Vide et Vertige – James D. Campbell

[Fall 2017]

Jocelyne Alloucherie, Ivan Binet, and Mathieu Cardin
Vide et vertige
1700 La Poste, Montreal
March 24–June 18, 2017

By James D. Campbell

This exhibition of works by Jocelyne Alloucherie, Ivan Binet, and Mathieu Cardin was brilliantly dovetailed in terms of theme – the constructive notion of “vertigo” and the viewer’s experience in space, with an understanding of void as presence rather than absence – and installed with consummate finesse in mortise-and-tenon fashion from floor to floor in all the gallery spaces. The works demonstrated great visual clarity and successfully interrogated our commonplace assumptions about the bodies we live in and the spaces we inhabit. The experience of vertigo has been philosophically understood in terms of a loss of balance between lived and objective space. Beyond aesthetic canons, the exhibited works communicated directly with viewers’ bodily experience and anxiety sensitivity, as well as their imagination. In this sense, the “vertiginous” experience of the world that all of these works offered was deep, sustained, and complex.

Let us begin on the mezzanine, where Jocelyne Alloucherie catapulted her viewers into a deep-freeze with her photographs and related sculptural elements pertaining to icebergs. Alloucherie is a gifted installation artist as well as a photographer with a long and salutary career. In an earlier exhibition, Dédale, at the Darling Foundry, she nimbly stepped inside the ambit of Montreal’s nightside using photography, installation, and video to conjure up a seductive atmospheric from the city’s network of alleyways. Here, she moves far from the experience of urban vertigo – the inner city – to the domain of icebergs – the interior of nature – with equal assurance…

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