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© Page couverture l Book cover, Fin de siècle, 2000.

Carmen Ruschiensky, Sylvain P. Cousineau
From October 29th 1998 to December 5th 1998
Fin de siècle : Contrordre

Curator: François Dion

"Contreordre" (Counterorder) adresses the important aspect of art as a construction, mental and material, contained and revealed. The possible meaning of art, or its absence, is mediated through a singular structure (in these cases appearing as "abstract") constructed with material and intellectual elements. Art can also be without materiality or "meaning," therefore, how do we accept to consider or try to understand it?

 "Contreordre" (Counterorder) brings together works that imply, by their physical presence and their possible signification, there is a previous order that has been questioned and redefined afterward. This previous order is essential to the processes of recognition of the artistic aspect of the works as it indicates points of reference in terms of aesthetics and semantics. The works put forward the reordering (let say "of the world") in a post-structuralist manner emphasizing on individual subjectivity and agency, history and different peripheral parametres. Mediation continues to be an issue here but it extends beyond the question of language and takes in consideration the effects due to displacements and combinations and abstraction. A political understanding of Counterorder underlines the close relation of art and artistic action with authority and its counterpart. The title refers to the ability of the artist to make use of the world and rearange it in a way that is more suitable. Art may be considered as a political, philosophical or social statement. In doing so, it refers to power as an ability artists hold to respond to the authoritarian dominant culture and politic. In this context, artworks are inhibitors which hold back easy consensus promoting an understanding of things prior to their experience.

Go to publications catalogue.

Carmen Ruschiensky studied at the University of Regina and at Concordia University in Montreal. In 1997, she had individual exhibits at Neutral Ground (Regina) and Galerie Clark (Montreal). Previously, she presented her work in various group shows at the Saidye Bronfman Centre (Montreal), Musée du Québec (Québec City) and Articule (Montreal). In the summer of 1998, she was invited to participate in the "Symposium de la Nouvelle Peinture" (Baie-Saint-Paul) and in the large multi-site event called "Artifice" (Montreal).

Sylvain Cousineau was born in Arvida in 1949 and now lives in Hull (Québec). He has exhibited in major museums in Québec and Canada as well as important galleries. His latest solo exhibitions include the Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal, Galerie L'Autre équivoque (Ottawa), Galerie Pink (Montreal) and the Canadian Embassy in Paris. Sylvain Cousineau teaches at the University of Ottawa.

François Dion is a critic and a curator. He has worked with various cultural organizations in Montréal and is co-publisher of CUBE. He has organized, among other exhibitions, "Emprunts" (Galerie Vox) in 1995 and "Les présents relatifs" (Quartier Éphémère and Centre d’art contemporain de Rueil-Malmaison) in 1997. He is currently the director of Gallery 101 in Ottawa.

- Mavrikakis, Nicolas, «La couleur du temps. Abstraction libre», Voir, 3–9 décembre 1998, p.99.