Three artists—Nathalie Grimard, Erika Kierulf and Anne-Renée Hotte—have gathered at Galerie Trois Points in the exhibition La lenteur et autres soubresauts. Collectively, however, their work summons and reveals more points (or blips, as soubresauts implies) than there are snowflakes in Montreal. In fact, this show evokes a decidedly winter aesthetic: it is related to the particular way time measures itself out in the winter—slower, from a spot looking out the window at the snow maybe —, the whiteness of snow, and the sensation of winter on your skin: a kind of astringent clarity, little needles of white cold.
On textured white paper, Nathalie Grimard has made thoughtful and faultless configurations with meticulously-placed pricks of a needle and delicate knots and filaments of thread (the provenance of which is made evident in the “mother” piece, at the far wall). The materials and methods only reveal themselves when you look close; their simplicity vibrates against the precision and sheer number of the points and tiny knots. It reminded me of a paper-white version of stitches in skin, the precarious tension between thread and tissue.
Erika Kierulf’s work seems to be a meditation on the systems, clusters and constellations of particles found in nature: the scale expands, but the dimensions of their presentation format stays gallery-sized. Two video works on small screens are mounted on the wall opposite. The first has rested its eyes on the reactive busy-ness of a flock of birds in trees [(finally we are one) or Conscious Transference], and the second is a black-and-white still-frame video of a large caterpillar nest, luxuriously stretched and draped in a tree in the forest [The Nest (Chasing Instar)]. Between them is her Photogram series You have the sun, I have the moon (Satellite), which consists of eight square panels in two rows. It seems that masses of stars have created these pictures, the gradient of white and grey against black an indication of their depths and sheer number.
The passage of time is invoked on a few registers in Anne-Renée Hotte’s beautifully conceived video and photography work La lignée, installed in the adjoining room of the gallery. In a tableaux-vivant way it gives us a group of silent people in a sublime winter landscape, meditatively and simply playing out an imaginary family saga. The natural setting, which calls our attention to cycles of life and death, is particularly potent as a winter landscape; perhaps because in the winter we have to look closer for signs of their perennial movement. Within the family, too, we see the interrelation of growth and decline (“generation” implies creation of something from a like material as well as the distance between life stages). The work furnishes a kind of unaffected Romanticism; the non-narrative sequence and deft touch on symbolism leaves room for some dreaming. In fact the whole looped event felt like lucid dreaming, displacing temporality onto a wholly different plane.
The beautiful La lenteur et autres soubresauts continues until February 16, 2013.
Galerie Trois Points, space 520
Nathalie Grimard, Erika Kierulf and Anne-Renée Hotte
La lenteur et autres soubresauts
January 12 – February 16, 2013