Lieux contestés

Maïder Fortuné, Ève K. Tremblay

April 1 to May 2, 2006

Lieux contestés

The exhibition Lieux contestés brings together the photographic work of Maïder Fortuné and Ève K. Tremblay to consider the dichotomy between reality and fantasy, the real and represented. The two photographic series presented seem to capture intimate moments between young girls but in appearance only.

In her series Éducation sentimentale, Tremblay depicts what appear to be girls playing before the backdrop of a private school. These seemingly intimate scenarios are however, constructed for a camera, and ultimately the audience. Everything within the frame is meticulously considered by the artist. These girls are both objects manipulated by Tremblay and co-conspirators in a game to seduce the spectator.

For her series Playing Dead Fortuné invited two girls to play dead for the camera. Outfitted in colourful, pretty dresses these actors take their roles quite seriously. Consumed by the task at hand they seem to have developed a rapport beyond the frame of the camera. Does one personify the dead and the other a soul, perhaps as the photo Playing Dead N°1 seems to express.

Faraway glances, distant gestures and inexplicable actions isolate us from what seems in plain view. “Whatever it grants to vision and whatever its manner a photograph is always invisible: it is not it that we see.”[1] Here we are brought back to the surface of the photograph, a site at once transparent and opaque. Our gaze can not penetrate beyond its surface.

[1] Roland Barthes, Camera lucida : reflections on photography, translated by Richard Howard. Hill & Wang, New York 1981, page 6.

What could possibly happen˙ to the state of a child’s consciousness when frozen in a pose while playing dead? Playing dead is a series of three color photographs that explore the dark side of child’s play. With this series, the parental bed, the site of la petite mort, is transformed into a place of intrigue where movement freezes – an active immobility. The camera’s presence opens the game. What we witness is an unconscious state that resists definition – the invisible. The portraits expose the impossibility of grasping the secret behind these children’s strange interchange with death.

The gallery’s large street facing window will function as a vitrine, illuminated by Fortuné’s video projection, Totem. The video depicts an adolescent skipping rope, moving up and down, slowly –and hypnotically, her face tightly framed by the camera. The face seems to mutate into multiples as the image is fractured through an extreme slowed motion process. The residual images, arrest in motion and linger x-ray like, mixing and blending in succession.

Fortuné’s work is nurtured by a study of movement, questioning and studying the actual instance of a gesture, aestheticising it. Focusing on the simple gesture, she strips activity from its original context, effectively re-rendering the moment. The work is devoid of contextual explanation or rationale for its choreography, resisting meaning or interpretation. Gesture and the body become pure physicality.

Maïder Fortuné lives and works in Paris. After having created her own company of physical theatre she has moved toward performance art and video art. In September 2003, she will participate in a group exhibition coordinated by Isabelle Suret for Anton Weller Gallery FIAC in Paris. Fortuné will also present a video installation in conjunction with the upcoming festival Moving Pictures in Toronto. She has had solo exhibitions at La Galerie Nadine Plateau de Bruxelles and Le Credac (Centre d’art d’Ivry) in Paris 2003. Her many group shows across Europe include Première vue at the Passage de Retz (2002) and in Panorama 3 at the Studio National des Arts contemporains Le Fresnoy (2002) encore See you at the premiere fair au Kongreszentrum Rauchstrasse, Berlin.

Eve K. Tremblay is a Montreal artist born in 1972. After studying French Litterature then theatre in New York (1994-95), Eve k. Tremblay completes a BFA at Concordia University in 2000 in Montreal. She has exhibited nationally and internationally. Selected solo shows include White Space, (2005, Zurich), Frontenac, (2003, Montréal), Circa (2002, Montreal) and Occurrence, 2000, Montreal, Honeymoons, created in association with Michel de Broin was show at Gallery 44 (2003, Toronto), at Pierre-François Ouelette art contemporain (2004, Montreal) and at the Fototeca de Cuba (2005, Havana). Selected group shows include Leonard Elen Bina Gallery (curated by Nathalie de Blois, 2005, Montreal), Buia Gallery (curator Jan Braar Christensen, New York, 2005).

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