectual impact of music on the musician, getting into the head of the performer
not by listening but by observing her in claustrophobic, intimate and unabashed close up, using the insisting camera as a prying instrument, a decoder and an instrument of desire, as simultaneously the piano for Eve is a tool of cogency and masterful control in the telling of a hidden personal narrative. The viewer is simply presented with an enigmatic study of a woman’s face.

Josephson’s videos dare us to look directly and unabashedly at extremes of de-contextualised emotional states. In her early videos, such as the
(Loco)motive Series: The Hedda Videos, the installations Venus Hedda and Happy House: The Id, the Kid and the Little Red Fireman. A Clean Sweep, Josephson introduced the character Hedda, who is irreverently liberated and often angry yet tormented. She returns to this theme in E.V.E. Absolute Matrix. Bizarre, inexplicable and unpredictable, Josephson’s videos of ecstasy and despair are deeply challenging.

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Critical Writing

A pianist and a camera make music of the id
by Gary Michael Dault. The Globe and Mail, Apr. 25, 2009.
Gunilla Josephson Artist-in-Residence: E.V.E. Absolute Matrix
by Sewil Otosed. Gunilla Josephson Artist-in-Residence, Apr. 4, 2009. Toronto: Trinity Square Video, 2009.