by Tom McSorley
Take One, Fall 1995


For over a decade, Ottawa animator and independent filmmaker Dan Sokolowski has been quietly assembling an accomplished body of work. His sixth and most recent film, ShoreLines, is an understated and effective investigation of the cinema's ability to represent the world while simultaneously altering our perceptions of it. Sokolowski integrates these open-ended theoretical questions into his filming of three metal sculptures ( a man, a bird, a caribou) by Ontario artist William Conly. Filmed on the rugged shores on Lake Superior, the three sculptures are observed, recorded, even sculpted cinematically by Sokolowski's acute sense of composition. Regarded by the camera from various angles in varying degrees of proximity, the sculptures are also juxtaposed in Sokolowski's editing to suggest imagined interactions. In its deceptively simple construction, ShoreLines explores the rich implications of context, perspective and spatial orientation in manufactured images. The film also ponders how the camera affects how we see what we see in suprising ways. Within its minimalist and seemingly conservative style, Sokolowski's ShoreLines asks radical questions about how we look at the world, with or without the camera.

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