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Exibitions 2005

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Index of artists, authors and curators

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OPTICA Fonds (Concordia University Archives)

Guidebooks to help in consulting the archives

Electronic Reproduction Fees

Manuel Frattini
From January 14th 2005 to February 19th 2005
SEHNSUCHT : désirer ardemment un endroit meilleur, autre part, quelque part...

Manuel Frattini is a pedestrian through things. Palm leaves, floral chandeliers , or whatever else catches his eye, Frattini is his own collector. The transformative structure of the collection becomes the treasure.
- Volker Bauermeister, Badische Zeitung 2003.

In rows, chains and networks, Frattini’s collected observations grow rhizomatic on the wall. The resulting narrative sequences of drawings, paintings, photographs and objects appear infinite. Linking many threads of memory, their endings remain open and frayed.

These sequences are like a map of thoughts. Diverting the eye from a single linear reading, they restructure the relationship between time and space. Concrete movement through time becomes overlaid with a fictional account of a journey (which itself has no direct chronology). Questioning the connections between the seen and the remembered through the processing storage, and compression of visual material, Frattini’s storyboards speak of a search: the observed and the remembered, the journey. It is the yearning for a better place, someplace, somewhere: SEHNSUCHT.
- Victoria Tafferner

Afshin Matlabi
From January 14th 2005 to February 19th 2005
Anxiety, Apology

Inspired by a high degree of anxiety, "Anxiety, Apology" explores the expressions of human guilt and reactions to threatened security. In I am so sorry that ... a silent march is in progress, to the washing off of the human guilt amassed throughout history in the water-fountain of redemption. In two video projections the love and hate relationship with the United States of America and the frustrating sorrowful attachment with the United Nations is exposed.

- Elliot, Isaac, «Afshin Matlabi : Anxiety Apology», Vie des Arts, no 198, printemps 2005, p.90.
- Redfern, Christine, «U effin S of A», Mirror, 13 janvier - 19 janvier 2005, p.32.

Karen Henderson
From March 5th 2005 to April 9th 2005
The Optica Show

Karen Henderson is showing two new works made especially for Optica gallery. The video projection 70 times removed from the original is an animation of sorts that started with a colour slide of a section Optica's east wall. This slide was colour duplicated; then the dupe was duplicated; then the duplicated dupe was duplicated, and so on until there were 69 slides including the original. These images were then scanned into a computer and joined in succession to make a movie—a series of pictures shown one after another at a speed that gives the illusion of spatial motion. In regard to why there are 69 stills as opposed to the 70 suggested by the title, Henderson says: "I wanted to make reference to that initial removal which exists between viewer and viewed."

40 consecutive photographs of here is another kind of joined succession of images. This one started with 40 photographs of a window in Optica’s north wall which were shot one after the other. "I’ve worked with switching the filmic linear process into one which is sculptural, like a deck of cards, where each frame or photograph is on a transparent layer and stacked so that you can see all frames all at once." In this case, a series of pictures is shown in such a way as to give the illusion of temporal stasis. I think at the core of both works is a sense of a radically layered and radically fluid temporality—the time of the documentation, the time of the various material processes, and the time of the viewer's perceptual and reflective processes—all playing out within the common ground of the gallery.
- Martin Arnold

- Delgado, Jérôme, «Traces majeures», La Presse, 27 mars 2005, p.17.
- Lemarche, Bernard, «Le temps découpé», Le Devoir, 2-3 avril 2005, p.E7.
- Olanick, Natalie, «Jeux de miroir», CV ciel variable, no 68, août 2005, p.41.
- «Karen Henderson : The Optica show», Scans, vol. 3, no 2, 24 mars 2005, [www.photobasedart.ca].

Jean Dubois
From March 5th 2005 to April 9th 2005
Les Errances de l'écho

A strange kind of relationship is sometimes established between people, as much tacit exchange as dialogue of the deaf, a situation that seems to suggest playful complicity as much as ambiguous tension. In "Les Errances de l'écho", with touch-sensitive mirrors, I want to offer spectators just such an experience. Following their movements, an intermingling of superposed and criss-crossing voices emanates from the object. In the repartee of invisible encounters, one finds a repertoire of flattering and censorious comments, passing memories, hesitations, justifications, feelings of emptiness or bouts of loneliness, expressions of pride, self-doubts, playful nudges. A kind of community of mind takes shape in this sinuous mise en scène, in which one may sometimes recognize oneself through affinities, sometimes discover subtle and potentially intriguing divergences. Without necessarily ignoring the narcissist symbolism of the mirror, the approach strives to compare private monologues, common traits, or shared concerns. The proliferation of individual appearances, then, serves as a canvas for a play of correspondences mingling resemblances with dissonances.
- Jean Dubois

