VISUAL ARTS component : Presentation

Tout le temps / Every Time
Peggy Gale

Tout le temps/Every Time is an exhibition of hybrids and hedged bets. A series of ineffable and mysterious "presents" and pasts. There is every time, all the time, time over and over, time being all there is. As Francis Alÿs has put it, "Time is a trick of the mind." We have all the time in the world.

Time is on everyone's mind, for we are perpetually in a hurry. This exhibition is a glance towards artists sliding alongside Time. There are no clocks or pendulums here, no counters in plain terms. But we have indicators, borders, a division between past and future. There are points of junction or transition, detours and delays, crossings, even labyrinths to lead us inwards and astray. Tout le temps/Every Time considers slippage and blocks, suspended time, truncated progress and misdirected order. It is also a celebration.

It is no surprise that much of the work is literally time-based, taking the form of film, video, kinetic pieces, photography and installation. More unexpected perhaps is the virtual disappearance of painting in this exhibition, and the remarkable strength of drawing and sculpture. In the end though, almost all are installations of sorts. And none is pure and simple.

Most of the works in Every Time are very new, some created particularly for the site and situation. Ayse Erkmen, Philip Napier, Robert Houle and the Klat group, are all producing unique projects for Montreal. Others are shaping their works for the Palais du Commerce, most notably Yoshihiro Suda and Gaylen Gerber, as a continuation of their recent production.

Included here are sculptures by Yoshihiro Suda and Andreas Slominski. Suda presents exquisite flowers painstakingly carved, so accurate that they can hardly be distinguished from living blossoms. At the opposite extreme, Andreas Slominski fashions sculptures inspired by traps of every size, even to making windmills as traps for the air itself.

Jean-Pierre Gauthier's witty construction offer an extravaganza of bubbling brooms, whirling mops, banging utensils and tools. Les Anges gardiens of Diane Landry marshalls a bank of umbrellas in a lyrical kinetic drill, while Barbara Steinman mounts a delicate Chandelier in raw steel chain. Both dark matter and sparkling light are indicated here, an insistence on the dangerous beauty of opposites. Several artists present texts: Christian Marclay, Germaine Koh, Geneviève Cadieux, Ana Torfs. Memory is at work, on the walls, in newspaper, in the air. A memorial against forgetting.Other times.

Sound is the focus for Rodney Graham, in Parsifal (1882-38, 969, 364, 735) a form of work-in-progress captured on CD in the catalogue and presented in live performance during Every Time/tout le temps.

In film and video are new works by Geneviève Cadieux, Marijke van Warmerdam, Euan Macdonald, Stan Denniston, Christian Marclay, Tacita Dean, Francis Alÿs, Teresa Hubbard + Alexander Birchler. While the list seems ample there is remarkable variety: every variant of stillness, aggression, contemplation, reference. Nature and culture: a time for new conceptions.

More ephemeral is Bertrand Lamarche's Tore, a swirling galaxy of reflected light confected with the most modest of means. Place des peaux by Michael Snow, conjures a dazzling interplay of coloured shadows in a field of coloured gels. These are times of exploration and discovery: open time.

More physically substantial is the selection of Eric Cameron's Thick Paintings installed on plinths. Produced over periods of up to twenty years, more than half remain works in progress, time encapsulated. Elsewhere, Massimo Guerrera combines sculpture, furniture and "lived space" in a complex installation that continues to develop. The large-scale photographic works of Nicolas Baier and AA Bronson, play meditations on living and death, recollection and memorial, active proof of the continuing importance of time-specific media from an earlier century.

Daniel Roth investigates imagined landscapes constructed in real environments through wall drawings and sculptures. Further drawings have been mounted by Francis Alÿs, Euan Macdonald, Gu Xiong and Edward Pien. Gaylen Gerber articulates the space as a whole with his Backdrop paintings that acts as both walls and works, intentionally hybrid, embracing and accentuating the architecture of the site. For Gerber, time is palpable, a juxtaposition of continuity and difference.

Time is all we have.

Peggy Gale
June 1rst, 2000



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