LILLI CARRÉ / DENNIS & DEBBIE CLUB / BARRY DOUPÉ /
JACQUES DESBIENS / PIERRE HÉBERT / JESS JOHNSON /
SOPHIE LATOUCHE / JENNY LIN / AMY LOCKHART / ADRIAN NORVID
HB strives to present current drawing practices in a printed magazine format; a kind of exhibition on paper where works unfold, come together and interact within its pages. First published in 2013 and meticulously assembled by a team of curators, HB presents an impressive selection of emerging and established artists from Québec, Canada and beyond.
Following its two thematic issues (No. 4 Erotica, and the soon to be released No. 5 Structures), this sixth opus looks at drawing practices that reach beyond the page and which are largely “un-representable” in published form. The selected works demonstrate obvious challenges in terms of print reproduction, where reducing them to a single page robs them of their spatial, temporal, immersive and interactive qualities. These works may reveal the limitations of the printed format, but not those of HB’s curatorial model, which, once transposed to the exhibition space of the gallery, manages to maintain its coherence, flair and biting wit. While the curated works in this exhibition are not entirely representative of the strategies and approaches used by artists who draw off the page, they express a unique vision that reflects the spirit of HB. As such, the exhibition is presented as a kind of magazine issue in and of itself, available for a limited time within a limited space.
Digital drawing and 3D rendering are well represented in the practices of the ten artists featured here, many of whom work in animation, such as Amy Lockhart. In her work, parallel mini-narratives develop through irreverent, crude and jolting animations that recall the sonic universe of 8-bit video games. In Jill, by Lilli Carré, a female figure, apparently deprived of all free will, shape-shifts and collapses before our eyes in response to the comments and commands of an off-camera narrator. The theme of deconstruction is also present in Barry Doupé’s piece titled Whaty. Abstract human faces form and dissolve, appearing and disappearing as coloured shapes that melt away the moment they become recognizable. Scottish duo Dennis and Debbie Club use computer-generated imagery (CGI) to create complex, detailed and surrealistic worlds that seek to sublimate the traumatic experience of grief and to provoke a sensorially immersive experience.
Equally engaging is Jess Johnson’s installation, which juxtaposes wall drawing and video. The result is an in situ work of wide-ranging possibilities, expressed in her signature style of drawing that combines superimposed motifs, shapes and colours in futuristic, kaleidoscopic compositions that offer viewers the opportunity to physically immerse themselves in her work. In contrast, Jenny Lin’s Replay: A Memory Gameinvites the viewer to enter a virtual universe that can be explored through a computer monitor in the gallery. Based on the ‘point-and-click’ style of gaming where players navigate through various landscapes, Replay contains a fragmented and changeable narrative structure inspired by the hazy recollections of an accident. Elsewhere, Adrian Norvid engages viewers in an entirely different way. His obsessive, satirical and bitingly humorous drawings come together in three-dimensional (or architectural) form, serving as both backdrop and relic of his performance practice.
Pierre Hébert’s Scratch demonstrates a rare example of gestural drawing in this exhibition. Drawing directly on a filmstrip’s surface, his animations reveal the intrinsic cinematographic qualities of his material through a rapidly flickering succession of scratched lines. The sequencing of abstract forms is also found in Sophie Latouche’s caustic animations, where lines and coloured shapes create an endless loop that mimics the jerkiness of animated gifs.
Echoing the form of the printed book, Jacques Desbiens’ Tractatus Holographis is an intriguing holograph that is impossible to experience beyond its precisely controlled optic parameters. This holographic book, whose pages turn with the movement of the viewer, is a nod to HB’s mandate of presenting exhibitions on paper that one experiences page after page. The fascinating and mysterious effects of Desbiens’ hologram serve as confirmation that some works can only be experienced in real space, beyond the page.
- Marie-Pier Bocquet (translation : Jo-Anne Balcaen)
Lilli Carré currently lives and works in Los Angeles. Her animated films have shown in festivals throughout the US and abroad, including the Sundance Film Festival, the Edinburgh International Film Festival, The Ann Arbor Film Festival and the International Festival Rotterdam. In 2010 she co-founded the Eyeworks Festival of Experimental Animation, which is held annually in Chicago, LA, and NYC. Her comics and illustration work has appeared in the New Yorker, The New York Times and Best American Comics. Solo exhibitions of her work were shown at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Western Exhibitions, and the Columbus Museum of Art. She has an MFA in Art Theory & Practice from Northwestern University and a BFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
DENNIS & DEBBIE CLUB
Dennis & Debbie Club are a digital artist duo specialising in CGI videos, VR apps and installations. They use open-source software to create their own 3D models, which they then animate and manipulate to form darkly humorous narratives, speaking of the positive effects of alienation, how fame and death are closely intertwined, the horrors of family life, and how to yet keep cheerful throughout this cruel and pointless journey into the void.