- Crevier, Lyne, «Jeux de miroir», Ici, 17-23 mars 2005, p.27.
- Delgado, Jérôme, «Traces majeures», La Presse, 27 mars 2005, p.17.
- Lemarche, Bernard, «Entre sons et abstractions», Le Devoir, 22-23 janvier 2005, pp.E8-E9.
- Lemarche, Bernard, «Le temps découpé», Le Devoir, 2-3 avril 2005, p.E7.

© Page couverture l Book cover, Mallarmé. Le Livre, 2005.

April 4th 2005
Lancement de la publication Mallarmé, le livre

Scherübel, Klaus, Mallarmé, le Livre Coédition An Optica / MUDAM joint publication (French version), Luxembourg, 2005.
ISBN 2-922085-10-4

Librairie Olivieri - Musée
185, Ste-Catherine West
Montréal, QC H2X 3X5
T: (514) 847-6903

Go to publications catalogue.

Gun Holmström
From April 22nd 2005 to May 28th 2005
In the Raw

Several years ago, I attended a lecture where the slides shown had no connection to the issue in question, or even to each other. The whole time I tried very hard to find some kind of correlation because it seemed totally impossible that the images would have had nothing to do with what was being said.

In "In the Raw" I used a similar technique. It is a kind of self-portrait, a video collage containing a wide range of footage and text from my own environment. It is a story about storytelling in different forms, a saga telling of - among other things - the spiritual aspect in everyday life. By combining elements with no apparent connections, I wanted to create a space that would allow for both the viewers' own associations and possibilities for new stories to evolve. I find distraction to be a useful tool for taking thoughts in unexpected directions.

The footage in Voyeur was filmed almost coincidentally. In summertime all kinds of people gather on the lawn around the Kiasma Contemporary Art Museum in Helsinki. I sat on the fourth floor and started to film people enjoying the sunlight, simply because the sight was so pleasant. Suddenly, in the corner of my eye, I noticed something odd - a lonely man sitting by himself just looking out of place. I started to follow his movements and mysterious things started to happen. What was he talking to the girls about? What was that strange object he was holding in his hand? Why did he seem so displaced? Voyeur is a story that told itself to me.
- Gun Holmström

- Cormier, Réjean-Bernard, «Fable et émotions ineffables», ETC, no 70, juin-juillet-août 2005, pp.8-9.
- Crevier, Lyne, «Soudain l’été dernier», Ici, 12-18 mai 2005, p.51.

© Carton d'invitation pour l Invitation for «Mallarmé, le livre», 2005.

Klaus Scherübel
From April 22nd 2005 to May 28th 2005
Exposition Mallarmé, le livre

APRIL 04, 2005 de 6 pm to 8 pm
Klaus Scherübel : Introductory Remarks
Monic Robillard, "Entre la chair et l'astre", ou l'idéal en pratique chez Mallarmé
Ian Wallace, "Un coup de dés" and the writing
Hans M. de Wolf, La Voie Lactée comme caisse de résonance métaphysique chez Mallarmé

Go to publications catalogue.

- Crevier, Lyne, «Jaquette bleue», Ici, 12-18 mai 2005, p.51.
- Lemarche, Bernard, «Entre sons et abstractions», Le Devoir, 22-23 janvier 2005, pp.E8–E9.
- Mavrikakis, Nicolas, «La musique des mots», Voir, 31 mars 2005, p.55.
- Wright, Stephen, «Reviews / International: Montréal», Art Papers, vol. 29, no 5, septembre-octobre 2005, pp.61-62.
- Wright, Stephen, «Livres et revues, Books and Magazine : Mallarmé, Le Livre», Parachute, no 122, avril-mai-juin 2006.

