Icarus. Empire Falls

Paul Litherland, 2011

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Paul Litherland, 2011

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Icarus. Empire Falls


January 14 – February 18, 2012

Opening and book launch
Saturday, January 14, 2012 at 5 pm

Commented visit with the artist and the curator
(in French with bilingual Q & A)
Saturday, February 4, 2012 at 3 pm


Many thanks to Est-Nord-Est, résidence d'artistes for its participation in the publication

“The myth of Icarus is an embodiment of the spirit’s measureless ambition, of the intellect gone mad and of a hunger for power. Thinking of the civilizations that venerated the sun, we can only note their fall. I do not think our contemporary world will escape this: the sun literally burning away our skins, drying the earth and disrupting the magnetic fields. As in myth, the current forms of power lay bare the irrationality and hunger they carry within. From this thought, and this point of view, from the moment in the myth in which Icarus hovers in mid-air, in which he desires, in which he aspires to his freedom and his death, I draw an allegory of the fall of Capitalism’s empire.”

By giving Icarus name to a new body of work, Mathieu Beauséjour states his interest in the notion of bedazzlement, which he explores together with the mythological figure’s myriad aspirations. The exhibition is constructed around a series of drawings created by methodically tracing countless fine lines that spread out to the border of the frame on a gessoed surface with a black ink pen. A site-specific installation, a video, a gong and an immersive soundtrack complete the proposition.

Icarus is aligned with the artistic themes fundamental to Beauséjour’s ongoing research: the precariousness of the societal individual in an increasingly consumer-driven capitalist civilization. The artist hereby transforms Icarus into a symbol of the unsavoury fascination for the will to power. Mathieu Beauséjour creates works that unfold at an unhurried, repetitive and gestural pace, establishing a modus operandi built on slow-motion to create images that are tangible yet evanescent because they are created with minimal means and an abundance of gesture and time.

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Claudine Hubert

Claudine Hubert is Artistic Director at OBORO since 2011 where she has curated several projects and exhibitions in new media and visual art includind Icarus: Empire Falls, with Mathieu Beauséjour (2012) or Elementary Particles, featuring works by Hannah Claus and Lucy Chan, cocurated with Peter Flemming (2014). As a member of the all-female collective Women With Kitchen Appliances, she took part in several sound performances. A translator by trade, Claudine Hubert also contributed to the foundation of one of Canada’s smallest artist-run centres, Third Space Gallery, in Saint John, New Brunswick.