Renovation

80
2014

Theme:
This issue explore the phenomenon of renovation, which is broached in various artistic practices and experienced on the fringe of artistic activities by both artists and art venues. Numerous works are primarily linked with the field of renovation through their use of particular materials and tools, but also by having recourse to devices that emphasize site, construction, building site development, or the project implementation process. In this perspective, we were interested in texts analyzing corpora of works which — on a real or metaphorical level — question (re)construction processes or directly involve rebuilding.

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  • EDITO

    Temporary Architectures for Ephemeral Construction Sites
    SYLVETTE BABIN

    RÉNOVATION | RENOVATION

    Kamikaze Renovation: Parasitical Forms of Renovation
    In former Eastern Bloc countries, numerous artists have seized on issues related to renovation and its vocabulary: Eurorenovation, Brusselization, and so on. The Georgian pavilion at the 55th Venice Biennale is a prime example of art practices resulting from such interrogations. Designed as a parasitic outgrowth of the Arsenal, Kamikaze Loggia also reveals a means by which a country long excluded from the art scene strives to be present in the international contemporary art system. Renovation becomes synonymous with both a fascination with modernity and a reinvention of tradition.

    NATHALIE DESMET

    Pre-demolition Art as a Staging of Power-free Relations
    I will discuss two recent Calgary projects, WRECKCITY and Phantom Wing, and the effect of an economic and psychological climate of hurried growth and erasure on how artists are viewed as profitable entities. The article will also deal with the curators' stance of anti-institutionalism in the first project and their decision to work collaboratively with (perhaps also antithetically to) the forces and institutions of redevelopment in the second. The article will also address artists’ re-imagining of functional space and material or embodied experience.

    ANDREA WILLIAMSON

    Skilled Workers Guild: The Empirical Renovations of the Chapuisat Brothers
    Active since 2003, the Chapuisat Brothers form a group of varying size, specialized in in-situ interventions consisting of temporary labyrinths and shelters. The article analyzes two significant recent projects in order to contemplate the effects and ameliorations brought about by their empirical techniques of reconversion.

    BÉNÉDICTE RAMADE

    Favela Café at Art Basel: Conflicting Signs in Semi-Public Space
    Tadashi Kawamata is known for his constructions made of simple materials such as planks and chairs. Closely tied to their site, these works interrogate and redefine spaces. In June 2013, his installation Favela Café, outside the Basel art fair, raised debate to the point demonstrators occupied it, only to be subsequently, and brutally, dispersed by the police. This incident revealed the complexity of the relationships of power and property raised by an aesthetic of precarious construction when it situates them in a context in which the market economy and public space meet.

    HERVÉ ROELANTS

    Unstable Construction Sites
    In “Unstable Construction Sites,” the author analyzes three recent projects by Étienne Tremblay-Tardif. The artist is principally interested in major repair or reconstruction projects in the public realm and pays particular attention to their historical context. The author focuses on how the artist accumulates documents in the course of his research and then transforms them into the materials of his own constructions. His works propose reflections on the problematic of material repairs and refurbishment and, corresponding with the notion of renovation, also touch on the concept of renewal.

    ANNE-MARIE PROULX

    A cacilheiro in Venice. The conversion and renovation of a ferryboat by Joana Vasconcelos
    How do you appropriate a vessel designed for other uses than the one you have in mind? In transforming an old ferryboat—a cacilheiro, as they are called in Lisbon—into a floating gallery, Portuguese artist Joana Vasconcelos offers her own answer to this question—and to others as well. Her renovation of the Trafaria Praia momentarily solves the issue of her country’s pavilion at the Venice Biennale, Portugal being the only country with a significant artistic and cultural tradition not to have its own pavilion. To make up for this, Vasconcelos moors her boat, a symbol of working-class culture in Lisbon, in the heart of the contemporary art world.

    VANESSA MORISSET

    PORTFOLIO

    Michael Merrill
    Yann Pocreau
    José Luis Torres
    Jannick Deslauriers

    ARTICLES

    La valeur ajoutée des matières résiduelles [In French]
    Dans cet article, l’auteure fait un compte rendu de l’événement Faire avec qui s’est tenu à l’été 2013 aux îles de la Madeleine. Elle examine la manière dont les propositions des neuf artistes ont répondu à l’invitation lancée par la commissaire Véronique Leblanc de travailler avec le contexte de l’archipel, où la gestion des matières résiduelles est un enjeu à plusieurs facettes. Elle fait voir que les œuvres les plus pertinentes sont celles où les artistes ont réglé leurs interventions pour être en harmonie avec les préoccupations écologiques ou sociales qu’ils entendaient aborder.