Jacques Desbiens earned his PhD in Études et Pratique des Arts (Art Theory and Practice) from UQAM in 2012. An expert in spatial representation, he has contributed to the development of computer-generated holographic processes and to the experimentation of its visual effects. In 2009, he received the Nick Phillips Award for Innovation in Holography, at the International Symposium on Display Holography, in Shenzhen, China. He has published numerous articles and has exhibited his holograms and drawings in many countries around the world, including a solo exhibition at the C.N.E. in Saguenay, Québec.
Barry Doupé (b. 1982 Victoria, BC) is a Vancouver based artist primarily working with computer animation. He graduated from the Emily Carr University in 2004 with a Bachelor of Media Arts majoring in animation. His films use imagery and language derived from the subconscious; developed through writing exercises and automatic drawing. He often creates settings within which a characters' self-expression or action is challenged and thwarted, resulting in comic, violent and poetic spectacles. His films have been screened throughout Canada and Internationally including the Ann Arbor Film Festival (Ann Arbor, Michigan), International Film Festival Rotterdam (Rotterdam, the Netherlands), Anthology Film Archives (NY, New York), Lyon Contemporary Art Museum (Lyon, France), MOCCA (Toronto, ON), Whitechapel Gallery (London, UK), Centre Pompidou (Paris, France) and the Tate Modern (London, UK).
For over fifty years, Pierre Hébert has pursued a career as a filmmaker, performer and visual artist. In 1962 he met Norman McLaren, who encouraged his experiments with scratching directly onto celluloid film, a technique that would become central to his practice until 1999. Over the past twenty years, Hébert has travelled the world to present his live performance animations. He is the recipient of numerous grants and awards, including the 2004 Prix Albert-Tessier (the Prix du Québec’s lifetime achievement award in cinema), and a career grant in cinema from the Conseil des Arts et des lettres du Québec in 2012.
Jess Johnson was born in Tauranga, New Zealand in 1979. In 2016 she relocated permanently to New York after ten years of living and working in Melbourne, Australia. Her drawing and installation practice is influenced by the speculative intersections between language, science fiction, culture and technology. Her recent video collaborations with Simon Ward have involved translating her drawings into animated video and virtual reality. Jess Johnson’s work has been exhibited Internationally in solo and group exhibitions at; Jack Hanley Gallery, New York; Art Basel, Hong Kong; Talbot Rice Gallery, Edinburgh; National Gallery of Victoria, Australia; Museum of Contemporary Art, Australia; and Christchurch Art Gallery, New Zealand. Jess Johnson is represented by Jack Hanley Gallery, New York; Darren Knight Gallery, Sydney, Australia; and Ivan Anthony, Auckland, New Zealand.
Born in Québec City in 1990, Sophie Latouche earned a BFA in Intermedia/Cyberarts from Concordia University in Montréal, in 2014, and a Graduate Diploma in Cultural Management from HEC in 2016. Her interdisciplinary art practice focuses on the re-appropriation of web-based images and functions that embody a systematic aesthetic, or that dictate socio-normative behaviours. Her work has been presented as part of video programmes, exhibitions and publications. In the summer of 2016, she co-founded the online exhibition space Galerie Galerie, which she directs and co-curates.
Jenny Lin creates alternative readings of mainstream narratives, particularly reframing the ambiguous and fragmented tropes in storytelling as sites for transgressive actions and identities. The media she most often works with include print media, video and drawing, within the formats of 2-D prints, artist books, book art objects and installation. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Calgary and her Master of Fine Arts at Concordia University, where she currently teaches in the Print Media program area.
Amy Lockhart is a filmmaker, animator and artist. Her animations have screened at festivals nationally and internationally, including the Whitney, NY, Ann Arbor Film Festival and International Animation Festival in Hiroshima, Japan.
Adrian Norvid was born in London, England and lives and works in Montreal. He received his MFA and a BFA in Music from York (Toronto). Norvid has exhibited and performed widely in Canada including at the Rooms (Newfoundland), the Art Gallery of Windsor (Windsor, Ont), the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal and at the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec. He has participated in several residencies and received numerous grants from the Conseil des arts et des letters du Quebec. Norvid’s first book Nogoodniks was published by Drawn and Quarterly press (2011) and a second book is due out in 2018.
HB and CLARK would first of all like to thank all the artists who have accepted to be part of this exhibition, as well as l'Atelier CLARK, it's volunteers, Vidéographe and le Musée d'art contemporain des Laurentides for their precious help.