Vibrating with the rhythm of Montreal celebrating its 375th anniversary, Galerie Trois Points’ new summer exhibition focus on its islander status, exploring the city’s link to the world through the idea of maritime commerce. We often forget how Montreal is first and foremost an island, a territory nourished from the outside. Chris Boyne, Isabelle Guimond and Laurent Lévesque are three young Montreal artists who take a fresh look at the issue of merchandise influx and how our reality is shaped by this circulation of consumer goods.
Thus the artists’ eyes turned first to the port, main passage between the city and the rest of the world. For nearly four centuries, the Montreal Port has been the turning point of our economy as several thousand tons of goods are transported daily, perpetual influx of goods produced all over the world. Through an approach that is both documentary and highly subjective, the artists try to identify how this constant contact with the otherness changes the landscape of the island and influences the look that Montrealers take on the stakes of globalization.
The three artists linger on the journey of these objects of consumption, from their first travel to the end of their useful life. The contrast between the political and social weight of the subject and the aesthetic purity and care of the selected works allows them to highlight the persistent discomfort prevalent with these issues.
Born in Halifax, Chris Boyne’s delicate wooden sculptures recreate the large ships that regularly complete the journey between Montreal and his hometown. The Palermo group of ships mirrors his own reality of existing between two cities and two places. Boyne is interested in using these small ship-objects as attempts towards sharing experiences although they’re impossible to convey in their entirety. The minimalist aesthetic of these sculptures reflect how those ships are reduced in the artist’s memory to shapes, colours and discernable features like dock cranes Chris Boyne’s work functions like storytelling, leaving room for the viewer to situate themselves within while simultaneously stimulating personal reflection or nostalgia.
Laurent Lévesque resolutely turned his gaze towards the sea. Created during a residency on an ocean liner, he’s presenting here Adam’s Home, a video filmed somewhere on the Bering Sea farming the office window of Adam, a merchant marine officer. From this point of view, with proportions that evoke cinematographic images, the sea spreads away, rolls and moves, and carries the vessel with its motion in this landscape devoid of any terrestrial presence. The sequence shot video recalls the enormous distances traveled by millions of products before ending up on shops shelves and finally in our homes.
The exhibition also features a selection of digital drawings and works on canvas by artist Isabelle Guimond. She is documenting warehouses and shops of the neighborhoods bordering the St. Lawrence River: Hochelaga-Maisonneuve, Griffintown and Old Montreal. Based on photographs taken during her frequent journeys in the neighborhood, these recent works by Guimond illustrate the problems of the rivers banks access, pollution and gentrification caused by overconsumption. Carrying a strong political and social dimension, the works were first conceived for a digital diffusion and created with a graphic tablet, most probably coming from one of the many containers that make up some of the urban landscapes Guimond depicts.