Knowing that Luc Paradis is an artist and a musician whose practice spans painting, sculpture, fashion and design is perhaps helpful when considering his work. His interest in mise-en-scène, this provocative space between artistic installation and performance, is evident in the vast array of media and aesthetics he chooses, and how carefully they are placed within the gallery. Picking up on themes explored in previous exhibitions, such as Simulatneous Displays, at Parisian Laundry, Paradis continues to navigate ideas of mise-en-scène and the exhibition as a stage; a space where objects may interact with each other and with the audience.
Entering the gallery, we are confronted with two large black and white photos on the back wall, which together, depict a nearly empty stage pre/post performance. A draped cloth acts as a backdrop for the few haphazardly placed props. A sculpture stands in front of the photos: a hand-made spinning spindle in black ceramic. In the centre of the space, mounted on poles, a double-sided black and white painting of an abstract motif: one side the negative of the other. Surrounding this composition are three paintings of abstract silhouettes whose repetition and form emit an explicit energy, a rhythm, a sexuality that calls to mind the figures in Matisse’s cut-outs, and the compositions of Wilfredo Lam or later Picasso. At first glance, it is easy to imagine these as actors who were, or will be, performing on stage, caught in a moment we are privileged to see. Upon closer inspection, however, the stage set seems to creep into the real: the spinning ceramic object in the room is the same as the prop in the photo; the abstract motif from the double-sided painting is perhaps a reference to the backdrop of the stage in the photo.
In her essay “The Im/pulse to see” Rosalind Krauss draws a link between Duchamp’s spinning spiral Precision Optics, and Picasso’s numerous preparatory studies for Déjeuner sur l’herbe (d’après Manet) as an “issue of rhythm, or beat, or pulse—a kind of on/off on/off on/off—that acts against the stability of a space but then there is a moment between the on/off that is between the active and the passive.”1 In this exhibition, Paradis creates a similar "in-between" space, where we might wonder if we are a passive audience or active participants in a performance. As we unexpectedly cross the stage, looking left, looking right, moving forwards and backwards, the paintings’ figures seem to watch us from off-stage.
- Grier Edmundson
1. Krauss, Rosalind, « The Im/pulse to see » in Vision and Visuality ed. Hal Foster (New York : The New Press, 1988), p.51
Luc Paradis currently resides in Montreal and is an artist with a multifaceted practice that includes painting, sculpture, drawing, collage and music. He has presented solo exhibitions at l’Oeil de poisson, Québec and PARISIAN LAUNDRY, Montréal, which he is represented by. He has collaborated with musicians from across North America to produce artwork for their various projects. He was in residency at Les recollets (Paris) in 2015. Paradis was a participant in the 27th symposium of Contemporary Art in Baie St. Paul and was asked to participate in the prestigious Canadian Art Foundation auction in 2013. His work is found in various private collections as well as the public collection of the Collection Prêt d’oeuvres d’art of the Musée National des beaux-arts du Québec.
The artist would like to thank Centre CLARK, Atelier CLARK, Martin Schop, Marc Laperrière, Emily Deimert, Jeremiah Bullied, Josiane Issa, Antonija Livingstone, Grier Edmundson and all of his friends out there in this wild world.
- Luc Paradis
MAY 17 TO JUNE 22, 2019
FRIDAY, MAY 17, 8PM
ARTIST TALK /
SATURDAY, MAY 18, 3PM