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October 23 to December 4, 2010

John Latour: Spirit Communications

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




ABOUT THE SHOW

Spirit Communications

Pierre-François Ouellette art contemporain is pleased to present Spirit Communications, an exhibition of new work by John Latour that runs from October 23 to December 4, 2010. Inspired by the rich history of paranormal research of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Latour uses sculpture, drawing installation, and video to explore the intersections between contemporary art and otherworldly contact.

In recent years, Latour's sculpture, text-based art, and found photography have highlighted the ways in which we connect with the past, and how this uniquely human activity is mediated through objects, texts and images. For the current body of work, the artist uses spirit communications and physical mediumship as metaphors for communicating with the past.

Gallery I presents a selection of small sculptures based on vintage found objects and relating to the phenomenon of apportation - ordinary or transformed objects that materialize out of thin air during the course of séances. Apports, drawn from the French verb apporter ("to carry") are believed to have been brought over from the other side by visiting spirits.

Copper wire antennas connect Galleries I and II, and in the artist's œuvre, are sensitive to signals from the past. From these wires, Latour has strung a selection of pencil-and-wax drawings depicting objects from his sculptural practice. By focusing on vintage found objects, the artist highlights the sense of history these items evoke while acknowledging that their individual histories have been lost. The placement of these drawings throughout the gallery relates to signal sweet-spots identified by the artist through the use of his Spirit radio (2009-2010). This hand-held sculpture combines an old railway cap with crystal radio technology from the 1920s and onwards.

Gallery III includes a sculptural installation based on the tradition of spirit cabinets - enclosed spaces created from furniture and curtains that were used by mediums to focus their psychic powers. Traditionally, these cabinets are used before or during séances. Latour's Psychic cabinet (2009) provides the occupant with a private shelter to collect their own mental energies.

Spirit Communications also presents a short video work by Latour entitled Melting paraffin (2010). Celebrating the uncanny in everyday life, Melting paraffin was recently premiered at the 2010 Toronto Urban Film Festival.

The exploration of spirit communications through sculpture and drawing represents burgeoning fields of research in contemporary art. In a broader sense though, this blurring of art and the paranormal has been a fertile source of inspiration for contemporary artists for years - particularly in the areas of photography (including spirit, Kirlian, and thoughtography), transcommunication (such as Electronic Voice Phenomena), as well as séance-based performance.

John Latour has a BFA in Studio Art, a MLIS, and a MA in Art History. Solo exhibitions of his work have been held in Quebec and Ontario, most recently at the Karsh-Masson Gallery (Ottawa) in 2009. He has also participated in numerous group exhibitions in Canada and abroad. Currently, his text-based art is being presented at Salon no. 6 at Marine (Santa Monica), and will be included in the upcoming show Obsolete Concepts at the Robert McLaughlin Gallery (Oshawa). Latour is the recipient of artist grants from the Canada Council and the Ontario Arts Council. His artwork is found in public and private collections in Canada and the U.S. Originally from Ottawa, the artist lives and works in Montreal.

The artist would like to thank the Canada Council for the Arts for its support of his recent Spirit Communications Series.





WORKS FOR SALE
(click on images below for larger view, please ensure browser pop-up blockers are disabled)


SCULPTURES

Apport1   Apport1B

Apport 1
2010
found object (metal toy elephant),
wood, metal, paraffin wax, acrylic paint
65 x 9 x 9 cm
sold
 
Apport 1 (detail)




Apport2   Apport2B

Apport 2
2010
found object (souvenir metal spoon),
wood, metal, paraffin wax, acrylic paint
64 x 16 x 9 cm
 
Apport 2 (detail)




Apport3   Apport3B

Apport 3
2010
found object (vintage brown glass bottle),
wood, metal, paraffin wax, metal valve, acrylic paint
64 x 14 x 9 cm
sold
 
Apport 3 (detail)




Apport4   Apport4B

Apport 4
2010
found object (antique belt buckle)
wood, metal, paraffin wax, metal valve, acrylic paint
64 x 64 x 9 cm
 
