Abstracts / Résumés

Michèle Provost

October 14 to November 19, 2011

This exhibition is sponsored by CanSign Industries. Our season sponsors are, CBON, la Première Chaîne, Espace musique and Radio-Canada Television | Internet, 50 Carleton, Le Voyageur and Le Loup 98,9 La voix du Nord.


(ABSTrACTS / RéSuMÉS) addresses the role of art writing and its crucial importance with regards to contemporary visual art creation and presentation. After reading an essay on Marcel Dzama, whose work I was given to see in person on several occasions, it struck me that, although the thesis was rather pertinent and the writing impeccable, the text failed to convey the true nature and magical spirit of Dzama’s work. As a translator, I am well aware of the little acts of treason involved in the simple transfer between two different verbal codes. (Another common failure of transfer is the book-to-film adaptation.) Thus, it should be expected that the reverse exercise, visual-to-text, would also involve some losses and several acts of treason, great and small.

(ABSTrACTS / RéSuMÉS) attempts to turn the tables by playfully converting some art writings into visual pieces. By “re-writing” art magazine articles and curatorial essays, retaining only chosen elements to the detriment of global coherence, these “abstracts” fall comically short of coherence. The resulting texts, each created with a different code, such as selecting only words starting with a certain letter or only the last word in each column, are in true dadaïst spirit and, accordingly, have been rendered in visual poetry form.

As a whole, this sketchy portrait of the “other side” of the art scene is certainly not a critique of the critics but a mere reflection on the close bounds between the two parties; as such, it more than implicitly acknowledges the mutual respect necessary to the pursuit of this ongoing relationship.

After completing a degree in translation at the University of Ottawa, Michèle Provost obtained a diploma in Visual arts from the Ottawa School of Art. Her art work has been exhibited in Canada, Italy and England.

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