Monday, October 14, 2013

Admare: Aucune adresse de l'expéditeur / no return address

From October 26 to December, 2013 I will have a sculpture, Aucune adresse de l'expéditeur / no return address, on display in the airport in the Îles-de-la-Madeleine. The carved wood and mixed media sculpture playfully exploits the identifying characteristics of a suspicious package as per the guidelines of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. The curatorial project is called, Colis Suspect, and is organised by the artist run centre Admare. The mysteriously and lopsided shaped sculpture is created from carved cedar and pine and includes a small antique phonograph horn. The shape is the result of a collage of wooden forms re-arranged and coalesced to create a lopsided shape that suggests many things it could be. There will be suggestions of animal ears, heads, legs, fur, feathers and allusions to plant life and bombs. The sculpture is wrapped in brown packaging paper secured with string and unnecessary amounts of tape. The eclectic and unusual packaging will be distressed and torn to reveal aluminium foil, wires as well as other materials that could identify the package as being highly irregular and alarming. In keeping with the characteristics of the rules of conduct for suspicious packages, the wrapping also contains excessive postage from various countries of dubious existence, illegible handwriting, handwritten notes marking the package as “confidential”, “personal”, “do not delay delivery”, poorly typed addresses, no return address, oil stains, leaking powdery substances and visual distractions. The sculpture by containing recognisable elements in strange juxtapositions attempts to be generous to its viewers by encouraging conjecture and narrative on what the package could be. This project is also a playful commentary on the current state of events in Canada and how humans attempt to control our surroundings to make it feel safer and knowable. Aucune adresse de l'expéditeur / no return address offers itself as a philosophical and visual refuge as being clearly identifiable as a suspicious package. We do not worry about it because we know what it is. In truth, much of the danger we face is apparent only after the fact, and although we try hard to protect ourselves with knowledge the most dangerous situations are often cloaked in a patina of ordinary obscurity. They are so regular and unremarkable that we cannot notice them.


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