Deliberately balancing his sense of irony with a flair for controversy, Oli Sorenson will deliver his latest performance entitled Re-Politiser Borduas at 6 pm on Saturday October 7, at Mainline Gallery. During his vernissage, the artist will cut through several reproductions of Paul-Émile Borduas’ paintings, then exhibit these for ten days in the busiest section of St-Laurent Boulevard. Sorenson will thus re-submit an essential body of Quebecois art works to large audiences, to accentuate its democratic appeal as well as to exalt its political dimension.
Sorenson proposes an entirely self-funded exhibition, that is freed from the commercial constraints of private galleries, the acquisitions protocols of corporate collections, and the extended deliberations of artist-run centers that too often defuse the political charge of works of art. Through this maneuver, Sorenson subtly reminds us how writing the Refus Global cost dearly to Borduas, who lost his position as professor, and his health, before benefiting from the
social transformations generated by his manifesto. When damaging copies of Borduas’ works, Sorenson aspires to reinvest an aesthetic of protest into the originals, transmit a more shocking visual experience to the viewer, and re-capture the initial reaction that these paintings provoked in the 1950s.