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Pavel Pavlov
From January 15th 2011 to February 19th 2011
La silhouette de Montréal et le paysage en contre-champ (filmés depuis la Cité du Havre)

Pavel Pavlov’s work revolves around the creation of systematically articulated devices exploring the limits of visual representation; their sequential temporality (in production and reproduction) calls into question the temporal and optical illusionism of moving images. Many of his works propose animated topographical views of historical sites, thus reactualizing their specificities. Following upon "Projet pour un panorama fragmenté" (2008) and "Every Bit of Landscape" (2009)—part of his project Typologie du monument vide: l’Histoire entre le socle et le cadre—Pavlov is presenting "La silhouette de Montréal et le paysage en contre-champ (filmés depuis la Cité du Havre)", a new installation in which he revisits a founding event in the modernization of the city: Expo 67.

A steadycam operator was given the mission of filming a pre-established script that visually transposed the phrase "Cité du Havre, a window on Montreal." The site’s inherently optical conception is thus subverted and transformed into a cinematic process. Normally referencing a subjective view of a figure in motion, the steadycam’s conventional use is here reversed: the cameraman traces the web of walkways once trodden by World Fair visitors—a mapping device still configuring a site which, after 40 years, has yet to see its real estate developments completed—and literally films the vanishing point of the script: Montreal’s silhouette. A second camera, synced with the first, simultaneously records the reverse shot.

In the gallery, the two resulting video channels document the city’s current appearance, a singular space becoming an icon of modernity, and the counter-shot landscape, an empty monument exposing the contingencies of sociopolitical decisions and their lingering structural impact on urban space. True to his method, Pavlov proposes a new "optical machine" that replays the spectacle of the limits of visual representation in an infinite repetition, thus establishing an open space for thought. This project calls not only upon vision, but involves the spectator’s whole body as well, for the visitor is an active participant who must take it upon him or herself to explore and relate the presented fragments.
- Geneviève Bédard + Pavel Pavlov

The artist thanks Sophie Bélair-Clément, Vincent Bonin, David Manseau and Christopher Payne as well as René Lemire and Patrick Viallet of the École des arts visuels et médiatiques, UQÀM, Sylvain Cossette of PRIM (Montreal), and the technical support from Daimon (Gatineau), PRIM and Le Vidéographe (Montreal).
Prim


The equipment is courtesy of the Leonard & Bina Ellen Art Gallery, Concordia University.

Pavel Pavlov lives and works in Montreal. After studying economics in Paris, he earned a master’s in visual and media arts at UQAM; he is currently pursuing a doctorate in art history at Université Laval. Recent solo and group exhibitions include “Territoires urbains” (Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal, 2005, and Oakville Galleries, 2006), and participation in the Mois de la Photo à Montréal (SBC, 2009).