They gave it all up – to become paperfolders

Between the Folds chronicles the stories of 10 fine artists, theoretical mathematicians and intrepid scientists who have abandoned conventional jobs and scoffed at hard-earned graduate degrees — all to forge lives as modern-day paperfolders.

TAKING CURVES to the Limit (2009) by Erik Demaine is featured in Between the Folds

TAKING CURVES to the Limit (2009) by Erik Demaine is featured in Between the Folds

Between the Folds chronicles the stories of 10 fine artists, theoretical mathematicians and intrepid scientists who have abandoned conventional jobs and scoffed at hard-earned graduate degrees — all to forge lives as modern-day paperfolders.

 

As these offbeat and varied characters converge on the unusual medium of origami, they reinvent an ancient art and illustrate the innumerable ways that creativity and ingenuity come to bear in the age-old effort to understand and honour the world around us.

With beautiful cinematography, animation and an original score featuring the Budapest Symphony Orchestra, the film paints an arresting portrait of the mysterious artistic and scientific threads that fuel these remarkable minds, bringing forth a rich mix of sensibilities towards art, abstraction, science, creativity and meaning.

 

Comox Valley Art Gallery presents Between the Folds as the last film of the summer series, Films You Want to See!, on Aug. 24 at 7 p.m. in the Stan Hagen Theatre in Komoux Hall at North Island College at 2300 Ryan Rd. in Courtenay.

 

Tickets are $10 each and are available at the CVAG Gift Shop at 580 Duncan Ave. in Courtenay and Video’s N More at 264 Anderton Rd. in Comox. For more information, call 250-338-6211 or visit www.comoxvalleyartgallery.com.

The film opens with three of the world’s foremost paper artists — a former sculptor in France folding caricatures in paper rivalling the figures of Daumier and Picasso; a hyper-realist who walked away from a successful physics career to instead challenge the physics of a folded square; and an artisanal papermaker who folds impressionistic creations from the very same medium he makes from scratch.

As the film progresses, however, the artists become less conventional, and the post-modern concepts of abstraction, minimalism, deconstruction, process and empiricism take root — mirroring 20th-century art itself. Abstract artists emerge with a greater emphasis on process and concept, rattling the fundamental roots of realism that have long dominated traditional paperfolding. Eventually, science emerges as another front in the exploration of folded paper — featuring advanced mathematicians and a remarkable scientist from the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory at MIT and winner of the MacArthur “Genius” Award for his computational origami research.

While debates arise on issues of technique, symbolism and purpose, the film ultimately culminates with the notion that art and science are but two different interpretations of the very same world around us.

 

And the medium of paperfolding — a blank, uncut square — emerges as a resounding metaphor for the creative potential and transformation of us all.

— Comox Valley Art Gallery

 

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