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Angela Detanico, Rafael Lain
From November 3rd 2007 to December 8th 2007
Exposition duo

Angela Detanico and Rafael Lain, originally from Brazil, work on the intersection of graphic design and semiology. Their interventions are inscriptions of the everyday and of the practice of writing, incorporating their interested in typography — letters, characters, with special emphasis on Helvetica —, and transposing the alphabet into visual and three-dimensional form. They draw inspiration from digital interfaces, ideograms, and architectural symbols to create a visual and conceptual vocabulary having a naturally mnemonic residual dimension.

The works presented at Optica are steeped in visual poetry and in a particular temporality. As is often the case with Detanico and Lain, while such applications “don’t offer complete and immediate comprehension, they create new possibilities for information and communication, and for many levels of meaning.”(Stephen Feeke, Au bon vouloir des étrangers, catalogue, Paris, Musée Zadkine, 2007.). Against the wall, a row of piled sheaves wrapped in Kraft paper suggests a minimalist sculpture or a storage area. Each pile “is an instance in fact of concrete writing; each letter corresponds to a given number of reams — one for A, two for B, and so on, in increasing oder —, the closer the letter is to the end of the alphabet, the taller the pile. (Raphaël Brunel, Angela Detanico et Rafael Lain. Équation du temps, [www.paris-art.com].) Variations are endless, and allow for systems of writing created from accumulations of sugar, bricks, cartons, books, bags of earth, etc. One only has to repeat the base unit. Ce qui compte (pilha), 2007, takes its system of representation from objects that suggest a local economy, governed by the materials and the exhibition space, its significance obviously affected by whether it is shown in a gallery or in a public space.

A given time in a given space (zulu time), 2007, suggests a displacement within an already fragmented temporality. Taking the form of a sectioned planisphere, this mural defies our understanding, placing us before an unconventional geographic distribution derived from time zones. In the same vein, Clock wise, 2007, reduces the typographic sign to the positions on a clock face, suggesting another manifestation of our subjection to space and time, though sensitizing us to the acceleration and permutation of the notion of trace and origin that we encounter every day in our displacements, in life and on the Internet.

November 3, 2007
North-American premiere in presence of the artists

Born in Caxias do Sul, Brazil, Angela Detanico (1974) and Rafael Lain (1973) have been working together since the 1990s. In 2002, they were awarded an eight-month residence at the Palais de Tokyo, which took them away from São Paulo to Paris, where they have been living and working ever since. Graphic designers by profession, Detanico and Lain set out to reexamine writing systems. No surprise, then, that the invention of typography lies at the heart of their creative process and founds their practice. In 2006, they took part in the 27th São Paulo Biennial. In 2007, they represented Brazil at the 52nd Venice Biennial. Their work is shown throughout Europe, Latin America, and Asia, where they take part in countless video, media arts, and performance festivals.

Bibliographie
- «Ateliers d’écriture», Canadian Art, vol. 24, no 3, automne 2007, p.52.