From June 7th 2005 to June 10th 2005
Artexte invite Documents d’artistes chez OPTICA

Artexte Information Centre was established in 1980 to collect and disseminate information on all aspects of contemporary visual art. To provide access to the fruits of the intense activity in contemporary art, and to let these resources play out fully in relation to current critical thought on artistic creation, Artexte has developed three complementary modes of intervention: research, documentation and publishing. [www.artexte.ca]

Documents d'artistes was set up in 1999 by Christine Finizio and Marceline Matheron. Olivier Baudevin joined them the following year. Marine Quiniou is a regular contributor. Christine and Marceline coordinate Documents d'artistes, build up its collection of documents and see to their dissemination. Olivier and Marine, who work as webmasters, put together the information packages on artists and maintain the organization’s web site [documentsdartistes.org], which has already been online for five years. In January 2005, a documentation centre opened at the Friche la Belle de Mai in Marseilles. Sandrine Raquin lives and works in Marseilles. Her body of work, which comprises drawings, paintings, photographs and videos, could be compared to the output of a small industry that keeps breaking records and going into the most surprising corners of daily life in a search for meanings and relations that fall outside those normally encountered in the world. Raquin is also the driving force behind the creation of the association Astérides, which was set up in 1992.

This special activity is made possible with the support of Optica, the France-Québec convention, and by the participation of the Association française d'action artistique (AFAA), the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region and the DRAC.

Exhibition and consultation

Open to the public from 1:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. in the presence of the coordinators of the Marseilles-based art documentation centre Documents d’artistes


June 08, 2005 - 5:30 PM
Jean-Claude Rochefort on the production of print and multimedia documents on the work of Raymonde April

June 09, 2005 - 5:30 PM
Presentation devoted to Documents d'artistes and its guest artist, Sandrine Raquin

June 10, 2005 - 5:30 PM
Marie Fraser on questions of exhibition research and curatorship

Jean-Claude Rochefort operated a gallery from 1986 to 1999. As an art critic, he has contributed to the newspaper Le Devoir (2001-2004) and the magazine Spirale. Since September 2004, he has served as the curator of bifurcation, a travelling exhibition of the work of Raymonde April, winner of the 2003 Paul-Émile Borduas Prize. He also recently designed a virtual tour of April’s work for Vox, a centre in Montreal devoted to contemporary images. Rochefort holds an interdisciplinary doctorate in art study and practice from the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQÀM). He is presently at work setting up the Centre Art, Nature et Paysage in Saint-Hilarion-de-Charlevoix.

In recent years, art historian and independent curator Marie Fraser has developed an interest in the question of narrative and urban experience, and has dealt with the concepts of public and private space, identity, memory and community, among others. As an independent curator, she has organized numerous exhibitions in public spaces. These include "La demeure" (2002), "Gestes d’artistes / Artists’ Gestures" (2001) et "Sur l’expérience de la ville/On Experiencing the City" (1997) for Optica. She curated the exhibition "Le ludique" (2001), shown at the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec and at the Musée d’Art Moderne de Lille Métropole, France, in 2003. She is currently preparing an exhibition entitled "raconte-moi / tell me", to be presented at the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec and at the Casino Luxembourg—Forum d’art contemporain

Ramona Ramlochand
From September 10th 2005 to October 15th 2005
White Desert

“Memory is to one what history is to the other, an impossibility. Legends are born out of the need to decipher the indecipherable. Memories must make do with the delirium, with their drift. A moment stopped would burn like a frame of film blocked before the furnace of the projector.”
– A quotation from one of the letters written to the narrator of Sans Soleil by ostensibly, the director of the film, Chris Marker.

This project is like a delirium of moments caught and reassembled into my own — for lack of a better word — history, the impetus of which began in the White Desert, a region of the Western Sahara. While there, I felt as if I had stepped onto the set of an epic film — a feeling that is always with me when I am in a foreign environment. Equally, however, when in foreign environments, my thoughts tend to wander back to familiar things, to commonalities — perhaps seeking some semblance of normalcy amid the chaos of the new and unfamiliar.

Thus, in the digital ink-jet prints in White Desert, the lamp post outside my house (in Canada) becomes the light that hovers like an alien spaceship while the white jeep symbolizes the “safe house” for travel and tourism, and perhaps even “home” (a word, for me, that carries more unbearable weight and lightness than I care to admit). In Triumph: reversing forward, the dashboard of the Triumph TR6Triumph TR6 itself substitutes as an automated flaneur. The third installation, Maquette for Filmic Moments, replicates the other works on a smaller scale, providing a more intimate epic, if such a thing exists.

