Photo: Paul Litherland
Malena Szlam, “ALTIPLANO”, 2018
Already legion, the speech prophetic of the end (of the world, of history, of the human, of art, etc.) must still be made more in mind with the climate crisis and the current threats of pandemic. But while these stories stretch into a future of imprecise revelation, others do not hesitate to say that it was already over. “Our house is on fire “, could be read on the conduct of Anaïs Barbeau-Lavalette, who, on the stage at the Berlinale, where it was celebrated this week, was the relay of the words spoken by the activist Greta Thunberg.
The current group show at the galerie Leonard & Bina Ellen art gallery of Concordia arrives in this context by providing a different reflection on the purposes advertised, a point of view bold that opens with a positive outlook and plural. The idea of the disappearance of what we are, and the collapse of our world is so ubiquitous that its scope and its foundations are diluted. With What is more not yet, commissioner Julia Eilers Smith shows, among other things, that the end is in some respects desirable.
As that of an order of the world iniquitous, generated in large part by the progress ideology of modern popular western culture, a white one for that, also, the historical time is linear and teleological. The artists gathered by the commissioner do not follow this temporal pattern, with works that reveal situations of loss while criticizing the reasons that lead, or have led to disaster in the end. By doing this, the works reconcile with a one-dimensional former of the apocalypse, or revelation.
At the edge of the exposure in the window and the hallway, the works of Fallon Simard and Syrus Marcus Ware are first misleading, with their reasons, arranged that have similarities with the video game and decoration. Against the effects of reassuring repetition, their works destabilize subtly the colonial order, a calling together the native traditions lost, the other, of the characters of resistance black and queer.
And then the expo departs frankly any attempt to entertain with the sound work of James Nicholas named “dumile” Goddard leaves in the penumbra the great hall, as if the book had been left in the plan. The work has five channels however asserts its formidable presence with a ringing emphasis, which are superimposed on the rumor of the slogans chanted or voice impressions of gravity, which together evoke acts of uprising and collapse. A climate of anxiety takes over to accompany the visit, which is embodied by experiments perceptual strong while multiplying the states of tension, between ends and revivals.
The facilities of Rochelle Goldberg grow especially with its materiality lavishly dilapidated, combining bronze, celeriac and found objects. These assemblages appear to defy the categories that distinguish the living from the non-living. They are in this case themselves in mutation continues despite stagnant of their presence on the ground, close to an abandonment of death.
The video occupies the other rooms, serving as a vehicle of choice to address the subject, by the possible games on temporality, narrative, and montage. For Malena Szlam, it is the use in the filming of the 35 mm film, which gives information on its approach, in the sense of loss in the face of a technology that had fallen into disuse, and which are characteristic of his images in the dramatic ALTIPLANO(2018). In his film, the elements of the Atacama desert in Chile there is a conspiracy, far from the known images of tourism and mining.
The landscape is also the kind discussed in other works Fallon Simard with his short animation videos. On the background of the sky, of the phenomena of abstract form and disperse, evoking the harmful effects of humans on habitats. More rooted in the news by inserting images of the press, Land Becomes Ghost (2016) refers to the aboriginal occupation of the Site C in British Columbia.
Myriam Charles shows tales chopped off and elliptical, which are staging a nuclear catastrophe and of the dead. It is three short films already existing that it brings together for the first time in an installation. She was among the artists of the exhibition, which, alongside the famous Goldberg, come out of left field, because never before presented in a gallery and rather active in other networks. The originality of the selection of artists is therefore another quality of this exhibition, which impresses with a lot of finesse, to return to the discourse of the end all their complexity.
Just arrived in post in June 2019 at the galerie Leonard & Bina Ellen art gallery, as head of the collection, research and programming satellite Sightings, Julia Eilers Smith has been tasked with curating an exhibition. She took it with aplomb this carte blanche, strong, recognized it, his training at the renowned Bard College in the State of New York, where she studied in the office that have opened up horizons on the rest of the world and gave him access to invaluable resources. It is already possible to believe that it continues in its new features the excellent work of his predecessor, Katrie Chagnon.
What is more not yet
With Miriam, Charles, James Nicholas named “dumile” Goddard, Rochelle Goldberg, Fallon Simard, Malena Szlam, and Syrus Marcus Ware. Curator : Julia Eilers Smith. At the galerie Leonard & Bina Ellen art gallery, 1400 de Maisonneuve West, until 4 April.