An archipelago is a group of neighboring islands that share a submarine geological link. This series highlights aspects of isolation and loneliness in my work. Following a more narrative series of paintings (King Lear), this series consists of very static paintings with rather ambiguous narrative content. Strange relations arise between the different elements in each painting. These relations become slightly tinted by the emptiness of the desert that appears in the various tableaux. The characters, greatly exceeded by these structures, become islands, invisibly connected in a sea of steel, glass and concrete.
This painting represents a series of shopping centers in the desert. It also plays on the spiritual interpretation of the pyramid. The desert depicts the Andes mountain range in Chile.
Public Spaces 42 and 43, Interiors no. 8
In the Public Spaces paintings, as well as in several other works, there appears to be an underlying structure. An industrial grid that appears through the “decor” of the painting. This supporting grid is a visual interpretation of various ideas : it could be Karl Marx’s superstructure, Claude Lévi-Strauss’ structure or Michel Foucault’s discourse. It is a visual interpretation of man’s desire to make sense of invisible, material forces to replace religious, metaphysical ones. To me it is the invisible powers that impose their discourse and values throughout society. It is the rituals and myths that shape our relationship to reality. It is the material forces that build the private “public spaces” that are the heritage of enlightenment ideals. In the paintings, the characters are crossing this empty place without really being there. They are dreaming of, desiring this desert.
Public Space no. 44 to no. 47
These paintings were created in continuity with the King Lear series. They are part of what I could call an architecture of desire. They explore impulses and desires in evocative manner. The public space is an analogy for the individual’s desire to define him or herself. The characters are faced with an Other that surpasses them. An inner drama plays itself out in the cold public space.
Public Space no. 48
This painting was commissioned by the Revue Liberté, a Montreal cultural publication. The theme of the fall 2012 issue was a reflection on Stephen Harper’s heritage. The first thing that came to my mind is the strained relation the Canadian Prime Minister has developed with the House of Commons. This historical canadian institution is being transformed from its traditional public space, lieu of rational debate, into a tool for ideological manipulation. Parliament is here represented as a decor and the PM is a transparent speaker, the ghost of democracy.
For their recent change in format and design make-over, the magazine who celebrated its 50th birthday recently, called on Éric de Larochellière, artistic director of Le Quartanier publishing house. It is he who decided to incorporate images in the publication, including a color artwork on the cover.
This image is inspired by the play Douleur Exquise by Brigitte Haentjens presented at Espace Go theater in 2010. In this play, an actress (Anne-Marie Cadieux) repeats a story over and over again, the story of a cruel break-up. Told with great suffering and energy, the story is gradually emptied of its pathos to become in the end an anecdote related in a monotone voice. At the time, I was working on King Lear and was impressed by this lonely character. The actress makes an emotional striptease, empties herself of all this pain and fills the stage with her invectives, like colored viscera. A french word came to my mind, a psychoanalytical term : extimité, a play on the word intimacy, it is the desire to make visible certain aspects of private life. This aspect of the show, between intimacy and theater allows me to continue to explore an idea at the center of the King Lear series : a confrontation between the individual conscience, explicited by the theater persona, and a fragmented, post-modern view of the self.
This painting is based on the term Apocalypse, a greek word that translates as unveiling. Like the literary genre of apocalyptic literature, it is characterized by the use of allegory and symbolism. The term is used here in its literal meaning, the characters in this show are playing the moment before this unveiling. Unveiling of what? God only knows. I wanted to evoke the strong imprint on our culture of the Judaeo-Christian concept of the end of time, our fascination with the end of the world. We are here spectators of the Last Judgment… Unless this is hell… God only knows.