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Pierrick Sorin: Peep-Art Pioneer

Fonderie Darling, Montreal Jun 16 to Aug 28 2011
Pierrick Sorin <em>Une vie bien remplie</em> 1993 Installation view / photo Guy L’Heureux Pierrick Sorin Une vie bien remplie 1993 Installation view / photo Guy L’Heureux

Pierrick Sorin <em>Une vie bien remplie</em> 1993 Installation view / photo Guy L’Heureux

“Une vie bien remplie” at the Fonderie Darling presents French artist Pierrick Sorin’s variations on the auto-filmages that granted him attention in the late 1980s. These short film and video works show the artist executing a series of everyday activities and mundane rituals; performed with slapstick theatricality, they are as grotesque as they are banal.

The show’s focal installation and titular piece consists of twin self-portraits: two large-scale video projections on the back wall of the foundry’s large hall. In front of these projections is a constellation of video monitors mounted on individual plinths, each video on a loop, representing Sorin performing a single ordinary action (getting out of bed, brushing his teeth, blowing his nose, etc.) on eternal repeat. The piece effectively reorganizes the unobserved events of a single day into simultaneity, resulting in an effect both vertiginous and chaotic. The manic parody of the auto-filmages is not as much a celebration of the everyday as it is a criticism of its clichés and platitudes.

Sorin also incorporates his auto-filmages into hybrid sculpture/video works, such as Titre variable #2 (known to some as Tourne-disque), a revolving record player crowned by a projected video of a miniature Sorin running in place, unable to get ahead and, craning his neck to look behind him, afraid to fall behind.

This article was first published online on June 30, 2011.

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