La Petite Mort Gallery presents…
International Group Exhibit curated by Guy Berube
December 3 – 28, 2010
Vernissage Dec 3 / 7 – 10pm
Tunes by DJ JAS NASTY
In Collaboration with Abnormals Galleries
in Berlin, Germany & Poznan, Poland.
Proudly sponsored by CKCU 93.1 FM, Mambo & Kinki
“We are the Infidels.
At once innocent and ruthless, our bodies are beyond faith.
The seduction of chaos and the chaos of seduction,
Render visible the wounds in the flesh”.
– Ryah Stelmanssen, 1862
“The Latin word infidelis means “one without faith”. Far from its medieval Christian (and Islamic) origins, the word is reborn here with a new vibrancy to embrace aesthetic practices puncturing the sanctuary of the body.
This group of Canadian and international artists working in various media, are connected by their highly-personal explorations of the estranged body. Emerging artists, self-taught artists, artists struggling with mental health issues, participate alongside formally trained artists to foster the dialectic the body as a site for both contemplation and stigmata.
The human figure is predominantly featured, presented in ways that serve to obstruct our formulation of an eroticized frame for viewing. Rather, the lush beauty of a brushstroke, the forensic detail of a camera’s surveillance, the evocative trace of the pencil lead to human landscapes which are haunting and disturbing revelations.
The images create provocative ambiguous vignettes – ephemeral fragments of time sliced from a presumably largely coherent narrative. As beholders, we are then required to participate by “completing the story”: we imbue to the performing body of the image our own subjective life experiences, creating a “mash up” of meanings conflating the artist’s diaristic expression, and subsequently our own.
The physical body as a contested site for the workings of psychological trauma and veneration links to modern (post-Freudian) practices arguably best known through the harrowing figure studies and portraits by Francis Bacon, the extreme viscerality of photographs by Joel-Peter Witkin, and the confrontational self-lacerating performances by conceptual artists Vito Acconci and Marina Abramovi
As an intangible metaphor and a tangible presentation of images, INFIDELS represents an exploration of the transgressive body through complex meetings of the physical and the psychical, the real and the imaginary, the artist and the beholder”. – written for Guy Berube, director, La Petite Mort Gallery
The curator & his gallery:
“The little death,” that gorgeous moment that juxtaposes suspense, tension and relief just after the release of a really good orgasm.
Guy Bérubé’s vision for La Petite Mort is truly – and perhaps surprisingly, given the gallery’s name – a vision of social ethics. He sees the artist’s struggle with self-awareness through visual art reflected back to the viewer not as passive recipient but as active participant in the creative endeavour.
A signature feature of LPM is the feeling of discomfort many of the artworks evoke, which, as is the goal of subversive art, reflects the viewer’s personal projections back upon herself. This discomfort is a necessary part of Bérubé’s aesthetic and ethical sensibility. It recognizes the role of art in alienation and in critical transformation, for cultural progress is usually provoked by the ideas invoked at the boundaries of our communities. LPM artists represent subjects at the margins of contemporary Canadian urban society – the sublime as well as the homeless and the schizophrenic – no different than most mainstream art since the post-Renaissance period.
Not here to shock nor to entertain, however, M. Bérubé as LPM gallery owner and director is here to provide an inclusive forum for today’s Canadian artists, including those typically sidelined by mainstream society and those simply unable to function normally within it. LPM gives the Canadian visual arts community an edge that not only gives art a vehicle for its traditional cultural role, but is acknowledged for giving Canadian Art that edge that contributes to its recognition on the world stage.
Selected Artists & Chosen Works from the
Collection of La Petite Mort Gallery:
– Slava Mogutin, New York, USA
– Brian Kenny, New York, USA
– Andrej Dubravsky, Bratislava, Slovakia
– Martin Brouillette, Montreal, Canada
– Matthias Herrmann, Austria
– Greta Grip, Ottawa, Canada
– Denis Stepanovic, Munich, Germany
– Zachari Logan, Saskatoon, Canada
– Aleks Bartosik, Toronto, Canada
– Juan Carlos Noria, Barcelona, Spain
– Boris Torres, New York, USA
– Matthew Stradling, London, England
– Peter Shmelzer, Ottawa, Canada
– James Huctwith, Toronto, Canada
– Meaghan Haughian, Ottawa, Canada
– Matthew Dayler, Cincinnati, USA
– Kara Williams, Quebec, Canada
– Joseph Anderson, Saskatoon, Canada
– Adam J. Ansell, San Francisco, USA
– Jay Barry Matthews, Melbourne, Australia
– Philippe Jusforgues, Paris, France
– Maldo Nollimerg, Switzerland
– Ashkan Honarvar, Shiraz, Iran
– Andree Leduc, Montreal, Canada
– Alejandro Hugo Dorda Mevs, Miami, USA
– Natasha Doyon, Gatineau, Canada
– Scott Everingham, Toronto, Canada
Guy Berube, director