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Iran Do Espirito Santo @ the MMFA

Posted by Denis / May 18, 2007

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More Montreal Biennale 2007 action!

Brazilian artist Iran Do Espirito Santo’s in situ installation for the Montreal Biennale is titled Déja Vu, which is kind of appropriate since the artist has re-created a work executed in 2000 at the Americas Society of New York.

Now, let’s be clear on one thing: minimalism isn’t for everyone - but instead of walking in, scoffing and walking right back out, give it a chance, take a second, and remember that the work, as a whole, is supposed to simulate a picture gallery.

And it does a good job!

It isn’t a one picture at a time thing – the whole room is the piece. Now if I seem to be ‘dumbing things down’, it’s only because this kind of contemporary art/painting gets a bad rap among the general public as an incomprehensible waste of money and time… and this exhibition is a good example of why that rep isn’t always justified.

And that reaction I described, the scoffy-walkies? Witnessed twice in the relatively short time I was there.

Why? Because Do Espirito Santo’s (best name ever) has painted simple blocks of paint directly onto the walls in select shades of grey and white. Look at them quickly and it’s pretentious crap. Give it more than a second and they look disturbingly like framed paintings under glass with the light from non-existent windows reflected back on the glass. But there is no frame. No glass. No windows. It’s all just paint. Cool, no? And strangely reminiscent of Yves Gaucher's work a couple rooms over at the MMFA...

The introductory text tells us ambiguity plays a ‘key role’ in Do Espirito Santo’s work – he previously turned a Philippe Starck lamp into a minimalist sculpture with ‘…no function whatsoever.’ I did that to a lamp once… my mom wasn’t very happy about that, I tell ya!

While designer lighting unfit for Le Chainon is one thing, what we currently have on display is something else altogether – it too has little ‘function’, but its ambiguity’s just gotta be a heck of a lot more interesting.

On until June 17, on level S2 of the Jean-Noël-Desmarais Pavilion of the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, 1379, rue Sherbrooke Ouest, between Metros Peel and Guy – if they’re running!

Discussion

2 Comments

Sami / May 19, 2007 at 08:38 pm
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Ah.
Replica Louis Vuitton / November 27, 2013 at 08:30 pm
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