Laurent Vaillancourt

October 20th to November 17th 2012


It’s not surprising that the artist and collector Laurent Vaillancourt is once again exploring a swath of spacetime with the help of found objects. Remember Cent bornes (One hundred milestones) his exhibition of objects found along Highway 11 over the course of a summer and exhibited in sealed plastic bags, or his installation Derrière les portes (Behind the doors) in which mementos were concealed.

Minute, Vaillancourt’s new work, presents 60 minutes, but also 60 minute objects found in Hearst in his parents’ house. In this project, Vaillancourt, like an archeologist, collects everyday objects, treats them as rare specimens, selects them according to symbolic, esthetic and historic criteria, gives them each a single reference name that can be understood in both English and French, sets them between glass lenses so that we may better examine them, and finally gives them new life by exhibiting them in an art gallery.

Placed in their time capsules and mounted on white surfaces, these objects acquire an entirely new importance. In the background, the black lettering on the wall displaying the names of the objects is distorted due to the effect of the lenses. The name relates the object to its historical context, while the distance created between the two alters it.

In this manner, a “bonhomme carnaval” figurine hanging from a key chain becomes Carnaval; a small red, white and blue ball becomes Pepsi; a candy becomes Sauve qui peut.

Laurent Vaillancourt lives and works in Hearst. He was involved in the movement that marked the cultural awakening of French Ontario in the seventies and has always remained closely linked to this community. His works have been exhibited in Ontario, Québec, New-Brunswick, Manitoba and Columbia (South America). He has a B.A. in landscape architecture from the Université de Montréal.

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