    MARIE-ÈVE CHARRON

    Séjour temporaire | altération provisoire [In French]
    Présentée à l’été 2013 par le Centre d’artiste Vaste et Vague, l’exposition Séjour temporaire / altération provisoire explore la relation entre art in situ et tourisme en invitant huit artistes à produire une œuvre répondant au contexte de Carleton-sur-Mer à la suite d’une courte résidence d’une semaine. La résidence, la commande, la prémisse de l’in situ et de l’art public, facteurs sur lesquels repose l’événement, l’amènent à être traversé par les mêmes tensions que les biennales internationales qui ont remis la notion de site au goût du jour dans les années 1990. Ce texte jette un regard critique sur le projet et les œuvres qui le composent à partir d’une réflexion sur les nombreux défis soulevés par la problématique qui le fonde, notamment le risque d’instrumentalisation de l’art et de l’artiste, traité en « fournisseur de service » qui répond à une commande à des fins touristiques et économiques.

    ANNE-MARIE ST-JEAN AUBRE

    De la peinture comme écriture abstraite [In French]
    L’auteure retrace, depuis les années 90, le trajet en peinture de l’artiste Marie-Claude Bouthillier, dont la pratique, fortement ancrée dans une proposition picturale qui allie la peinture à une écriture abstraite par la présence gestuelle du corps, propose aussi une relecture du tissage et des arts appliqués en art contemporain. Plus particulièrement, l’auteure s’est penchée sur le projet commissarial et artistique intitulé Familles, présenté au Musée McCord.

    CYNTHIA GIRARD

    Celebrating an Unstable Oeuvre: Rosemarie Trockel’s Retrospective
    In the retrospective, an artist’s work does not merely reflect but becomes something else through a selection and recontextualization that, most often, serves to fix the artist for consumption by the public. Rosemarie Trockel’s retrospective A Cosmos challenges this practice and refuses to reduce the retrospective to a backward-looking reframing of an artist in terms of a stable, fixed entity (perceptibility) and opens up the exhibition to an infinitely transformative future of the imperceptible and undefined.

    KATHERINE GUINNESS

    Raphaëlle de Groot. En exercice à Venise [In French]

    SYLVETTE BABIN

    WRITING AUDIO ART RESIDENCY

    Espaces
    NICOLE GINGRAS

    AFFAIRE DE ZOUAVE

    Rater mieux
    MICHEL F. CÔTÉ

    REVIEWS

    Sherbrooke | Galerie d’art Foreman de l’Université Bishop’s, Myriam Yates by Manon Tourigny

    Montréal | Battat Contemporary, Jean-François Lauda by Serge Murphy

    Paris | Galerie Jérôme Poggi, Wesley Meuris, Sightseeing by Nathalie Desmet

    Tourcoing | Le Fresnoy-Studio national des arts contemporains, À Montréal, quand l’image rôde by Vanessa Morisset

    Bordeaux | Eponyme Galerie, Mathieu Beauséjour, Être gouverné by Stéphanie Dauget

    Paris | Galerie 22,48m2, PLAY / DISPLAY by Vanessa Morisset

    Montréal | Musée d’art contemporain, Michel de Broin by Jennifer Alleyn

    Montréal | Galerie de l’UQAM, Le Projet Peinture – The Painting Project by Claire Moeder

    Toronto | Erin Stump Projects, Elise Rasmussen, Finding Ana by Caoimhe Morgan-Feir

    Toronto | Clint Roenisch Gallery, Marcel van Eeden, The Garden by Mariam Nader

    London | Sprüth Magers, Stephen Shore, Something + Nothing by Gabrielle Moser

    Montréal | Lieux divers, Viva ! Art Action by Anne Philippon

    Montréal | Théâtre La Chapelle, Cube blanc by Christian Saint-Pierre

    Montréal | Usine C, Freetown by Christian Saint-Pierre

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