Behind the High Grass
Soft Turns is the artistic partnership of Sarah Jane Gorlitz and Wojciech Olejnik. A post-war travel book authored by Czech travelers and filmmakers JiÅ™Ã Hanzelka and Miroslav Zikmund discovered at a flea market has inspired much of their recent practice. P19720 is the license plate of the Tatra 87 passenger vehicle that Hanzelka and Zikmundfound travelled in across Africa, Latin America and eventually Asia. Their journeys became a metaphor for addressing â€˜otherness’ within the context of the social, historical, political and psychological milieu of the post war period. As the artists familiarized themselves with the bookâ€”which had by now lost all of its text, leaving behind only enigmatic sepia imagesâ€”inevitably their work began to parallel the original authors’ journeys and research. Recording notes and observations, logging and filming their own travels; they became artist-anthropologists referencing the book as a rough guide to their explorations.
Photography: Robert McNair
Soft Turns is the artistic partnership of Sarah Jane Gorlitz and Wojciech Olejnik. They have been collaborating on stop-motion and video installation since 2006. Olejnik (MFA University of Waterloo) and Gorlitz (MFA MalmÃ¶ Art Academy) have received support from the Edstrand Foundation, the Toronto, Ontario, and Canada Arts Councils; including the 2008 Joseph Stauffer Prize and a 2013 Paris Residency. Recent and upcoming exhibitions include Centre Clark (Montréal), Southern Exposure (San Francisco), Foundation 3.14 (Bergen), Greusslich Contemporary (Berlin), 18th Videobrasil (São Paulo) and Modern Fuel (Kingston). Soft Turns are currently based in Toronto.