Structuring Space at Circa art actuel

The surrounding colours were black, grey, and white, like a dystopian wasteland. There were rings, looped together en masse, and weightlessly suspended from the ceiling. Rock-like formations punctuated the floor.

Visiting Andrée-Anne Dupuis-Bourret’s recent exhibit at Circa Art Actuel was like taking a step into the artist’s inner landscape. An immersive, sensory experience of protruding shapes and suspended reality, the environment altered regular visual and spatial perceptions.

Moving around the installation was similar to walking through a forest, or entering new, unaccustomed surroundings for the first time. Stopping to investigate something that could be a plant, considering the view from each angle, experiencing your body in relation to the objects and organisms around you. As Dupuis-Bourret put it, her work is, “A path for the body and the senses to experience.”

The forms that inhabited the space were created using silk screened and twisted sheets of paper, which were covered with lines and pixelated patterns of different tonal qualities. The sculptures began their life as 2D objects, pieces of paper, before the artist transformed them into their eventual 3D formations, which came to resemble organic matter.

An interesting element of Dupuis-Bourret’s installation was its juxtaposition with its outdoor environment. The gallery’s open window let in the sounds from Sainte-Catherine, and allowed a glimpse of dreary office buildings across the street. The contrast was marked, and further highlighted the surreal quality of the work. In her artist’s statement, Dupuis-Bourret says that she is generally interested in the threshold between the real and imagined, the interior and exterior, the outside world and inner thought.

Documenting these processes, including the creation and assembly of her works, is an important part of Dupuis-Bourret’s practice. She posts photos of her installations on her research blog, Le Cahier Virtuel. These actions multiply the existence of her pieces, which become both in-gallery installations and online photographic records. The incorporation of the online consumption environment is interesting and something many artists are realizing is increasingly important in today’s Internet-centric world. Many audiences will only ever see her work online, which in some ways makes this digital format equally important to the physical manifestation.

Andrée-Anne Dupuis-Bourret works across: collaborative and evolving site-specific installations, paper sculptures, images, photographic documentation and artist’s books. She has exhibited at galleries in: Canada, USA, Mexico, Holland, Italy, Israel, and Australia. In 2011, she was awarded the Governor General of Canada’s gold medal for her Master’s degree project. She is currently completing her PhD in interdisciplinary approaches using print media at UQAM. She also teaches printmaking and is the author of two blogs: Le Cahier Virtuel, and Le Territoire des Sens. For a preview of her upcoming work, take a look at her recent blog about her summer atelier.

Circa art actuel
May 16 – July 11, 2015

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