This cyclical body of work blurs the edges of place, and, in so doing, creates a new visual/geographic reality. The fragmented pieces become echoes of a place that no longer belongs to the “whole” but is at once very much part of it. In turn, these fragments become snapshots of the interior of the subject who no longer belongs to a particular space, a subject “un-bordered,” interpenetrated, blowing in the winds of the diaspora.
- R. Ramlochand

- Ardenne, Paul, «Ramona Ramlochand : White Desert», Artpress, no 319, janvier 2005.
- Crevier, Lyne, «Ramona Ramlochand», Ici, 29 septembre - 5 octobre 2005.
- Tousignant, Isa, «Visual», Hour, 1er-7 septembre 2005, p.6.
- Wai Jim, Alice Ming. «Ramona Ramlochand : White Desert», Image & Imagination. Ed. Martha Langford. Montréal : Le Mois de la Photo à Montréal, 2005, pp.53-56.

Cynthia Girard
From September 10th 2005 to October 15th 2005
Le temps des oiseaux

"J'aime le plancher des vaches."
– Gustave Courbet


A bird on the log, a ball of wool, a hole.

I dream of forests
and of a big hairy eye
an all-seeing sun eye
hairy like a vulva
shining on the decapitated countryside
flinging its rays
great brown lubricated eyelashes.


There’s a machine
the bird rests on a branch
the landscape is motionless
the ball of wool unravels
the hole still ambiguous.

The machine awaits us
ready to cut.

The lumberjack’s having supper
an early supper
resinous sandwiches on a blue background.

Codeine blue background
chewing up intoxicated clouds
paranoid clouds

that don’t exist.

- C. Girard

- Tousignant, Isa, «Visual», Hour, 1er-7 septembre 2005, p.6.

Adele Chong
From November 4th 2005 to December 12th 2005
Close Quarters

The origins of my work revolve largely around personal histories and ideas of displacement. My family relocated frequently between two cultures over most of my life. As a child, I kept journals and recorded my travels. Such documentation existed in the form of writings, drawings, or comic book panels. The travels varied, yet the documentation sustained an equal enthusiasm for an assortment of explorations, from the “underbelly” of my suburban neighbourhood to secret messages spelled out on cobblestone walkways in Venice. Though I was enthralled by “impossible” structures, architectural feats apparently considered divine for their technical complexities, I favoured the less outspoken spaces. I felt drawn to forgotten corners, niches, and to anything that exemplified a makeshift quality or existence. Naturally, this attraction to subservient spaces also appealed to me because they represented escape routes from the rigid, though impermanent, urban structures that dictated my daily existence. The non-spaces were unclaimed territory and, as they accumulated, composed a world within my control. As my existence grew more nomadic, with the knowledge that situational permanence would always be an impossibility, rules were unconsciously set for more non-committal arrangements. An ingrained respect for such rules, and the psychological and cultural implications of life as defined by ritual very much contribute to informing my art practice.

"Close Quarters" came about when I started to produce a maquette of the multidisciplinary room at Optica. With the Optica model serving as its core, the work cultivates a childlike way of claiming one’s allotted space: building small vulnerable partitions that hold their weight through an assertion of ownership rather than through the durability of its materials.
- Adele Chong

Jean-Pierre Aubé
From November 4th 2005 to December 12th 2005
Elégance - General Electric, circa 1982

Taming Audio Qualities of the Appliance

For the last few years, I've been using an early eighties model General Electric fridge called Elégance. The fridge occupies the sound space in my apartment, and several alterations have changed its acoustic properties over the years.

To explain phenomena captured by sensors in Save the Waves (2004-2005), I used the analogy of noise generated by fridges — those common household objects that start humming when their compressors decide to kick in. Indeed, electrical appliances oscillate at the same frequency as the system supplying their energy — 60 cycles a second (60Hz). "Elégance – General Electric, circa 1982" employs the same sound techniques as recording studios. Invisible to the world, microphones are strategically positioned inside the fridge, which I subject to close, meticulous observation, its least vibrations captured and amplified a thousand times.

In The Soundscape: Our Sonic Environment and the Tuning of the World (1994), R. Murray Schafer explains that some studies have shown our ability to elide certain sounds from our audio environment; among them, the vibrations induced by our appliances’ 60Hz frequencies. Ever since the “electric” revolution, all our urban environments have been humming to the tune of these appliances. Everything, from the lowly light bulb to towering generators, contributes to the complex harmonies of our audio landscape. Lately, as the city sleeps, I’ve been listening to my fridge.
- Jean-Pierre Aubé

- Lamarche, Bernard, «Machines et créativité», Le Devoir, 27-28 août 2005, p.E10.

© Page couverture l Book cover, Abus Mutuel : négocier la survivance, 2005.

December 7th 2005
Lancement de la publication Abus Mutuel : négocier la survivance