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May 14 - June 20, 2015

John Player
New paintings

Michel Huneault
10 Minutes at Tohoku

Opening Thursday May 14th from 5pm to 7:30pm

372 Ste-Catherine West suite 216
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
H3B 1A2

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pfoac

JOHN PLAYER  /  MICHEL HUNEAULT


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JOHN PLAYER


John Player’s work presents a restrained and detached view of surveillance culture. Endless defense from an unknown but constant threat is unveiled in appropriated images from mass media, newspapers and archives found largely on the Internet. The imagery shares a kind of aesthetic of power and control, now commonplace and even expected, as well as a paradoxical inertia. Dominant culture’s obsession with speed and control is confronted with the slow read of painting; the banality and distraction of technology challenged by painterly care.

The sparse, somewhat minimal work shows dual interior and exterior vantage points of surveillance infrastructure giving a sense of a system’s internal mechanization and its external physical result. Devoid of people, the emphasis on the faceless structure of the defense economy points to the network at use in the politics of domination, especially the banality of the bureaucratic system in place to administer and finance it. The invisibility and secrecy of entrenched security and mass surveillance informs the work, creating an environment of deception; moreover, the medium of painting adds its own deception and illusion of permanence.

Influenced by Paul Virilio’s concept of the ‘Vision Machine’ – modes of viewing becoming detached and with them, our ultimate ambitions of progress – his painting attempts a humanized understanding of the insidious climate of increasing militarization. The idea of the mechanized eye is central to the work, particularly the aerial view. Its development in the mapping of terrain was ultimately absorbed for military means in the aerial bombardment of foreign enemies. The view, now accelerated with the optics of Google Earth and Streetview, satellites and drones, remains a panoptic of power, dehumanizing the subjects or targets and opening up a colonization of the entire world. Player’s painting slows down this visual of the digital real-time event and reveals deliberation and process. The stark painterly shorthand, crafted with a semi-awkward preciousness presents a seductiveness of paint rendered uncannily distressing in unveiling the tools of power inherently immune to dissent.

In the age of big data, one can trace the resulting anxiety from the surveilled to the suveillers – sources hidden from public knowledge, classified in documents and delivered in coded language – the fear on each side fuelling the other. The alternate perspectives of the horizonless three-quarter vantage and frontal street level observation suggest a CCTV point of view, yet the generic references question who is watching whom; a surveillance of surveillance suggests a sampling of a system’s own voyeuristic culture and the implied dominance of the screen.
The work’s temporal shift, with the image loop frozen, leaves the viewer with an illusion of broken technology.

The cold read of the security apparatus offers no insight into its workings, further enabling an open secret and culture of paranoia. The ubiquitous surveillance mechanism, here turned inward, emphasizes its spectacle and doctrine. Dissecting humanity’s attraction to domination and voyeurism while being captivated by the apparatus itself, Player disrupts the dehumanizing spectacle. His critical reflection of a culture of speed remakes the narrative, attaching resistance to the normalized way dominant culture views the world.

John Player was born in Victoria, BC in 1983. He holds a BFA in Studio Arts and a MFA in Painting and Drawing from Concordia University. He has participated in various group exhibitions in Toronto and Montreal, where he has worked and lived since 2004. In the summer of 2015, John will be participating in the Baie St-Paul Symposium, as well as another residency in New York State called Art Omi. His work can found in numerous private collections and in the corporate collections of Michael inc. and BMO Financial Group.

- Éric Clément, "L’homme et « sa » nature" la Presse, May 29, 2015.
- John Player's page on the PFOAC website
- John Player's artist website
- click here to download John Player's recent C.V.



