Canopy is one of Jacobs’ finest works in years, a stereoscopic 2D/3D hybrid work that activates a small space within New York City. It is a classic confrontation between domination (in the form of yet more gentrification from above) and the elements that no one can control (the wind, the billow of canvas). Rectilinear metal scaffolds play against free rounded forms, producing an aesthetic wonder that, in a small corner of contemporary history, tells a story of us all.
A deceptively complex work, the film features a handful of shots of a New York City street scaffolding, positioned at slightly differing angles, and proceeds to interrogate the properties of the image by shifting along a horizontal axis in rapid left-right movements and inverting the natural composition of the setting with negative exposure effects. The result is a kind of urban dance of displacement, with no audible music but plenty of rhythmic internal dynamism.
While these tend to ground the work’s perspective, so to speak, they are visually upstaged by the shifting contours and curving fabric of the canopy, animated into a play of interchanging and overlapping undulations that convert the entire space into an exploration of surface, depth, and everything in between—the territory, in other words, where Jacobs feels most at home.