Québec City artist Karen Pick will transform the gallery space into a series of rooms, which correspond to typical notions of domestic space. The “apartment” contains household items which are specially created, altered, depicted and juxtaposed with each other to construct a kind of domestic fantasy… A water-filled bathtub with words; a burning boat aground on gravel in the living-room; video-installation in the kitchen; nails emerging from the linoleum flooring in a narrow passage. They are everyday objects which are arranged to display a private taxonomy, and which call into play corporal relationships. Ex-Voto Anathème originally consisted of a six-room apartment, including the basement, the bathroom and a rear courtyard, “overlaid” as it were, with a second skin, as through events that could take place in an apartment were “encoded” and made to coincide with a structure already apparent and familiar. The apartment acted as a symbol of daily life and as such was a pertinent scene for relating events we experience in life. But the site of the installation was also compared with a boat or vessel: a vehicle and container permitting passage. As such, the apartment was a metaphor for our bodies and our connected inner and outer lives. The boat image is conserved in the current installation, and acts in the same way, that is as a metaphor for ourselves, and for our passage through life. Other elements play an important part in the installation as well. Transformed furniture, “natural” materials, including rocks, fire, water, moss, photography and corollary mediums, such as video, are used or referred to for their specific properties as well as for their symbolic and analogical potential. Karen Pick explains that Ex-Voto Anathème endeavours to relate notions of the mystery of life, it’s strangeness and it’s gravity. Two poles of experience are related: those which “succeed” and those which do not. But the two poles are not opposed; they form a part of a greater whole. By means of an alternate mode of perception and a unique form of sensory acuity, Ex-Voto Anathème is about the “other side of life,” about things we don’t habitually see but which represent events or states which accompany see but which represent events or states which accompany us throughout, or which constitute, our daily lives. The current installation is situated inside and outside 101’s office space, using existing architecture and one or two “found” elements. The rooms of the former office are more appropriate than an art gallery space for the perceptual investigation and domestic mediations of Ex-Voto Anathème.
Saturday, December 1, 1990 to Monday, December 23, 1991