Apport 4 (detail)




Apport5   Apport5B

Apport 5
2010
found object (bottle opener / corkscrew)
wood, metal, paraffin wax, acrylic paint
61 x 17 x 13 cm
 
Apport 5 (detail)




Apport6   Apport6B

Apport 6
2010
found object (metal bell), copper wire,
wood, metal, paraffin wax, acrylic paint
67 x 12 x 9 cm
sold
 
Apport 6 (detail)




Apport7   Apport7B

Apport 7
2010
found object (toy metal telephone)
wood, metal, paraffin wax, acrylic paint
64 x 12 x 9 cm
sold
 
Apport 7 (detail)




Apport8   Apport8B

Apport 8
2010
found object (level)
wood, metal, paraffin wax, acrylic paint
67 x 23 x 9 cm
 
Apport 8 (detail)




Apport9   Apport9B

Apport 9
2010
found object (razor), copper wire,
wood, metal, paraffin wax, acrylic paint
64 x 18 x 9 cm
 
Apport 9 (detail)




Apport10   Apport10B

Apport 10
2010
found object (gramophone horn),
wood, metal, paraffin wax, acrylic paint
62 x 52 x 40 cm
 
Apport 10 (detail)




PsychicCabinet



Psychic Cabinet
2010
found objects (wooden cabinet
and foot rest), copper pipes, copper wire,
plastic shower curtains, acrylic paint
184 x 68 x 51 cm (cabinet)
193 x 188 x 193 cm (curtain)
 



Spirit Radio   Apport10B

Spirit radio
2009-2010
found object (vintage railway cap), copper wire,
paraffin alligator clips, earphone, paper clip,
diode, capacitor, resistor
28 x 28 x 15 cm
collection of the artist
 
Spirit radio (detail)





DRAWINGS

Megaphone   Horn   RailwayWrench   BrownGlassJug
Megaphone
2010
graphite and paraffin
wax on watercolour paper

18 x 12.5 cm
  Horn
2010
graphite and paraffin
wax on watercolour paper

18 x 12.5 cm
  Railway wrench
2010
graphite and paraffin
wax on watercolour paper

18 x 12.5 cm
  Brown glass jug
2010
graphite and paraffin
wax on watercolour paper

18 x 12.5 cm
             
BlackIron   Brasschandelier   LargePulley   Toy metal telephone
Black iron
2010
graphite and paraffin
wax on watercolour paper

18 x 12.5 cm
  Brass chandelier
2010
graphite and paraffin
wax on watercolour paper

18 x 12.5 cm
  Large pulley
2010
graphite and paraffin
wax on watercolour paper

18 x 12.5 cm
  Toy metal telephone
2010
graphite and paraffin
wax on watercolour paper

18 x 12.5 cm
             
Bottle Opener   MetalToyElephant   Gramophone Horn   AntiqueBeltBuckle
Bottle opener / screwdriver
2010
graphite and paraffin
wax on watercolour paper

18 x 12.5 cm
  Metal toy elephant
2010
graphite and paraffin
wax on watercolour paper

18 x 12.5 cm
  Gramophone horn
2010
graphite and paraffin
wax on watercolour paper

18 x 12.5 cm
  Antique belt buckle
2010
graphite and paraffin
wax on watercolour paper

18 x 12.5 cm
             
Souvenir Metal Spoon   Wooden Cabinet        
Souvenir metal spoon
2010
graphite and paraffin
wax on watercolour paper

18 x 12.5 cm
  Wooden cabinet
2010
graphite and paraffin
wax on watercolour paper

18 x 12.5 cm
       
             


VIDEO

Clock
Melting paraffin
2010
video
58 s.
unlimited edition

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VIEWS OF THE SHOW

view of the show1   view of the show1
     
view of the show1   view of the show1
     
view of the show1   view of the show1





LINKS
John Latour's artist page on PFOAC website





ARTIST'S C.V.
click icon below to download a recent C.V. of the artist (adobe PDF)

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