Landscapes Events Reproducted

Seripop (Chloe Lum & Yannick Desranleau)


Curated by Christof Migone

Presented at the Blackwood Gallery

January 18 – March 4, 2012

Yannick Desranleau and Chloe Lum have worked together since 2000 and started the Seripop project in 2002. 

More info on their site: here.

Speech is an edifice built out of blocks of space. Words do not exist; there are only movements in space and their parts—points and areas.
– Velimir Khlebnikov

The power of time is always accompanied by the event which destroys it.
– Georges Didi-Huberman


In Seripop’s first major solo exhibition the duo of Yannick Desranleau and Chloe Lum shape posters into immersive ephemeral spaces;

transforms the galleries into ur-urban landscapes—Kurt Schwitters’ Ursonate rendered into form, nods also to his Merzbau;

layers proto-messages of agrammatical gibberish—the word reproducted doesn’t exist, but is close enough to recognizable to cause confusion, this opens the door to the other instances of written glossolalia throughout the work;

manifests a distaste for Le Corbusier’s sterile modernism—Le Corbusier is both the villain and the reference;

plays with possibilities until monomania sets in—once the idea has been tested and tweaked, sticks the repro machine on repeat and see what the abundance produces;

covers the white cube and the black box with repetitive patterns of noise print—minimalism in the shape of maximalism;

traces the viewers’ erosive steps—put art on the floor and force the viewer to trample the commodity and thereby ruin it;

sculpts with soft materials—the fragility of paper suggests a playful craft-based skill rather than one predicated on a mastery indexed by perennial Classicism;

inks flows and fluxes—committing ink to paper is not as stable as the Law would profess, Seripop refuses to sign;

structures an erratic conversation—dialogue, yes; conclusion, no;

reconstructs constructivism with a punk ethos; references the streets of a dystopian Montreal—post-Drapeau, post-Expo ’67, post-Referenda, post-post;

devises DIY architecture as a place where the local is everywhere—be simultaneously specific and general;

composes palimpsestic texts to read time into space; posters in three dimensions;

maps askew—a cartographer’s nightmare; savors pleonastic tendencies—verbose run rampant;

mines the sinuous—ouroboros curves; pupullates forms;

screens the cinematic into stilled installations; occupies every inch of space like space gluttons; concretes amorphous abstraction;

relishes in operose excess;

whelms over and over—overoverwhelm;

differentiates between background and foreground no longer—flat depth;

festers the synaptic firings until they splatter the walls floors and ceilings—out of brain storm;

disturbs and deranges 2d into 3d;

synchronizes symmetries while causing head tilts—using visual dissonance in order to break expectations; and

injects structure with improvisatory tears and rips—plan to unplan.


We collaborate to create immersive screenprinted paper installations. Our work is based on our previous research on posters as topographical markers and their relation with their physical and human environment. We try to playfully relate to these notions through a formal game with the poster where the concepts of space, human intervention within the urban milieu, and material durability are put back in question.

Through color, we suggest new volumes or dramatize existing depths; by using paper, we create impressions of massiveness through the paradoxical use of a delicate material; by using the typographic elements introduced by the poster, we give or substract meaning to the whole installation. 

The works we create are not limited to a formal exploration within the medium. They carry multiple streams of thought that are simultaneously exposed within the work at different degrees of readability for the viewer. This amalgamation of ideas is inevitable because of the collaborative work situation we are in. In fact, we usually leave these ideas uncensored, and even highlight them through a strongly graphic rendering, a heritage from our design antecedents. Therefore we let literary quotes, reflexions about the aesthetics of failure, satyrical introspections, municipal politics and iconic art giants rub elbows with each other, while supporting freely the main subject that is interpreted in the work. 

Our installation work is the result of an eight years-long field research in graphic design through postermaking. The observations we made of this poster work within the city environment made us requalify it as a series of public interventions rather than static objects. This thought process was the genesis of our installation work and justifies our involvement with the poster as an environmental medium.

The work we are presenting in this exhibition summarizes many aspects of our current research. The title of the show itself is meant as an ellipsis underlining those strains of thought. Each of those three words points to themes that either initiated the research conducting to the form the pieces took, or related to subjective observations that were made once each piece had taken shape.

In “Landscapes” we find a reference to the horizontal arrangement of the elements of the three immersive pieces (“Dis-donc à la grosse de se tasser”, “More Time Than Space” and “What Should Have Been And What Would Not”), in the fashion of three-dimensional tableaux that suggest flatness despite their depth, quoting in a quasi abstract way the human environment and its classical representation in state of stasis.

Also, in “Landscapes” we intended to illustrate semantic elements within the works that are not linked to pure formal/compositional play.

For instance, in “Chandigarh Is One” we take the reference to Le Corbusier’s intent within his architectural work and to the mid 20th century modernist urban planning (with a quick jab at our situation within Mississauga), and in “Dis-donc à la grosse de se tasser” we use a sentence from Herman Melville’s “Moby Dick” as a metaphor of conquest of spatial entities of all forms by man. Serving as a diametrical opposite to “Landscapes”, “Events” refers to instances of movement within the works themselves, either materialized by logical/illogical linkings displayed according to the traditional western reading direction, the use of onomatopeias as objects mirroring those linkings in a textual way, or the perceptual games found in immersive colorfields. These are events of stasis that trump stasis itself, or reveal movement albeit being alike to the pace of a snail: the paper that forms the elements of the installations gets either crushed onto itself, wiped or torn off under the feet of the visitors at an infinitesimal speed.

“Reproducted” is not an english word, and thus brings the textual staccato that renders the title as an opened sentence suggesting comic relief and the non-finite within our work. Its awkwardness is meant to suggest the capacity of adaptation brought by the modularity of the medium we use that voids any application of definition of specificity to the spaces the works co-habit—and therefore plasticises part of the way the work is read by the viewer.