October 13 — November 15, 2017

Colette Laliberté



Opening : Friday October 13, 2017 at 5pm

What does mapmaking reveal? And what can it conceal?

With Google Maps’ quasi-monopoly on digital maps, not to mention the ready availability of their satellite images covering the entire planet, questions around mapmaking are becoming more and more important. What can you really learn about a place by only studying the network of its roads, the borders between the communities that live there, and the static contours of its living waterways?

During her visits to the Greater Sudbury region, Toronto-based artist Colette Laliberté was struck by the abundance of lakes, rivers and other waterways in the area. After a closer study of the region’s topography, she noticed that most of these waterways still bore the names given to them by settler cultures.

We can’t help but question the decision-making process that precedes the graphical representation found on a map. Why do we call this lake Ramsey? Why not Lake Bimitimigamasing? Around the communities of Lively and the Atikameksheng Anishnawbek First Nation, locals don’t always use Makada Lake’s traditional name, preferring to use the English name “Black Lake,” even though newer maps (Google Maps included) clearly designate it as “Makada Lake.”

Thus, Colette Laliberté’s project questions and renders abstract the labels and other conventions associated with cartography. Over the course of a creative residency at the GNO, Laliberté will show us her interpretation of the region’s geographic maps by creating a large-scale site-specific wall work.

Colette Laliberté

Colette Laliberté’s idea-based practice encompasses drawings, digital prints, paintings, projections and site-specific wall works. She links her work with the ideology that grouped Malevich, Lissitzky and Moholy-Nagy; an ideology grounded in their belief in the future, and a utopian view of art as a universal language with the power to instil change. She owes the genesis of her work to this legacy. Born in Sherbrooke, Quebec Laliberté moved to Toronto in 1985 following her residency as Young Artists in Residence at the Banff Centre for the Arts. She earned a BFA from UQAM University and an MFA from Windsor University. Her works have been exhibited in numerous solo, duo and group exhibitions in Canada and abroad. Laliberté has also participated in residencies in France, Spain, New York, and most recently at The Durham Gallery in Stouffville, Ontario and Duntara Newfoundland.

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