From November 02 2007 to November 25 2007
Mises à l'épreuve
ÉLÈNE TREMBLAY, Montreal
Espace Vidéographe, the programming section of Vidéographe, relaunches its activities dedicated to the dissemination of contemporary video art. In conjuction with La Centrale Galerie Powerhouse, Vidéographe presents Mises à l’épreuve by Quebec artist Élène Tremblay. The exhibit features four video installations and a series of photographs intitled Les assis (created by the artist in Montreal and in Barcelona during an artist residency last summer at the Hangar Visual Arts Centre for the spanish section). For over 10 years Élène Tremblay has explored the contingincies of naturalism in photography, more precisely her work considers affect and the figure in fixed images and more recently, in moving images. This new series of works evokes empathy, meditates on social ties and questions the relationship between the public and the representation of distress suffered by others. “I try to use certain features of Pathosformel (an idea conceived by the art historian Aby Warburg and discussed by Georges Didi-Huberman in L’image survivante), such that the formal approach amplifies the pathos represented. Repetition, stretched time and motionlessness act as mortifications of the subject, who seems trapped in a brief moment of life that replays endlessly. In this looped presentation, the subject’s posture enhances the audience’s view, giving the subject a heightened presence and bringing the audience even closer. This fixing of another’s pain and difficulty in the gaze of the viewer is a metaphor for the formation of social bonds: more broadly, Infortunes raises the question of empathy. The position I assign to the viewer is intended to reflect certain aspects of modern sensibilities: passivity, paralysis, powerlessness, voyeurism, distraction, etc.” Élène Tremblay lives and works in the Montreal area. Her work is based on photography and video and is regularly shown in Canada and abroad. Her works are held in public and private collections. She is a teacher at several universities in Quebec, holds a master’s degree in visual arts from Concordia University and is a doctoral candidate in artistic studies and practices at UQAM. She also directed the VOX gallery in Montreal from 1998 to 2002 and has been the curator of exhibits of contemporary photography, Web art and media arts.