2015 | INJURIOUS NATURE: TRICIA MIDDLETON
EXHIBITION FROM JUNE 17 TO AUGUST 8, 2015
Open Studios with La Filature’s resident artists Justin Wonnacott, Jean-Yves Vigneau, Josée Dubeau, Rosaura Guzman Clunes, Annie Thibault and Denis Larouche from 7PM to 10PM.
Inauguration of the new Members’ Gallery with Gatineau-based artist, curator and performer Olivier Serge Fokoua with his project Synchronisme.
Formation. Stagnation. Decline. Rebirth.
In its unchanging cyclical sequence, matter pursues its destiny by struggling against the smouldering forces of nature, refractory to all human intervention. The slow agony of objects is part of an ambiguous relation between the physical boundaries of a body and its invisible constraints, the same intangible dynamic that fashions before annihilating. Nevertheless, let us remain optimistic: destruction, seen differently, is a creative force that creates space for renewal, liberating the potential of a latent materiality which is only awaiting an idea in order to take shape. Like rubble compelled to melt into a misshapen mass, itself subject to an impulse that will bring it back to life like slag becoming precious stone or mother-of-pearl becoming dust, equilibrium is only a transitory condition in the inevitable perpetuum mobile of duplicitous nature, that treacherous scoundrel which creates and takes up again.
A spectacle both disturbing and attractive is offered up to us, confused observers of a strange environment; the gallery appears to have been transformed into a recently abandoned site after a mysterious cataclysm whose localised devastation is still obvious. Like the luxuriant sets of a stage play, the vestiges of a dystopian society or a still life whose movements are nevertheless palpable, the staged scenes on offer captivate by their ambiguity. Out of these agglutinations which everything destines for collapse there nonetheless emanates a disconcerting beauty; a kind of harmony, if harmony it is, deriving from an ethereal arsenal of pastel colours accentuating the phantasmagorical nature of the landscape. Our initial stupor recedes, enabling us to linger on the details. Frozen in their wax armatures, the irregular sculptures are contorted in frosty cascades. They are complex amalgams which join all sorts of peculiar materials: styrofoam, cotton balls, confetti, paint, wood, candles, cardboard, glass, cloth, etc. Even the so-called organic elements totter between the referent and the thing being referred to, between moulding and direct alteration; levelling varied accumulations, a few metallic branches, plastic flowers and flickering sparks are seen. The categorical norms of materiality are overthrown to such an extent that they end up becoming indistinct; through a synthetic mimicry, the artificial becomes natural and the handmade can be traced back to industrial production. Knick-knacks and other flashy bits of cheap stuff bestrew the ground in scattered ruins, piling up in an oddly meticulous chaos. In this falsely perilous arrangement there also abound modest posters, like snatches of a long, silent manifesto, part way between poem, philosophical discourse and scurrilous judgement. Hand-written in colloquial prose, these signs display thoughts both wise and pathetic, focused for the most part on contemporary ethics and aesthetics. The spontaneity of the ideas adds a quality both intimate and disturbing. The heady abundance of texts interferes with the reception of a concise message, as the singular appositeness of these thoughts dissipate in a phonic entropy.
Once again, Tricia Middleton invites us to intrude in an untidy world in suspense, wavering between kitsch, out-of-date, neo-Baroque and Futurist aesthetics. Painting, sculpture and projection co-exist in supernatural installations in which malaise often succumbs to delight. Recycling fragments of previous works, Middleton extends her hypothetical inquiry into the migration of form and meaning over time, guided by her fascination with the gleaming decadence of all things. The exhibition Injurious Nature does its utmost to elucidate our apathetic attitude towards material culture, a form of behaviour visibly bent on overconsumption and waste, part of a society that has gone scandalously astray.
I really doubt you’d be interested in my art practice, it is very visual. We will have been warned.
Translation by Timothy Barnard.
Tricia Middleton was born in Vancouver in 1972 and lives and works in Montreal. She holds a bachelor’s degree in fine arts from the Emily Carr University of Art and Design and a master’s degree in visual arts from Concordia University. A recipient of the Victor Martyn Lynch-Staunton Award for the visual arts in 2010, her work can be found in collections such as that of the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal. Tricia Middleton has carried out numerous artistic residencies, including most recently at the Cité internationale des arts in Paris in 2014. Her work has been seen in solo and group exhibitions across Canada and in the United States, France, Germany and Spain. Some of her most noteworthy solo shows include Form is the Destroyer of Force, Without Severity There Can Be No Mercy, The Call is Coming from Inside the House and Dark Souls. Injurious Nature, her fifteenth solo exhibition, is being presented for the first time at AXENÉO7. In her installations, sculptures and paintings, Tricia Middleton explores the cyclical concepts of materiality. Her hybrid and most often luxuriant environments examine the relational evolution of form and meaning.
Tricia Middleton wishes to thank the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec for its support.