Canada : Diane Landry


"Diane Landry is a musician fashioning counterpoints of matter and time. She fine-tunes fugues of forms and meanings with her own canons, her own mirrors and her own inversions, and flings them in the face of her society/world. From counterpoint to needlepoint, she slices through misery with a laser beam and, with a constellation of algorithms in a software sky hidden in the basement, she criticizes, unravels our rough-hewn, close-knit Memory. She manufactures universes with many meanings that may perhaps escape us, like humility safeguarding pride, a wall of hair beyond which our destiny forever flaunts itself." (Fabrice Montal, "Les délicates dialectiques d'une installation à pédales", Bulletin. La Chambre blanche, n° 23, [1998], p. 31)


For some time now I have been trying to create an action that would disturb the order of everyday things. I want to provoke a different perception of the familiar. I do not hide the origin of the objects I use. I give them new meaning by subverting their original function and, sometimes, by distorting their scale. Often my creations have something to say about us and about our geography. I subvert the object to stimulate memory, hoping that after this encounter, people will see the world differently.

As well, I have been endeavouring to design a work that blends the temporality of performance with the spatiality of installation. I have tried to create things that are a little of one and a little of the other. Nowadays I give these works a newly-coined name, "oeuvres mouvelles," which I define as follows:

Oeuvre mouvelle: A material work that one must observe over a certain period of time before it can be apprehended in its entirety. Just as performance art must be seen in its temporal dimension, and a simple snapshot can illustrate only a fraction of the whole work, an oeuvre mouvelle exists in renewed time, because by its nature it imposes a space-time. The oeuvre mouvelle often appeals to more than one sense at a time. It can, for example, generate movements, sounds, reflections and/or odours - these are not additions to the work; they are an integral part of it.

My current project touches on the double meaning of the French word temps. There is temps in the sense of "time" - past, present and future, and its inexorability. There is also temps in the sense of "weather," with its remarkable unpredictability. I want to get people out of the kitchen, away from the routine of angel umbrellas. I want to cast our comforting and cocooning objects into the maelstrom of reported facts. These objects are hybrids of sound and light, related at once to sculpture, musical instrument making, and electronic tinkering. Imagine a meadow sown with umbrellas that blink on and off, sing and fall silent, burgeon and die in an intermittent yet orchestrated sequence. This "Flying School" recounts a vision of le temps qu'il fait (the weather) as well as of the ingenious efforts we expend on finding ways to forget le temps qui passe (time passing).


Diane Landry



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