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© Catherine Bodmer, Quinto piso (Susana), de la série Casas series, 2011. Impression au jet d'encre | Inkjet print. 61 x 61 cm. Gracieuseté de l’artiste | Courtesy of the artist.

Catherine Bodmer
From September 8th 2012 to October 13th 2012

Catherine Bodmer’s practice, which encompasses installations, site-specific works, and photographs, evolves around notions of transformation, repetition, and fluidity. Bodmer explores both real and imaginary spaces, along with the (con)fusion of the two enabled by digital processing. She creates series of “image loops” through manipulations of pictorial elements: beyond the documentary function or narrative potential of photography, she examines its (alleged) transparency and the construction of images, meticulously sculpted one pixel at a time.

Her recent production is the result of two residencies in Mexico City, in 2010 and 2011. Bodmer eschews explicit cultural references to focus on creating a sense of place: “I try to circumscribe a place, [. . .] to recognize it as the configuration of several variables in which nothing remains constant.” In a city abounding in people and things, she concerns herself with uncontrived in-between and outlying areas, conjuring a certain vulnerability and precariousness in everyday life. After her Camellones—median dividers along roadways—she shifts her eye to the roof- terraces in the Casas series, in which each title refers to a floor number and a building resident’s name. Scattered with utilitarian objects, these singular (non-)places reveal themselves as natural extensions of interior living spaces.

Within a project that consists in part in reconsidering urbanity and its infrastructures while revealing the exhaustion of modernist utopia,(1) the polished look, the frontal point of view, and the diptych arrangement lend the works a neutral, almost scientific outlook. Yet, from one image to the next, subtle alterations appear in the architecture and landscape: “there is some ‘doing’ and ‘undoing’ here, some addition, deletion, and reversal.”(2) Though she claims to take a generally intuitive approach, Bodmer admits of two recurring principles in her work: symmetry and the loop, agents at once of orientation and disorientation. The artist thus creates an ambivalence that directs the gaze, triggers comparisons (differences/similarities, true/false), and breaks spatiotemporal unity, thus opening up fertile and unlooked-for breaches in one’s reading of the images.

Geneviève Bédard

(1)Idea developed by Marie-Ève Charron in the essay “Des particules urbaines,” in the forthcoming publication Catherine Bodmer - Mexico DF (détails), Alma, SAGAMIE édition d'art, 2012.
(2)Nathalie Guimond, “Catherine Bodmer, Duo” (Centre Clark, Montreal, September 2 – October 9, 2010), Ciel variable, no 87, January – May 2011, 73.

Meet Catherine Bodmer: Saturday, September 29, at 3 p.m. (during the Journées de la culture).

The artist thanks the Canada Council for the Arts and the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec.

Catherine Bodmer's "Casas"exhibition, presented at OPTICA from September 8th to October 13th, is the focus of a newly published article by Jérôme Delgado, Mexico, du septième ciel (Le Devoir, Saturday, September 29th 2012, p.E9).

The exhibition is also mentioned in the fall issue of Canadian Art, "Agenda" section. Canadian Art, fall 2012, p. 33.

Catherine Bodmer MEXICO DF (DÉTAILS)
Catherine Bodmer's new publication MEXICO DF (DÉTAILS) is now available at OPTICA.

The following text is only available in french
La critique d’art Marie-Ève Charron offre un premier regard sur la plus récente production photographique de l’artiste Catherine Bodmer, découlant de deux résidences de création dans la ville de Mexico en 2010 et 2011.

De son expérience réelle du territoire, Bodmer a décidé d’en partager une forme décantée, produite par la patiente transformation des images devenues le creuset de retouches sédimentées, un matériau joué en symétrie, discontinu et reconfiguré.Ce travail de manipulation donne une impulsion toute particulière à des échappées imaginaires et fictionnelles dans la spatiotemporalité des images, qui ont pour effet de reconsidérer l’urbanisme et les espaces de vie à Mexico. (- extrait du texte)

Catherine Bodmer MEXICO DF (DÉTAILS) Monograph
Author : Marie-Ève Charron
Artist : Catherine Bodmer
Tranlated into English and Spanish
92 pages, color
ISBN: 978-2-923612-36-2
Sagamie éditions d’art, 2012
Price: 30$

Born in Zürich, Switzerland, Catherine Bodmer has lived and worked in Montreal since 1996. She was artistic coordinator for La Centrale/Galerie Powerhouse (1999-2002) and at articule (2004-2009). Her work has appeared in many group and solo exhibitions throughout Canada as well as in Mexico and Taiwan.