70 - Automne 2010

Theme: For some time now, art galleries, museums as well artists’ studios have been offering us various types of models and projects that materialize as small-scale forms or “prototypes”—miniature works with a seemingly limited, barely visible field of action. This issue focus on the miniature in contemporary art—minute works, models or modelling. The essays' respective authors propose different expansive readings of these minute constructions, making use of such categories as the playful, the deceptive, and the simulacral.

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Articles à la pièce

Vanessa Morisset
Jean-Philippe Beaulieu
Marjolaine Arpin
Marie-Ève Charron
Florence Chantoury-Lacombe
Lilian Froger


Small is beautiful?


Jordi Colomer, Nicolas Moulin, Wilfrid Almendra:
Three Miniaturizations of Modernist Architecture
Are we really done with modernism? Some artists, while reassessing key features of our time, are interested in what the movement once was and what remains of it today. Significantly, this reassessment is accompanied by the production of models and miniatures replicating constructions of the twentieth century. In their consideration of what was done in the past, such diverse artists as Jordi Colomer, Nicolas Moulin, and Wilfrid Almendra are producing mock-ups after the event: with these three artists, models become formal strategies for examining what has become of modernism.

Small Renderings Lack No Breadth of Vision:
The Art of Simulacra in Daniel Corbeil
Daniel Corbeil’s production generally draws on plays of scale, particularly when associated with models of landscapes. This article highlights some facets of the artist’s work, which toys with aspects northern wilderness and its relationship with industrial development and global warming. Beyond the environmentalist concerns underlying these considerations, Corbeil’s work proposes a formal exploration of the representation of landscape that invites spectators to examine the givens of their perception.

Miniaturized excess
We are witnessing a return to the tangible work, the creation and reception of which are inscribed in matter and duration. In the case of the miniatures created by Karine Giboulo this presupposes an inversion of scale that goes against the grain of what is massively produced in the digital era. Submerged as we are in the infinitely big, the immaterial and instantaneity of networks, and faced with such microcosms we experience a relationship to space, time and oneself that is at odds with what characterizes our everyday life. It is in terms of this duality and under the auspices of the hypermodern and technological sublime concepts that the miniature is analyzed here.

Guillaume Lachapelle
Dreamy Wanderings through Heterotopias
The miniatures of Guillaume Lachappelle are micro universes where fantastical and realistic elements overlap in an ambiguous mix of naturalist detail and improbable, stagey situations. Whether representing fairs, amusement parks, or libraries, these little theatres of wood or polyester resin and their hybrid figurines are metaphors for the processes of memory and emotion. The scenes he develops also recall the areas Michel Foucault identified with the term heterotopia, spaces that our societies reserve for materializing utopias.

The Photography of Alain Laframboise:
Art History’s Wunderkammer
Alain Laframboise’s photographs have for many years staged miniature objects with the aim of questioning the critical and theoretical foundations of art history. Through a study of the apparatuses put into place by the artist, Florence Chantoury-Lacombe interrogates the photographer’s micrological gaze and its construction of an istoria composed of figurines and other trinkets found in public markets.

Photographs That Fit in the Hand:
Yamamoto Masao
Japanese artist Yamamoto Masao creates photographic installations comprised of a multitude of shots in very small formats. In order to create a feeling of closeness in the viewer and to incite him or her to appropriate the image to him or herself, he remains deliberately evasive concerning the subjects photographed and presents worn and damaged prints that replicate old photos. The artist uses the images’ small size to incite the viewer to come closer to determine their content. He hopes to thus make the images resonate in the viewer’s mind and to invite him or her to yield to the incomplete and allusive aspects of the shots.

Behind The Scenes: Performances of Vida Simon
In his introduction to the performance/installations of Montreal artist Vida Simon, the author discusses her use of the miniature, proposing that the precariousness of intimacy functions here as a form of resistance against the giganticism and publicity of our epoch. In her practice she pursues drawing and installation through performance in which miniature scale opens connections with time past. She establishes a relationship to time by way of childhood with its themes of toys and play. Simon’s choices of materials and technique favour simplicity, in her performances we go behind the scenes to encounter transparency, a sense that we are seeing the really real, the truth-which-is-a-story, a story in which we find ourselves as a collectivity.

Jake & Dinos Chapman
Stéphane Gilot
Marie-Claude Bouthillier
Graeme Patterson


Seeing through a crack: miniature versus totality
Don’t hide your age behind the mirror stage. This message can be addressed to an exemplary enfant terrible, placed in a global orphanage known as “art.” In Capitalism and Schizophrenia: A Thousand Plateaus, Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guarrati write that “for a child that was abandoned or lost. . . and even [for] many adults, there is a reality of becoming-animal, even though one does not in reality becomes animal.” This sheds light on the chronic infantilism peculiar to those artists and writers who, regardless of their age, link the crumbling support of their activities to the “retreat of totality.”

Hadjithomas + Joreige
Working through emotion, memory and history
Featuring photographic, video, and installation works by the Lebanese documentary filmmaker and artist duo Joana Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige, I’m There Even If You Don’t See Me stems from their experiences of Lebanon’s complex history of war, and the ongoing ramifications on its citizens, landscape, and collective consciousness. The author examines five of the artworks featured in this exhibition curated by Michèle Thériault. Hadjithomas and Joreige tease out the many complex issues vis-à-vis the preservation, commemoration, and writing of Lebanese history, asking such questions as: How does one represent collective trauma? Is it an essentially impossible task?

Chasing Napoleon, Palais de Tokyo, Paris, October 15, 2009–January 17, 2010

Minimal cocktail

Paris, Kadist Art Foundation by Nathalie Desmet

Sherbrooke, Galerie d’art Foreman by Manon Tourigny

Montréal, VOX Centre de l’image contemporaine by Vivian Ralickas

Montréal, OFFTA, Théâtre d’Aujourd’hui by Catherine Cyr

Vancouver, Presentation House Gallery by Kathleen Ritter

Vancouver, Blanket Contemporary Art by Sarah Ciurysek

Toronto, Gallery 44 by Gabrielle Moser

Toronto, LE Gallery by Gabrielle Moser

Publication | Guerrilla Girls : Troubler le repos, Galerie de l’UQAM by Katrie Chagnon

Publication | Les lendemains d’hier, Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal byKatrie Chagnon

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