Is it what we feel that ultimately shapes how we live on the land? –Marten Berkman, 2015.

Visual artist, film maker, photographer and Whitehorse resident Marten Berkman’s 3D video installation ‘Hart to Heart: Reflections/Réflexions’ is a thoughtful and mesmerizing display, exhibited in the Community Gallery of the Yukon Arts Centre until February 28, 2015. A video installation in conjunction with the current Available Light Film Festival, this 30 minute video and sound piece is a meditation on the land, both natural and manufactured.


‘Hart to Heart’, a reference to the Yukon’s Peel Watershed and a journey down the Hart River is experienced wearing 3D glasses. Listening to a resonant soundscape sometimes ornamented with soft plucking guitar strings or deep, threatening drum beats, it accompanies and amplifies the emotional impact of the 3D video.


On an immersive journey through the Yukon landscape, the viewer is transported through opening and closing scenes, a dynamism that we can’t always keep up with.  Our fragmented experiences with natural landscapes are calming, but broken when our vision is disrupted by shining scrap metal projected in 3D towards us. The digital manipulation of the image of scrap metal creates a visceral effect- I felt a nervousness and threat by the break in such a calming natural landscape.


The beauty, simplicity and pure sensuousness of the changing landscapes, seasons, time and place in ‘Hart to Heart’ is a journey the viewer is privileged to experience.  Berkman manipulated remote sensing to actually bring the viewer into the work. The viewer’s silhouette is sensed and projected into the video screen through a remote technology- a beautiful contrast of cutting edge technology layered onto landscapes as old as time.


Marten Berkman has worked with video and photography for Canadian Geographic Magazine, the Vancouver 2010 Olympics and the National Film Board of Canada amongst others. His work is featured in private and public collections locally, nationally and internationally.


Berkman’s documentary ‘ Chasms of Silence’ was presented early in the ALFF schedule along with two other Yukon Documentaries. The short film is a chronicle of a passage through Baffin Island with sound by Jennifer Berezan and Tanya Tagaq and poetry by Anne Michaels.


To learn more about Berkman’s work, visit his website at:  http://www.martenberkman.com/martenberkman/home.html