OUT of SIGHT explores our ‘indomitable need to create and fill the real’
Contemporary artist Lynda Gaudreau has been exploring marginalization — aesthetic, political and social eccentricities — for nearly a decade.
The latest iteration of her performative series OUT opens at Concordia’s Leonard and Bina Ellen Art Gallery on Saturday, January 13.
The OUT series began in 2009, and first took shape in Gaudreau’s 2010 OUT of GRACE, an experimental creation hovering between choreography and visual art, commissioned by the Ellen Art Gallery. Over the course of five weeks, live bodies occupied the gallery space as visual artworks.
Flash forward eight years: Gaudreau is making a bold return to Concordia with OUT of SIGHT (OoS), which she refers to as an “unfinished project about a story being told.”
That story will unfold through February 17.
Ellen Gallery director Michèle Thériault describes OoS as a performative project that brings together filmmaking, choreographic and visual arts methodologies.
“For the Gallery, it pushes the boundaries of what we consider an exhibition to be, what we expect from it. Although there are objects it is not about ‘looking’ at objects as such; it is more about creating situations and environments that the visitor is “guided” to experience,” she says.
Upon arrival at the gallery, visitors embark on a tour of sorts. In either a 15-minute version, or a lengthier one-hour tour, they will move from space to space within the gallery, led by Gaudreau or dancer Karina Iraola, playing the role of an actress making a film.
Each room plays a different role than expected, and the focus of the exhibition is not only on what is seen and heard, but what is absent.
Using found artworks, pieces from the gallery’s permanent collection, and sound and video interventions — all placed in architecturally inflected spaces — OoS allows the gallery itself to play a leading role in the multi-media project.
“OoS explores the uncertain and fluctuating relationships of our bodies to reality and fiction, and our indomitable need to create and fill the real,” says Gaudreau.
“By inviting visitors to the gallery to join us in a guided experience, we encourage them to complete an incomplete picture, and in a sense, participate in the project. The exhibition will continue to emerge during its five-week run at the gallery.”
To develop OoS, Gaudreau surrounded herself with several long-time collaborators, in addition to Iraola: sound artist and designer Alexandre St-Onge, lighting expert Lucie Bazzo, architect and set designer Annie Lebel, contemporary artist Martin Tétreault, and filmmaker Marlene Millar.