IGNITION is an annual exhibition that features new work by students currently enrolled in the Studio Arts or Humanities graduate programs at Concordia University. It provides an up and coming generation of artists with a unique opportunity to present ambitious, interdisciplinary works in the professional context of a gallery with a national and international profile. Students and the gallery team work together to produce an exhibition that places an emphasis on critical, innovative and experimental work engaging in the exploration and consideration of diverse media and practices. IGNITION is of interest to all students and faculty, the art community, and the general public.
April 19 – June 3rd, 2023
Vinicius de Aguiar Sanchez, Rixt de Boer, Mylène Boisvert, Camille Charbonneau, Jonathan Inksetter, RythÂ Kesselring, Po B. K. Lomami, Alli Melanson, Pablo Pérez Díaz, Paras Vijan
Projects selected by Eli Kerr, curator, writer and director of Parc Offsite and Michèle Thériault, director LBEAG
Opening: Wednesday April 19th, 2023
Meet the artists from 4 to 5:30 PM followed by the opening
Alli Melanson’s I [wish to] Know Everything, activates the gallery vitrine through a time-based juxtaposition of two photographs. A conceptually driven diptych, Melanson’s proposition interchanges a single image based on gallery hours. The photographs are of the facing storefront windows of a church and a sex shop, where their signage appears in each other’s reflection. Melanson creates a third overlapping of these linguistic images, situating the viewer at the liminal space within the institution, that is between the gallery and university lobby.
Po B. K. Lomami’s work Force and Form III and IV also occurs between institutional spaces. The multimedia installation displays a performance where the artist bends their body to the architecture of the Canadian Armed Forces building and to the SPVM precinct near the gallery. Passerbys become a part of the performance’s recording, just as the gaze of the idle viewer implicates them in the work when they appear on its monitors.
A politics of idle bodies are echoed in Pablo Pérez Díaz’s portrait-documentary project, Igual pero diferente (Same but Different), which considers the conditions for a generation of young Spanish men. Pérez Díaz describes an ‘era of the self’ in relation to his subjects who struggle for individuation amidst larger homogenizing forces, contending with precarity, underemployment and boredom in the context of recurring global financial and social crises. Auto-portraiture is at the centre of Jonathan Inksetter’s I’ve been meaning to tell you and The key to remembering is forgetting who you are, which grapple with the relationship between traumatic brain injury, personality change, identity loss in relation to artistic practice, memory and personal history.
Vinicius De Aguiar Sanchez’s Mnemonics of Creations brings atemporal worlds together through his practice that includes animation and printmaking. Drawing from pre-Columbian mythology, the artist imagines a post-pandemic future, sequential narrative form allows the viewer to take in this possible world. Camille Charbonneau also responds to institutions and belief systems, specifically the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints position towards LGBTQ+ people and the artist’s own religious identity. Working with their father, the artist has created “The Family: A Proclamation to the World” Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (LDS) document, using the statement to address the church’s convention of the family through weaving structure anew.
Approaches that hybridize textiles and photography emerge as a line of thinking shared across the cohort. RhytÂ Kesselring’s Web of Connections consists of documentation of a fibre installation in a forest. It is accompanied by a sound piece using electromyography to read electrical signals which are turned into audio textures allowing for ecosophic listening. Conversely, Mylène Boisvert’s Your memory is my breath departs from a family photograph and leads to a woven textile work. In the artist’s words, these works “captures the emotional correspondence of listening to a happy memory told by my mother.”
Toys on the Rise by Rixt de Boer departs from quotidian acts of walking and sorting photographs of graffiti that she later adds embroidery to. Paras Vijan’s video Looking at photographs is both performance and documentation of the artist working. His photographs Honestly and Story-teller demonstrate a dialogical function in his work, and practice, which is reflexive of the photographic act.
– Eli Kerr
Eli Kerr is based in Montreal, Canada. Establishing and operating various art spaces and contexts for exhibition-making has been central to his practice since 2014. He has previously completed curatorial residencies at International Studio and Curatorial Program (New York, USA, 2017) Rupert (Vilnius, Lithuania, 2018) and at Fogo Island Arts (Newfoundland, Canada, 2019), which he was awarded by the Hyntashyn Foundation as part of their Fogo Island Arts Young Curator Residency. Kerr received a Master’s degree in Visual Studies from the University of Toronto in 2021 and received his BFA from Concordia in 2015. In the summer of 2020, he opened Parc Offsite, a 18m2 exhibition space on Avenue du Parc in Montreal that focuses on the potential of small-scale exhibition-making and intimate in-person encounters with art. He is currently a curator in residence at HKS Hordaland Kunstsenter in Bergen, Norway.