ELLE MARCHE blue mountain

© P. Barry, 2012

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© P. Barry, 2012

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ELLE MARCHE blue mountain

Exhibition (small gallery)
November 10 – December 15, 2012

Opening
Saturday, November 10 at 5 pm

Furtive interventions in the gallery
November 10 – 23

Performance
Saturday, November 24, from 1-4:30 pm
(ongoing, public can go in and out)

In the gallery, the natural elements that have underpinned Vida Simon’s work for many years come to the foreground. Through various treatments, calling on performance, drawing and installation, the artist establishes a relationship of proximity and distance to these elements. Working out of a study room resembling a Dutch interior, the curator and the artist develop a botanical fiction, hanging and dismantling the backdrop of an unfolding narrative.

Referring to handbooks, they note their observations, weighing, considering and turning over inscrutable specimens: piles of seaweed, fruit, litter, paper, moss are classified as downy, wrinkled, glossy, viscous. They focus on “ways of seeing” nature, combining various narrative and scientific filters through which they consider their samples. They sketch, peel, make marks on the spot.

Yet, the amalgam of specimens on the table, forming a cardboard decor, a shadow play, divulge an excessive presence. Beyond the tools, methods, stories, it is clear that something is showing itself. Is it possible, even if only for an instant, to simultaneously grasp the story’s thread, its mesh and what throbs beneath?

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Vida Simon

Vida Simon’s work has been presented internationally, in a wide range of contexts – galleries, hotel rooms, storefronts, theatres, rooftops, a former synagogue, an old horse stable, and most recently in an abandoned house on Fogo Island, Newfoundland with TO MAKE ENDS MEET (2013). Other recent projects include performances at the ZAZ Festival of Performance Art (Israel), Interakcje (Poland), a collaboration with Jack Stanley at At Home Gallery (Slovakia), and exhibitions at OBORO (Montreal) and Badstrasse (Germany). Upcoming projects include residencies at 3e impérial (Granby) and Sazmanab (Tehran). A running thread throughout her work is drawing: a form that most directly expresses her interests in visual storytelling, improvisation, and elemental materials. Whether through miniature handmade objects or fragments found in nature, her work often draws attention to the detail, the intimate, the ephemeral. As an extension of her practice, Vida collaborates with other artists and leads art workshops. She lives in Montreal.

Caroline Loncol Daigneault

Caroline Loncol Daigneault is an author, researcher and artist who has followed Vida Simon's work since 2003, from Montreal to the Laurentians to Newfoundland. She studied visual arts at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design and art history at the Université de Montréal, and holds a master's degree in art history from UQÀM on the problematics of environmental art in Québec with the Boréal Art/Nature centre in the Laurentians as case study. She is a peer reviewer for ETC magazine and is the curator for the 2012 Saint-Jean-Port-Joli sculpture biennial, Hospitalité. She developed the Parcel Lab author's residency at OBORO from 2009-2010, also a book published by La Peuplade in 2011. She was involved at OBORO from 2007 to 2011, in different functions. Her involvement in the art milieu includes publications, teaching, curating, residencies, research trips and writing platforms.