“Hand-made”: materials to subversion

«Fait main»: matières à subversion

Photo: Idra Labrie / MNBAQ
Chris Millar, “Vicissitudaline”, 2014

The group exhibition of hand-Made famous first for the contents, of several natures, and the manual process that works, even the trades and the traditions of the craft attached to it. It is not that the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec is devoting himself now to the business of item It recognizes, instead, their manifestations in contemporary art, a strong trend of recent years, which has its origins in the 1960s and even, as highlighted by the curator of the current art Bernard Lamarche, who has led the project, in the avant-garde of the Bauhaus.

The historical perspective is touched while the exhibition is devoted to the recent practice of 39 artists from Québec and Canada for which the works are embodied in a exacerbated. Abolishing very fast with the prejudice that the manifestations of this order are only for the trappings of the technical virtuosity, the exhibition, and a catalogue of its extent, combines in fact the academic reflection on the seduction. It is based on a strong idea that the hand is smart, and this has roundly been in doubt for centuries, in the system of fine arts- western, which established his superiority over the arts so-called minor (applied arts and crafts) because of the cardinal role that is played by manual labor, as opposed to activities deemed to be higher of the spirit in the academic art.

From room to room, the exhibition to see that it is precisely the hierarchical positions of these categories that is of interest to the artists of the present, whose work focused on pointing and désarticuler the system of values and power relationships that were underlying. The dominant structure of the categories dealt with that also of the genders, evidenced by several works that challenge the terms of traditional feminine and masculine. Entry into the field triumphant, Gutter Snipes (2011) of Cal Lane for example imposes its lace cut in the steel with its reasons hard thugs.


Critical Perspectives and political stakes that punctuate then the exhibition, including one of the five thematic sections says that the know-how of the works is in the service of a ” getting to know “, a decision of the incarnate word in the matter. The techniques of wood, bronze and ceramics are brought together in the work of the artists of generations and the various issues affecting the cultural identity, traditions and the exercise of power in Brendan Lee Satish Tang, Gilles Mihalcean, and Mitch Mitchell, for example.

Angles are specified in relation to the other sections. In ” Frame grounds “, the works quilted, beaded, knitted or reflect concerns décolonisatrices, environmentalists, and pacifists that often go hand-in-hand with feminist struggles. Without the silent contribution of women to this story, the blurb does not stress, however, the critical nature of their role, yet a pioneer in the field. In fact, many of the examples speak for themselves (Barb Hunt, Carla Hemlock, Barbara Todd) decline of the political power of these techniques in a sense rehabilitated, bringing to the fore realities ignored or to be avoided.

The frame is the support also of hybridization with the digital giving traditional crafts a news undeniable fate the folklore of his multiple sclerosis. Say the tondis beaded Nadia Myre and the repeated motifs of Nathalie Bujold transfigured by the sound and the video image to be manipulated. It was this kind of context, to finally see a work of Dominique Pétrin enter the museum. With the labels of its vintage, and the installation in situ crosses the ages and technological superimposed with bold cultural references distended, kitsch, video games.

Popular Cultures

The integration of elements of popular cultures, or even subcultures, also marks the other two rooms of the exhibition, which takes a surprising turn. First, there is the charge of the works, the attractions to the excess, and the multiple references to the body under the forms of the flayed, and the remains, and then in his full image, or by the fragment of its members (at Anna Torma, Sarah Maloney, Paryse Martin, François Morelli and Carl Bouchard). The works are in operation here in a noisy conversation, but fluid. The commissioner has gathered for their indiscipline irreverent under the notion of lowbrow, a style that links most directly to the works of Anne Ashton, Jonathan Bergeron, and in the very delusional constructions of Chris Millar.

The expo is also generous, leaving aside any avenue, and treating also of the practice that draw in the leisure model, and puzzle), and which are at the price of patient labor. The heap of works confused here a little demonstration, which has all the same parts solid. In his series of Ready Mades, Sébastien Duchange combines and repositions brilliantly references to the models to stick, glass art and to Marcel Duchamp. Of came to him in contemporary art, a rejection of the know-how that the current exhibition helps to put into perspective.

Transportation in Quebec city the journalist has been offered by the MNBAQ.

Hand-made / Hand Made

The Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec, until September 3,