Conceived for the Critical Reflection program of Les Territoires, En Obscurité explores the key role that darkness plays within the constitution and reception of visual and aural works of art. In order to experiment with the potential and plurality of questions that obscurity raises and refers to, the gallery’s lighting will gradually change from dimness to almost complete darkness. To adapt to this change in light, the works will transform themselves or be adjusted by the artists along the way. The aim is not merely to play with light but rather to present obscurity as an active, functioning component, a material that can be manipulated.
One of the strengths of obscurity is its atmospheric nature, which creates or reinforces the mood of a given space, while invoking the nocturnal or even the cosmos. Whereas this nocturnal space is particularly hard to define, questions pertaining to loss of reference and sensory modulations become inevitable when a space is immersed in darkness. Hence, the transition from partial to near total darkness will allow viewers to observe the impact that the varying levels of obscurity can produce on the perception of the works, each of which presents a possible articulation of the symbolic referents of obscurity with the exhibition context.
Developed as an experimental lab, this project includes a round table presentation that will serve as a space for dialogue between the artists and the public, and will further reflection on darkness as an artistic and museal strategy beyond its strictly logistical function.
Autodidact visual artist, Mathieu Beauséjour has been presenting his installations, interventions and images since the mid 1990s. His works has been shown in Canada, in Europe and the Americas in artist-run spaces, private and public galleries, museums, biennials and festivals. He lives in Montréal. He is represented by Galerie Éponyme (Bordeaux, France).
Mathieu Latulippe lives and works in Montreal. His work has been shown in Canada and abroad, including at the Manifestation internationale d’art de Québec 4 (Quebec City), Netwerk and Établissement d’en face (Belgium), Galerie Clark (Montreal), Darling Foundry (Montreal) and at the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal’s Québec Triennial 2011. He was also an artist in residence for Among other things residencies in Turkey (Bolu and Istanbul).
Jean-François Lauda lives and works in Montreal. He has shown his work in numerous group exhibitions, namely L’étincelle du phénix (Galerie Simon Blais), Fête (Galerie Roger Bellemare), Dessin à dessein (Galerie Lilian Rodriguez), and presented his first solo show, Fait de concentré, at Galerie Simon Blais in 2011. His work is part of several collections, including La Collection Loto-Québec, Senvest Collection and Colart Collection. Also a musician, Lauda has performed as a member of the duo Leboeuf et Laviolette in festivals such as Mutek and Pop Montréal.
Emmanuelle Léonard lives and works in Montreal. Her work has been shown in Canada and abroad, namely at the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal, at Neuer Berliner Kunstverein (Germany), at Mercer Union (Toronto), at Expression exhibition centre (St-Hyacinthe) and as part of Le Mois de la photo à Montréal in 2007. Recipient of the 2005 Pierre-Ayot prize, she was an artist in residence at Villa Arson (France) and at the Fondation Christoph Mérian (Switzerland). Recently, her work was presented at Gallery 44 (Toronto) and she is part of the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal’s Québec Triennial 2011.
Currently based in Montreal, Karen Trask is a multidisciplinary artist creating works in sculpture, video, installation, artist-books and performance. She has participated in numerous solo and group exhibitions in Canada, Europe, United States, India and Mexico. She has a Masters degree in Sculpture from Concordia University. Her work can be found in public and private collections.
Aseman Sabet is a PhD student in Art History at Université de Montréal. Her thesis deals with the notion of darkness and the sense of touch as modes of resistance to ocularcentrism in the 18th century. She has published in various contemporary art magazines and is a member of Galerie Clark as a theorist since 2008. Aseman Sabet is also editor and curator for There Is studio in London.