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Gisele Amantea

March 31 to April 30, 2017
Wednesday to Sunday, 12-5 pm
550, côte d'Abraham, Québec
Friday March 31st, 5:00 pm

About the Artist

About the Exhibition


Gisele Amantea's work is best known for its interdisciplinarity and innovative use of a variety of materials, formats, and processes to explore questions related to gender, class, nostalgia, history, memory, and the relationship between private and public space. The media in which she works have ranged from sculpture, drawing, wallpaper, and textiles to video and bookworks. Her practice is strongly grounded in research, in the sense that her work is often made in response to, provoked by, or generated by specific contexts or places and depends, to some extent, on research undertaken in these locations. This includes making onsite observations and visiting official repositories of history such as archives, museums, and libraries as well as unofficial and vernacular collections such as those found in junk stores, popular media, and private residences.

In 2010 a major exhibition of Amantea's work, Sweet Dreams, Hard Truths, took place at the Musée d'art de Joliette. More recent installations have considered notions of ornament and decoration in relation to architectural space. These include Democracy, a large-scale ephemeral site work for the Oh, Canada exhibition at MASS MoCA, North Adams, Massachusetts (2012); Remember the Ladies at Owens Art Gallery, Sackville, New Brunswick (2014), and Anteroom at Illingworth Kerr Gallery, Calgary (2015, also for Oh, Canada); and At the end of the visible spectrum at the Galerie des arts visuels, Université Laval, Québec City (2014). In 2012 she installed Untitled (Poodle), a work commissioned by The City of Vancouver Public Art Program and TransLink Corporation for Main Street in Vancouver.

Amantea's work is included in the permanent collections of the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, Halifax; the Art Gallery of Windsor, Windsor; the Glenbow Museum, Calgary; the Mackenzie Art Gallery, Regina; the Musée des beaux-arts de Montréal, Montréal; and numerous private collections. A native of Calgary, Gisele Amantea lives in Montréal where she taught in the Studio Arts program at Concordia University from 1995 to 2012.

Faux Sites

Public places appear as the theatres of improbable situations in which different realities meet - while Pussy Riot enters a souk in Aleppo, a Syrian migrant sleeps in the grand hall of a Montréal museum. Although the scenes are apparently incongruous, the photomontages echo the way different references to world events are constantly crossed and superimposed in the media. These sites of false encounters become the occasion to clear away questions about the veracity of information and put our own connection with the world to the test. Forcing the meeting of different critical and political situations, Amantea's "faux sites" underscore the inability of art to really act in the world and reflect our own inertia in the face of humanity's fate.

The artist would like to acknowledge the assistance and support of the following : Anil Ragubance, Anne Marie Holland (Rare Books and Special Collections, McGill University, Montreal), Dirk De Meyer (Department of Architecture and Urban Planning, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium), Peter White

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