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Jake Moore and Maskull Lasserre: Reality Check

FOFA Gallery, Montreal Jul 14 to Aug 15 2008
Jake Moore  "Reverse Engineering"  2008  Installation view  /  photo Guy L’Heureux Jake Moore "Reverse Engineering" 2008 Installation view / photo Guy L’Heureux

Jake Moore "Reverse Engineering" 2008 Installation view / photo Guy L’Heureux

In science, medicine, the military and even pop culture industries like motion pictures and video games, the sophisticated technology of real-life simulation has long provided a kind of mirrored perspective on reality. But with the recent and massive popularity of Internet-based virtual realms like Second Life, digital immersion has been taken into entirely new and unexplored terrains. No doubt social anthropologists and cultural theorists are hard at work deconstructing and diagnosing the effects of these increasingly blurred boundaries between real and simulated life. Artists are having their say, too.

For the exhibition “Reverse Engineering,” currently at Concordia University’s Faculty of Fine Arts Gallery, Montreal artist Jake Moore presents a suite of large-scale print and sculptural works that adapt advanced 3-D imaging software to map tree branches. In her digital renderings, Moore offers a closer-than-close version of natural form which questions the idea of translating the random dynamics of living order into the fixed coordinates of a precise mechanical representation. Ironically, Moore’s digital productions do not read as lifeless objectifications. Instead, these works appear to carry an eerie sense of presence, as if a new form of being has been created somewhere between real and virtual impressions. This is especially clear in an untitled work that captures the ghostly impression of a branch in the white powder residue of her scanning process.

Hybrid forms are also at play in “Recital,” a concurrent exhibition that fills the gallery’s vitrine space with a set of enigmatic sculptural constructions by Maskull Lasserre. By modifying everyday objects—an antique typewriter, a television set, a chair—with pieces taken from musical instruments, Lasserre creates what he calls “instruments of understanding” designed to challenge accepted notions of class, authority, morality and nostalgia. (1455 boul de Maisonneuve O, Montreal QC)

This article was first published online on July 24, 2008.

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