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Bruce Parsons
From October 5th 1982 to October 23rd 1982
Man on the Road to Solola

Apart from his installation project at Optica, he is presently working on two large-scale installations for P.S.I, New York and for Mercer Union, Toronto. The work to be constructed at Optica is entitled “Man on the Road to Solola” and is to be painted on the gallery walls during the week prior to the opening. The work makes use of numerous archetypal images (human, animal and mechanical) juxtaposed in dramatic confrontations. The viewer is encompasses by the full surround, its colour, the special qualities of the materials used (brass, paint, wood, arborite and canvas) and the pictorial and architectural possibilities of the gallery. In it are references to art of the past but more important is the idea of connecting with the present. There is a strong autobiographical and personal vision used to guide the development of the work through a sequence of free form associations. The dramatic use of the act of rupture is part of the structuring of the piece and consequently there is little concern for stylistic continuity. The artist describes the work as an urgent call for a dramatic ceremony concerned with the metamorphosis of a mouse into a turtle. The ritual characters in the painted work are posed in dynamic and static gestures, which are completed by the presence of the viewer or viewers in the gallery. The work is further extended by the video work Mother Earth in which the artist performs the role of the Sleeping/Dead Man, the Interrogator and the Falling Woman. Other characters appearing in the installation and the video are the nude Mother Earth who poses but never moves and the girl in the red dress who arches her body in erotic ecstasy. Some of the work is based on a personal vocabulary of pre-determined images but much has been left to develop within the architectural setting of the Optica gallery.
- Press release (Optica)

Bruce Parsons was born in Montreal in 1937. After having completed studies at the Ontario College of Art and Design, Toronto, he taught at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, Halifax as well as at York University, Toronto.