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Attitude d’artistes: Northern Lights

Dunlop Art Gallery, Regina Jan 23 to Mar 15 2009
Jacky Georges Lafargue & Louis Couturier  <I>Resolute Bay: Maisons et Bâtiments</I>  2005 Jacky Georges Lafargue & Louis Couturier Resolute Bay: Maisons et Bâtiments 2005

Jacky Georges Lafargue & Louis Couturier <I>Resolute Bay: Maisons et Bâtiments</I> 2005

“Two artists, one attitude” is the ethos of attitude d’artistes, a collaborative artistic duo—comprising Montreal-based Jacky Georges Lafargue and Paris-based Louis Couturier—that is the subject of a new exhibition at Regina’s Dunlop Art Gallery. Titled “Resolute Bay” after a series of multimedia installations created in collaboration with residents of the second northernmost community in Nunavut, the show investigates the psychic effects of physical displacement and (rather fittingly given the gallery’s prairie setting) emphasizes the creative potential of community groups living in isolated and sometimes harsh physical environments.

The centrepiece of the exhibition is Resolute Bay, a documentary video produced by the community in tandem with Lafargue and Couturier that reflects on their past as a village created artificially by the Canadian government in the 1950s, and meditates on their contemporary everyday life during the warm summer months of 2004. A second video, Le voyage du jour dans la nuit, revisits the community two years later, documenting an outdoor film screening against a giant snowbank that took place during an endless Arctic night. The result is an affective reversal of the status quo in the village: an interminable winter evening is visited by daytime imagery, while a remote, icy field is overtaken by a vibrant community celebration.

A series of photographs and pictures showing the community’s present-day life mimics this process of transformation by printing colourful portraits and landscapes onto sheets of plywood, the banal but utilitarian material used to construct many of the buildings that are pictured in the images.

Community projections of another kind are on view at the Dunlop’s Sherwood Village location in Daniel Barrow’s new installation Trying to Love the Normal Amount, where viewers can learn and perform sections of the 2008 Sobey Art Award finalist’s critically acclaimed overhead projector performance Every Time I See Your Picture I Cry. (2311 12 Ave, Regina SK)

This article was first published online on February 5, 2009.

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