Curatorial project featuring PATRICK BEAULIEU (Montréal), SIMONE JONES & LANCE WINN (Toronto / Wilmington, Delaware), THÉRÈSE MASTROIACOVO (Montréal), CHARLEMAGNE PALESTINE (New York), SAMUEL ROY-BOIS (Vancouver), HELEN TAK (Gothenburg, Sweden).
Presented at the Leonard & Bina Ellen Gallery, Concordia University, Montréal, January 24 – March 1, 2008 as part of the position of Visiting Curator of Contemporary Art, 2007-2008. This was the second part of a two-part exhibition project which began with Start and produced a catalogue Start Stop. which includes the curatorial essay On Off..
Samuel Roy-Bois, J’ai entendu un bruit, je me suis sauvé / I heard a noise and I ran (2003)
Simone Jones and Lance Winn, Knock (2006)
Patrick Beaulieu, Bruissement (2007)
Helen Tak, The Beginning (2004)
Charlemagne Palestine, Island Song and Island Monologue (1976)
STOP., the determined terminal, the waning towards cessation—that final gasp of air. STOP., followed by a period adding closure to the arresting word. STOP. examines strategies of resolution and termination in the form of a heterogeneous mix of works that thrust the viewer towards the wall delimiting the finite and the infinite. The installations, objects and videos featured in STOP. plot endpoints and stage endgames. The appearance of corpses as well as the discussion of entrapment and mortality is broached with an implicit and incongruous irreverence. Whether marking an ultimate end or a momentary hold, STOP. acts as the snapshot of an incessant rhythm. The exhibition abounds in repetitions and multiplicities, all summoning abundance over paucity.
Entering the gallery, the visitor is faced by a phrase, repeated and piled. Thérèse Mastroiacovo’s Untitled (John Baldessari, 1972) (2002 – ongoing) presents a pile of Baldessari’s famous declaration, I will not make any more boring art, with the qualifier erased and converted into a lump. Samuel Roy-Bois, with the installation J’ai entendu un bruit, je me suis sauvé / I heard a noise and I ran (2003), proposes a room within a room within the main gallery space. Every surface of the interior room is thoroughly holed, it poignantly punctuates a blurring between inside and outside. The conventional frontal framing of a video projection is subverted in Simone Jones and Lance Winn’s Knock (2006), for the piece invests the room on several surfaces and thereby acquires virtual volume through its actual movement. In Patrick Beaulieu’s Bruissement (2007), a delicate and solitary leaf moves subtly, almost imperceptibly. It exhibits faint signs of life amidst an overwhelming funereal background. The Beginning (2004), the stop-animation film by Helen Tak, further accentuates the nocturnal ambience. The largely depopulated film foregrounds the sonic as a protagonist with its penetrating and pulsating room tones. Concluding the trajectory of the exhibition is an entrapment, in the form of a pair of video works by Charlemagne Palestine. Island Song and Island Monologue (both from 1976) stage a performative angst-ridden voyage where the refrain is I gotta get out of here! Confined by the island, fog and his own psychological demons, there nevertheless is hope, however faint, that seems to emanate from the journey: I don’t know where to go… I guess I’ll just stand here.