SELF-ABSTRACTIONS: A WORLD IN CONSTANT FLUX

Throughout history, humans have always had the relentless need to represent themselves. Tens of thousands of years ago, our prehistoric ancestors were already painting their vision of the world, unaware that they would be bequeathing future generations a gift of incalculable anthropological value. Nowadays with the advent of digital technologies and social media, self-representation has reached an unparalleled prominence.

In an era characterised by an excessive proliferation of selfies, some artists are deploying counter-strategies to represent themselves in their work by favouring a conceptual approach that uses objects or gestures in lieu of self-imagery” – Anaïs Castro, curator of the exhibition.

‘Canada Now- The Tip of the Iceberg’ is an ambitious project comprised of works by 12 Canadian artists. This unprecedented show encompasses a variety of mediums ranging from photography, video-art and installation to present a new perspective on our world, “making us aware that our perception is easily malleable and compelling us to pay attention and to remain critical”.

Jannick Deslauriers textile sculptures is an attempt to recreate the experience of walking through a drawing. Nadia Myre’s work weaves together complex histories of Aboriginal identity, nationhood and memory. Marie- Ève Levasseurs approach to technology and bio-politics testifies to the radical ways in which digital technologies have altered the very concept of self in contemporary societies.

A post-apocalyptic palette of blacks, whites and greys is the aesthetic language through which Simon Bilodeau expresses his despondency for an absurd system of values that prefers wealth to health. James Nizam’s photographs explore the medium’s connection to sculpture and architecture, as well as notions of the home and the ephemeral. Cal Lane challenges gender stereotypes by combining the “masculinity” of steel with the “femininity” of lace-like, decorative patterning.

Karine Payette’s work deals with notions of comfort and discomfort in order to reveal the precarious equilibrium that governs our world.  Patrick Bérubé plays with ambiguity by recalling Ellsworth Kelly’s colour-block paintings. Karine Giboulo reveals with humanity the dire truths of today’s migration crisis in her dioramas.

Sonny Assu calls for a careful examination of our responsibilities and challenges as human beings inside a delicate ecosystem. Guillaume Lachapelle’s mesmerizing mise-en-abymes propel the viewer into infinity, trapped in an endless echo of mirrors. Laurent Lamarche envisions a future in which technology enables us to build a more sustainable environment.

‘Canada Now- The Tip of the Iceberg’ is possible thanks to Canada House in London, SODEC, the Canada-UK Foundation, the Délégation du Québec a Londres, Art Bermondsey Project Space and Olympus, the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec and de Canada Art Council.

The exhibition will run until 25th November 2017 in Art Bermondsey Project Space.