Walking in the margins

Marcher dans les marges

Photo: Guy L’heureux
Partial view of the exhibition “The track” with the works here artists Hannah Brancato and Ada Pinkston

It sometimes takes an outside view to make us see otherwise our domestic realities. If the presence in the gallery B-312 five artists of Baltimore does not get us a Montreal totally new, there are still a few twists and turns of the situation, say all the good exercises where you mix cultures.

After having started the year with an exhibition bringing together artists from china and canada, the galerie B-312 provides a second approximation to the one side and the other borders. The exposure The track is the result of an exchange of residencies of creation between the artistic communities of Montreal and Baltimore, the major city of Maryland. The artists ‘ centre of the Belgian worked for the occasion with the center Pigment Wild – Art & Residencies.

If The track was to be considered as a well-defined path between the two cities, it would undoubtedly have been entitled to works highlighting the icons of the one and the other. However, the fifteen proposals has little to do with the classic story from a stay abroad. The track, this is indeed a trail in the margin of the main roads.

There is a little bit of everything, and even too, in this exhibition, where each of the guests had carte blanche. And as we get more of the works in the form of a series of unique pieces, galerie B-312 looks smaller than it actually is. The track, sometimes confusing, do not lack for much in the way of attractions.

On the side of the visitors and the turnaround proposed, Ada Pinkston is distinguished by the dark tone of his drawings and videos. Disposed at the corner of two walls, the installation Afterlives After the Triangle… is a funeral oration for Marie-Josèphe Angélique, a slave in New France, of which the official history has made it a criminal. The artist offers a kind of rehabilitation, making the feat of arms of the Angelic (of a fire) the light source is made to reappear on his face (and not condemned to oblivion).


Marcher dans les marges

Photo: Guy L’heureux
View of the exhibition “The track”. Artists: The Couleuves, Jean-Michel Leclerc, Pascale Théorêt-Groulx, Amber Eve Anderson and Lu Zhang.

Erick Antonio Benitez is not as politicized, but works according to the same processes of image overlays. Portrait of the Living Sky, installation, images and objects, offers a narrative that is somewhat linear, rather dreamlike or yet to be built shops of the cities where the artist stopped. The entry in the spaces of B-312 by means of a drone that crosses the window is, if not unusual, frankly, spectacular.

Urban and feminine

Among the projects montrealer brought back from Baltimore, emphasize Bordeline, an impressive series of plates of the collective Girls Debouttes !. The content of urban, feminist, and plastically biting of the three painters together under this name (Christine Major, Isabelle Guimond and Gabrielle Lajoie-Bergeron, the latter also curator of the exhibition) calls to look at the margins without contempt. Not sure the local tourist office would have relied on these street scenes.

For his part, Jean-Michel Leclerc is back with small tales, drawn on paper altered. The overall title Used the leftover mixture, one reads in the text of presentation of the archetypes of the heritage of Baltimore and the popular culture. The artist has constructed vignettes of daily life as if he was playing with Playmobil. While the result may make you smile, he delivers a portrait bad of a community.

With the exception of a few cases — the devices cylindrical Pascale Théoret-Groulx or figurine on stand, Helena Martin Franco, the projects reproduce the grid specific to the urban fabric. A grid in the vertical, more or less rigid as those of the Girls Debouttes !, Jean-Michel Leclerc and Ada Pinkstone.

The composition is fragmented is in a horizontal position in Lu Zhang, and in the other a collective exhibition, The Couleuves. Without literal mimicking of the mock-up urban, the two tables on these two projects bring together a plethora of elements : drawings, photos, objects, and even a projection animated, in the case of Bathe not too much !, the work of Couleuves. The aspect of poetic and abstract of these grids breathes the wandering. Getting lost when even a little bit.

At the time where the epidemic of COVID-19 gaining strength and seems to put in danger everything that is journey, the exhibition born of the agreement between B-312 and Pigment Wild-takes of the tunes of the bygone era. Will it always be possible in the foreseeable future, to continue this kind of meetings ?

The track

Various artists. At the galerie B-312, 372 rue Sainte-Catherine Ouest, espace 403, until the 28th of march.

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