Wanderlust at GNO
April 12 - May 19
Wanderlust: strong desire to travel, to wander, to explore the world. This quest for emancipation translates into an exploration of complex issues around identity, culture and territory. For this exhibition, Monnet envisions various topographies and iconographies through painting and video, which all overlap to produce a large network of colors and lines.
The exhibition gathers three paintings from the series Modern Tipi, imposing canvases whose geometrical patterns recall Piet Mondrian’s work. However, contrary to the Dutch artist, whose paintings embodied the artistic, musical and technological progress of the 20th century, Monnet’s work consists in vivid-colored lines and triangles who connect the artist’s urban identity and ancestral function of the tipi – traditional symbol of nomadic tribes.
Six laser cut wood panels from the June series, as well as the reproduction on the gallery’s wall of one of the patterns, contribute to the reflection on aboriginal art in the contemporary era. The warm and familiar feeling of the wood contrasts with the precise and burned finish of the engraved shapes, adding texture to a design that recalls urban cartography. Much like an ancestral tree or a topographical survey, the installation makes manifest our interconnectedness with people and the planet, despite the boundaries and bloodlines that too often keep us apart.
The short Gephyrophobia – fear of bridges – antagonizes with the previous universe, made of connexion and crossroads. The movie, filmed in Ottawa and Gatineau, is about movement, landscape and the tension that exists between two very distinct identities sharing the Outaouais River as their common border.
The resulting exhibition draws from various political and social histories, showing us how delineations, real or imagined, shape our cultures and communities.
Caroline Monnet is a multidisciplinary artist from the Outaouais region in Quebec. She studied Sociology and Communication at the University of Ottawa and the University of Granada before pursuing a career in visual arts and film. Her short films have screened at numerous festivals including the Toronto International Film Festival and Sundance Film Festival. She is currently developing her first feature film, selected for the Festival de Cannes Cinéfondation residency in Paris. Recent exhibitions include AXENÉO7 (Gatineau), Arsenal (NY) and the Walter Phillips Gallery (Banff). She is currently based in Montréal.