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Composition for an ensemble, or The Spirit of The Games
Clive Holden

Centre culturel canadien
May 17th, 2024 - September 08th, 2024

Clive Holden, Unsung (2024)
Clive Holden, Unsung (2024)
Visuel temporaire - Œuvre en cours de création.

Official opening: Thursday, May 16, 2024

From May 17 to September 8, 2024, the Canadian Cultural Centre presents “Composition for an ensemble, or The Spirit of The Games”, an exhibition by leading Canadian filmmaker and digital artist, Clive Holden.

Clive Holden is interested in the representation of celebrity and fame, and what surrounds it – the communities of the not-so-famous that make fame and glory possible. The exhibition “Composition for an ensemble, or the Spirit of the Games” focuses on a large-format screening that highlights the athletic image and the physical human gesture, looped and transformed into rhyme, as well as the “negative space” that surrounds it. By “negative space” we mean the invisible part of the image, the figures, shapes and forms that surround the main subject, elements that are present but neglected.

With its central large-format screening specifically designed for the Olympic and Paralympic Games, the exhibition consists of a digital, video and photographic installation combining a previously unseen commission with other works by the artist that provide a broader conceptual context for the Olympic and Paralympic commission. The artist will be working with archive images from past Olympic and Paralympic Games and other major sporting contexts. The spectacular images of athletic movement and the dramatic potential of the faces will be staged and mixed with the gestures and faces of the people behind the scenes (trainers, carers, families, etc.) who are essential to the athletes and who gravitate around them.

Drawing on a musical analogy, the structure of “Composition for an ensemble” is an organisation of notes and chords (visuals in motion). The raw materials – photographic or filmic archive images – when presented as they are, are like musical notes. Musical chords – the juxtaposition of archive images – are made up of several “notes” played at the same time. It is only recently that technology has made it possible to create live moving visual chords – visual segments played simultaneously within the same image. This form of new power in moving images means that visual art can now function as music has done since the invention of the audible chord. Visual artists – and works of visual art – can now play notes and chords in a process that is lived in the present.

In Paris, where cinema was invented, the central projection of “Composition for an ensemble” could be perceived in several ways: as a post-cinema work; as a kinetic sculpture; as a painting in motion; or as a live performance. Innovative and ambitious in spirit and form, this large-scale moving image will be in keeping with the athletic spirit of the Games.

Curators: Catherine Bédard et Steven Bulger

An event part of the European Museum Night.
With the support of the Canadian Paralympic Comittee and the National Film Board of Canada.



Centre culturel canadien
130 rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, Paris

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