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Pars mais prends bien soin de revenir - Amélie Brisson-Darveau

Friday, November 1, 2013 to Saturday, December 14, 2013

Opening Reception: Friday, Nov. 1st, 7:00-10:00 PM

Artist Talks:

Saturday, Nov. 2nd, 12:30-1:30 PM- French Artist Talk

Saturday, Nov. 2nd, 2:00-3:00 PM- English Artist Talk

About the Exhibition:

Amélie Brisson-Darveau’s explores the interrelation between the body and its movement and the nature of the image produced (that small shadow that follows it) – an animation in situ (with a potential for immediate narrative) showing the relation between the choreography of these movements and their relation to fictional structures, like fabric, architecture or narrative.

The artist traces her friends’ shadows to collect the patterns for clothing that she then tailors. The shadows we create are moving images. From these fluid, abstract shapes the artist creates phantasmagoric, improbable, unusable clothes. Their rich materiality merges into the real while their usability has to remain on an imaginary scheme. By installing them directly on the floor, aligned as if on a carousel, the artist creates a playful ground on which the spectators are invited not only to observe from a distance the objects of the installation, but to try out the size of the clothes installed on the floor as shadows in a recurrent fashion. To wear one’s own shadow is the metaphorical proposal realized by the artist by pointing and manipulating the light of projectors mounted on tripods, in the ephemeral overlapping of the projected shadow of the spectator with the clothes installed on the floor. The overlapping of the fleeting shadow with the clothes is a procedural operation extending not only metaphorically, but giving material strength to the movement itself. Through the play of the spectators the surface of the textile is activated, materializing the immateriality of the shadows as the clothes-shadows become “alive” and transform into living pictures. The poses and design of the clothes-shadows refer to and are inspired by four different stories in which the main protagonist has lost their shadow, due to a contract, rejection, love, travel and such. These are Peter Schlemihl by Adalbert von Chamisso, The Shadow by Hans Christian Andersen, The Story of the Lost Reflection by Ernst Theodor Amadeus Hoffmann, and The Woman without a Shadow by Hugo von Hofmannsthal.

A sound installation complements that of the shadow clothing, covering the space acoustically and merging with the clothes-shadows installed on the floor, absorbing from their textile surface. The artist is here inspired by the ways in which the narratives of the four stories overlap, cross, and mirror each other, scan each other in order to reflect on folklore and old legends bundling our fears and exploring how a mental space is constructed in their projections.

Artist Statement:

In Eastern Europe the constructor measures the shadow of a merchant with a string and hides it in the walls of a building with the purpose of solidifying the construction. This story and many images of similar acts feed in a very absurd and phantasmagorical way the relation I explore between the body, fabric and architecture.

A sense of the body is essential to my work as are my physical actions, which tie together the elements of my installations. I deploy a method of excessive deconstruction and reconstruction (submitted to processes coming from dance such as gravity, pressure, stretching, rotation, tension, release) to transform, create and initiate my research on movement. In its close relation to cartographic configurations, my compositions can be described as performative. My body (along with other bodies and materials) becomes the medium to traverse these compositions.

The relation between the self, the surrounding environment and individuals is the central theme of my work. I am interested in the strategies that we use to imprint our environment. Fibers as material allow me to explore these dimensions of human relations in time and space through installation, drawings and actions. I use clothing and shadows in a recurrent fashion. Recalling a human presence, clothes become appropriated objects evoking the notion of intimacy found throughout the entirety of my work.

Fabric is made of manifold structures, so are buildings. For both shadows have the potential to reveal textures and to resonate with dimensions of space and time. I consider architecture as a machine similar to the human, each building owning its body and its proper mind, foreground its potential to suggest rather than to impose. With their shadow, buildings are animated by a subtle movement close to an animation in situ (with a potential for immediate narrative). My work on shadows is part of a larger reflection on interstices, relations, distances and connections moving through all my works. Sometimes, I imagine my shadow as a small portable stage (following me like a cloud) creating moving images similar to a dance.

Artist's Website:


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