Still_work   Still_work   John_P   John_P
Outpost
2015
oil on panel
91 x 76 cm (24" x 30")
  untitled
2014
oil on panel
91.5 x 99 cm (36" x 39" )
  Fort 1990
2014
oil on panel
61 x 76 cm (24" x 30")
red_dote
  Endless
2014
oil on panel
91.5 x 122 cm (36" x 48")


John_P   Player   Still_work   Still_work
Tactical System
2014
oil on panel
81.25 x 91.5cm (32" x 36")
red_dote
  Remnants
2013
oil on panel
91.5 x 122 cm. (36" x 48")
  Training
2015
oil on panel
91 x 106.5 cm (24" x 42")
  Perimeter
2015
oil on panel
76 x 101.5 cm (30" x 40")


John_P   John_P   John_P   John_P   John_P
Yucca Airfield
2014
watercolour on paper
20.25 x 25.5 cm (8" x 10")
  Camp Lemonier
2014
watercolour on paper
20.25 x 25.5 cm (8" x 10")
  Creech Airbase
2014
watercolour on paper
20.25 x 25.5 cm (8" x 10")
  El Mirage Airfield
2014
watercolour on paper
20.25 x 25.5 cm (8" x 10")
  Entebbe
2014
watercolour on paper
20.25 x 25.5 cm (8" x 10")


John_P   John_P   John_P   John_P  
Holt Airbase
2014
watercolour on paper
20.25 x 25.5 cm (8" x 10")
  Monument
2014
watercolour on paper
20.25 x 25.5 cm (8" x 10")
  SOFEX
2014
watercolour on paper
20.25 x 25.5 cm (8" x 10")
  Test Site
2014
watercolour on paper
20.25 x 25.5 cm (8" x 10")
 


John_P   John_P   John_P   John_P
Listening Station
2014
oil on canvas
76 x 102 cm (30" x 40")
  Ground Station
2014
oil on canvas
61 x 61 cm (24" x 24")
  Endless
2014
oil on canvas
91.5 x 122 cm (36" x 48")
  Land Based
2014
oil on canvas
61 x 61 cm (24" x 24")
red_dote


John_P   John_P   John_P   John_P
Remote
2015
oil on panel
40.5 x 51cm (16" x 20")
  Radar 1
2015
oil on canvas
40.5 x 59cm (16" x 22")
  Radar 2
2015
oil on canvas
40.5 x 51cm 58.75 (16" x 22" )
  Radar 3
2015
oil on canvas
40.5 x 51cm 58.75 (16" x 22")



MICHEL HUNEAULT


Michel Huneault's 10 minutes at Tohoku is the video component of Post Tohoku, a transmedia art documentary project, bringing us to Japan one year after the 2011 tsunami hit the region. On March of that year, the Tohoku coast of Japan was devastated by a triple catastrophe: earthquake, tsunami, nuclear incident. 15 880 deaths, 2694 missing, 128 931 buildings destroyed. Michel Huneault travelled to Tohoku a year after the event with these questions in mind: How to represent the long term physical and psychological impacts of such a catastrophe, the trauma, the void? How to make sense of it while avoiding disaster porn? How to live near or in this scarred landscape for the years to come? Will Tohoku rebuild, physically and in our minds? 10 minutes at Tohoku is the resulting meditative video, shot along 250 km of the affected coast, from Fukushima to Kesennuma.

Before devoting himself full time to photography in 2008, Michel Huneault worked in the international development field, a profession that took him to over twenty countries, including one full year in Kandahar. He holds a MA in Latin American Studies from the University of California, Berkeley, where he was a Rotary World Peace Fellow, researching on the role of collective memory in large scale traumatic recovery. At Berkeley, he was a student and teaching assistant of Magnum photographer Gilles Peress, and afterwards held an apprenticeship position with him in New York. In 2014 Huneault's ongoing coverage following the train disaster at Lac Mégantic was given the Portfolio Review Exhibition Award by the CONTACT Photography Festival. Currently, his practice focuses on development related issues, on personal and collective traumas, and complex geographies. He lives in Montreal.

- click here to download Michel Huneault's recent C.V.
- Michel Huneault's website



Still_work
10 Minutes at Tohoku
2012
HD video with sound
10:00

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