The accumulation, formal abstraction and (hyper)mediatisation of images of the personal are the three directions that Charles-Antoine Blais Métivier explores through his work. Purposefully wandering through urban and virtual spaces with the rigor of an anthropologist, the artist appropriates, catalogues, analyses and reveals the poetic potential of renderings degraded by excess. In Point de fuite [Vanishing Point], the artist explores the disappearance of countless animals, evidenced by the posters that constantly turn up everywhere in Montreal, as a system of meaning.
The initially striking diversity of the images (120 cats and 120 dogs) cedes to the sheer number of posters that highlights concomitant erosion in the inherent uniqueness of each of these daily dramas. Whereas these nearly insipid, even laughable, cries for help are varied in terms of their semiotic structure, it is their essential urgency – the fundamental motivation for creating them – that seems to evaporate through redundancy.
Abstraction of Poetic
The artistic gesture that Blais Métivier achieves through these symbol-laden posters swings between loss revealed and tragedy expressed, muted uniqueness and a voicing of a uniquely persistent tragic aura. Research based on a keen observation of his environment and of forms is at the heart of the artist’s practice. His intervention (the juxtaposition or superimposition of images) underscores both the subject’s altered uniqueness as well as the codes, conventions and automatisms inherent in its composition and distribution.
Through his observations, Blais Métivier delves into geolocalization, a research project entitled Étude sur les points de convergences entre les disparitions des animaux domestiques sur l’île de Montréal [Tr.: Study of Convergence Points in Domestic Animal Disappearances on the Island of Montreal], from which emerges the theory of a break in the space-time continuum, the final vanishing point of disappeared animals. The fiction that emerges from the collection thus makes it possible to reveal the poetic potential of the ordinary and to enlist the artist-researcher archetype (Hervé Fischer).
A constant that arises time and again in the artist’s practice – notably in People with IPhone (2012) and After Faceb00k (work-in-progress in collaboration with Serge-Olivier Rondeau) – is an emphasis on the need for the image’s producer to publicly make a practically pointless act. Thus the question emerges: do the posters in Point de fuite [Vanishing Point]serve to publicly commemorate the missing creatures or do they truly serve a utilitarian objective, that of finding the animal? Mediating within this personal space takes on a ritual function; by extension, the artist’s gesture imbues the found images with the status of remains, icon and ritual object. Blais Métivier strives to reveal the poetic potential inherent in myriad social phenomena, in common social behaviour, embodied in these acts that project us into an observance of contemporary rituals.
VIEWS OF THE SHOW
- Maude Lefebvre "CABM à PFOAC221" The Belgo Report, April 15, 2013
- Charles-Antoine Blais Métivier's website