This double raison d’être initiates often absurd or even preposterous processes and actions in the works exhibited, a sort of infernal circle that directs our attention to the planetary issue of food and energy production. Their reserve supply, which is not always renewable, becomes a test zone crying out for inventive alternatives. Destruction and death, nourishment and survival: the motion that has now become urgent at the intersection of these inescapable realities is borne by artists and their observation of today’s world.
This is in part what is shown in the selected works by BGL and Michel de Broin, where human motion replaces combustion engines to propel revamped vehicles that have been divested of their mechanical components. With Pascal Grandmaison, nature—tilled and excavated, organic and nourishing—looks so sublime that any fears that it might poison us are obliterated in the subtle grain of the textures and materials. Nadia Myre, of Algonquin descent, describes what disappears from culture when the mists on the landscape conceal attempts at survival and Jean-Pierre Aubé creates sound and visual landscapes from the radio waves that pollute the sky. Patrick Bernatchez explores the eternal cycle of life and death, of rebirth and mutation.
Mythologies of the body are another broad area of exploration for some artists, in particular Caroline Boileau, who looks at the body in relationship to sickness and health, while Myriam Laplante situates it in a Machiavellian sphere of grotesque experimentation. Chih-Chien Wang takes us in the direction to the family cell, where everyday experience is explored through the relationship between culture and diet. Nelson Henricks and Eduardo Menz both find ways to confront us with an imminent end, Henricks in a mechanical countdown and Menz in a poetic slow motion that evokes more a protracted moan than brusque disappearance.
Organized and circulated by Galerie l’UQAM and curated by La Fabrique d’expositions, a collective of Montreal curators, Julie Bélisle, Louise Déry and Audrey Genois.