Last Saturday I ventured to Les Territoires to see Timothée Messillier‘s exhibition Haustel: an Interruption of the Artistic Continuum.
Clutching my photocopied map, I navigated the first gallery: At my feet, a patchwork “beach” of stitched-together t-shirts swells at elevated peaks, upon which Burton-esque stick-figurines scale the micro-majestic dunes. On the walls, rough, floating shelves hold popsicle stick knick-knacks that call up bygone days of summer camp craft projects. Kitschy canvases of quilted fabric hang about a crucifix-at-Golgotha-like toy sword stuck in a foam stone. The room evokes the recollections of an early-Millennial youth re-envisioning his childhood rumpus room.
The second gallery contains a pre-fab shelf of CDs and DIY art ‘zines of which I was uncertain about touching. The floor is strewn with oily-tar-coloured woven mats, whose only explanation seems to be offered through literal cues in the few hand-drawn cardboard blueprints clipped to the wall.
I resolved to approach this exhibition with a sense of play. Haustel, while constructed on a base of literal and visual references to art history, is like a good-natured jab delivered by a well-read jokester: The delivery is disconcerting, but the cleverness is evident only though understanding.
The exhibition is to be punctuated by six public performances, in which the artist will, according to the press release, alter the gallery space over the course of its run. Some types of art are simply viewed and understood, while other types need context through which to effectively deliver the punch-line. Haustel falls perhaps into the latter, so taking in a performance would be advised in order to further appreciate the artist’s intent.
Thursday, May 16th at 6pm | Saturday, May 18th at 3pm | Thursday, May 23rd at 6pm | Saturday, May 25th at 3pm | Tuesday, June 4th at 6pm
Les Territoires, space 527
Haustel: an Interruption of the Artistic Continuum
May 17 – June 8, 2013