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image
Simon Belleau, Film Still (détail), 2016
Impression jet d'encre, 43 x 36 cm| Inkjet print, 43 x 36 cm.
Avec l'aimable permission de l'artiste | Courtesy of the artist.

Simon Belleau
From September 1st 2016 to October 8th 2016
SOIF

The Royal moth has no mouth.
Royal Saturniid caterpillars will eat until surrender. Melting and rearranging themselves with the raw materials of their adolescence, they reappear, fuzzy and fat, with a silent face and no digestive tract. Insatiable, burdened with an impossible itinerary, they make slow triangles and moon eyes, executing the gesture of their singular potential.

And they will fuck until they die, still thirsty.

Mars lost his war and his atmosphere fled, drying up promises of a dazzling garden and leaving behind dire warnings in a red oxide dust.

The amount of available moisture in an enclosed room is recorded on every surface, and every surface is recorded in the whole of the eye. Seeing requires attention, recognition, interpretation. It also requires an image, even one not there, and at least one orifice.

At its center, Simon Belleau’s work travels in two separate but simultaneous directions; pulling focus both inward and outward. Inward, towards the core of desire, past hunger and sex, towards death; and outward, through narrative, language and the production of the image. It is here, in his careful negotiation between the image and the act of production, that Belleau’s installations become an act of transmutation: a mushroom erupts from a tactical dry bag and time becomes material; your eye travels swiftly over the steely surface of an unreflective mirror, drinking in humidity and time, turning obligatory sips of water into corrosion; the stone foot of Michelangelo’s David is suspended in motion, set in a singular film still.

In Antonioni and Wender’s film, Beyond the Clouds, the narrator, a director himself, muses, “[W]e know that behind every image revealed, there is another image more faithful to reality, and in the back of that image there is another, and yet another behind the last one, and so on, up to the true image of the absolute mysterious reality that no-one will ever see.”

Our desire for that last true image ruptures any stillness and shatters the blank mirror on the floor. It is quite the gift, to leave your gaze resting on the floor like that, with no obligation to harbor it when it labors back.

Author: Elena Ailes
Elena Ailes is interested in both that which makes her a better person and a worse person, especially in theory. In reality, she is an artist and writer living and working in Chicago.

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Conseil des arts du Canada



Simon Belleau has exhibited in several solo and group exhibitions in Canada, the United States, and Europe. He is the recipient of the Jacques and Natasha Gelman Trust Scholar Award, a Project Grant from the Canada Council for the Arts, and the Contest jeune tête d’affiche from Dazibao. Currently based in Chicago, he is the co-founder of the curatorial project Jeux d’été.