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Maskull Lasserre



November 30, 2013 - January 18, 2014

Maskull Lasserre

face   
pfoac

VIEWS OF THE SHOW  / ABOUT THE SHOW  / BIOGRAPHY  /  WORKS  /  LINKS  /  ARTIST'S C.V.



VIEWS OF THE SHOW

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ABOUT THE SHOW

At zero eight hundred hours, March 2010, the air dusty and already acrid with avgas and exploded ordinance, a convoy was to deploy on foot from Forward Operating Base Masum Ghar in Kandahar province, Afghanistan, with aid for a nearby town. They would then join a convoy of LAV-25s and Afghan National Army trucks on patrol. Strapping on his helmet, Maskull Lasserre asked, on a scale of one to 10, how dangerous the mission would be. A participant in the Canadian Forces Artists Program, with Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry, Lasserre wanted to experience everything possible in his two weeks. He also, however, wanted to know the chances he’d be coming back without his legs. But the answer was always a blasé, “It’s busy.” Such is our capacity to normalize even the extreme reality of war, where the sterile air of antiseptic from the trauma wards reminds you it’s kill or be killed. Everything is of consequence. 

This realization numbed Lasserre for months upon his return. Cognizant of the incredible capabilities of his body, he struggled to find necessity and value in much of his life in Montreal. It’s taken him three years to address this experience. *Perimeter* marks his first attempt.

Accelerating established themes in his practice, Lasserre is stepping outside his “comfort zone.” Unlike his work rooted in subtraction, such as the exquisite skeletons carved into common tools in *Fable* (PFOAC Toronto, 2012), Lasserre has assumed the role of engineer, building “uncompromising” formal compositions. These pieces continue his project to re-imagine the potential of material to create “a new fact in the world,” but never has he distanced his work so far from the safe idioms of art, what he calls “processed product.” No, these four works are “absolutes” and “nothing if not sincere.” 

Perhaps it’s the mechanical militarism, but Lasserre’s project recalls the Futurists. Lasserre went to Afghanistan because he enjoys struggle, the revelations of pushing material beyond convention, exposing new value that questions our existing implicit notions of worth. As such, Lasserre echoes the Futurists’ call to “break out of the horrible shell of wisdom” and their declaration, “Except in struggle, there is no more beauty.”

Yet, the Futurists divined its art to arm the masses, a new weapon. A century later, Lasserre’s project is one of disarmament. Crafted with the impeccable care for which Lasserre has made his name, the wholly believable “make-believe” objects in *Perimeter* neutralize, by way of uncanny encounter, “the big normalizing machine” that is humanity.

That Laserre’s work becomes normalized as art exposes its implicit tragedy. And it’s the tragedy of war, too. Our stalwartness to normalize, as a coping mechanism, restricts both human and machine to singular purposes, revealing, as philosopher Paul Virilio posits, that progress is really consensual sacrifice. This is the sacrifice soldiers say civilians cannot fathom. Yet *Perimeter* creates a potential confluence, a space of empathy in which Lasserre disarms our will to normalize, offering a moment for re-evaluation given the magnitude of ways to encounter the world.

- Mike Landry

The artist would like to thank the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec for its support.





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BIOGRAPHY:

Maskull Lasserre was born in Alberta, Canada in 1978. He spent much of his childhood in South Africa before returning to Canada. He has a BFA from Mount Allison University (Visual Art and Philosophy), and an MFA from Concordia University (Sculpture). He now works out of studios in both Montreal and Ottawa. Lasserre's drawings and sculptures explore the unexpected potential of the everyday through allegories of value, expectation, and utility. Elements of nostalgia, accident, humor, and the macabre are incorporated into works that induce strangeness in the familiar, and provoke uncertainty in the expected. Lasserre has exhibited across Canada and in the United States. In 2010, he participated in the Candian Forces War Artist Program in Afghanistan. He is represented in the collections of the Government of Canada (Transport Canada, Canadian Armed Forces DND, Canada Council Art Bank) and the City of Ottawa, amongst others. The Musée des beaux-arts de Montréal acquired this year for its permanent collection the sculpture entitled Bough. His work was seen recently in the group exhibition "Climate of Uncertainty" at the De Paul Museum in Chicago, in New York in "Swept Away" at the Museum of Art and Design, in Germany at the Museum Villa Rot in Burgrieden ("At Every Turn") and the Grassi Museum in Leipzig ("Step into the Limelight") as well as the Third Space, St. John NB, the Galerie Québecor and Articule in Montreal.


WORKS

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safe   safe
Safe
2013
safe, steel
101 x 101 x 145 (40" x 40" x 57")
   


Click here for detailed images and production: maskulllasserre.com/section/377268_SAFE



narrative   narrative
Grand Narrative
2013
Steel, hardware, electric winch assembly with battery, paint
150 x 124 x 25 cm. (59" x 49" x 10")
   


Click here for detailed images and production: maskulllasserre.com/section/380608_Grand_Narrative



Overture   Overture
Overture
2013
steel, hydraulic cylinder, hardware, violin, bow
95 x 106 x 193 cm. (38" x 42" x 76")
   

Click here for detailed images and production: maskulllasserre.com/section/381883_Overture.html



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Trust
2013
safe, steel, 500 bills of $ 20
  Mechanical Equation for Determining Meaning Given Mass and Velocity
2011
functional guillotine, stretcher

Click here for detailed images and production: maskulllasserre.com/section/225023_Mechanical_Equation_for_Determining
Click here for detailed images and production: maskulllasserre.com/section/377268_SAFE



bird bird bird bird bird
Grenade Birds : NATO 1
2013
bronze & steel
7 x 7 x 15 cm. (3" x 3" x 6")
edition 3/9
Grenade Birds : Shrike (green)
2013
bronze & steel
7 x 7 x 15 cm. (3" x 3" x 6")
edition 9/9
Grenade Birds : Shrike (black)
2013
bronze & steel
7 x 7 x 15 cm. (3" x 3" x 6")
edition 7/9
Grenade Birds : NATO 2
2013
bronze & steel
7 x 7 x 15 cm. (3" x 3" x 6")
edition of 9 (sold out)
Grenade Birds : Shrike (bronze)
2013
bronze & steel
7 x 7 x 15 cm. (3" x 3" x 6")
edition 9/9

We are please to announce a second body of work in the pfoac editions programme which premiered with Ed Pien's aluminum cut Tree of Life. Maskull Lasserre's Grenade Birds cast in bronze are produced in editions of 9. The gallery invites collectors to choose two different Grenade Birds from the available selection. Reserve now! Delivery of the works are planned for early 2014.

Click here for detailed images and production: maskulllasserre.com/section/378357_Grenade_Birds



Magnum    
Magnum Raven
2013
bronze
25 x 10 x 13 cm. (10" x 4" x 5")
edition 2/9
   

LINKS

- Maskull Lasserre's website
- Maskull Lasserre's page on the PFOAC website
- Bryne McLaughlin. "Maskull Lasserre Q&A: How the Army Changed My Art" Canadian Art, January 17, 2014
- Richard Rhodes. "Richard Rhodes's Art Toronto Highlights" Canadian Art, October 24, 2013
- Bryne McLaughlin. "Inside Story: Bryne McLaughlin's Art Toronto Preview Reflections" Canadian Art, October 25, 2013
- Normand Babin. "Maskull Lasserre : Perimeter" Montrealistement, December 16, 2013


ARTIST'S C.V.

click here to download the artist recent C.V. (11/2013)

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