Par Yannick Marcoux
Looking back upon our origins, it was a long time ago – a very long time, ten thousand years in fact – that the last ice age ended on Earth. What remains of that epoch seems to fascinate Alain Lefort, who, after making his series Eidolôn on drifting icebergs, has slipped back into his parka and returned to the lily-white lands of winter for a new series.
Presented for the first time at the Maison de la culture du Plateau-Mont-Royal, the exhibition Résonance des silences – a title evoking collisions of ice with roiling waters and their dull echo in the tundra plains – creates a discursive loop of eight works. The works follow three approaches: landscape, video, and photomontage or, more precisely, the deconstruction of a landscape photographed from a number of angles.
This new series, an invitation to contemplate stunningly beautiful landscapes, is made of a number of ruptures that create sudden distancings, breaking the spell that it casts. Lefort is seeking to rouse our awareness of the artworks and, incidentally, to challenge our presence in the world. As a reflection on origins – both those of the image itself and the broader ones of our habitat – the exhibition proceeds on a theme that runs through each piece: water. So, let’s dive in.
Monolithe 1 and Lac-Saint-Louis. The first work is a black-and-white silver print of one of the monoliths that Archipel-de-Mingan is famous for. A natural phenomenon, the immense monolith has a human morphology and is an artwork in itself, posed on its limestone base and sculpted by the erosion, both mechanical and chemical, of sea water.
The depth of the projections and the rounded shapes highlight the transformations in the limestone block. Here, it is through the work of the water that Lefort stages himself, as these transformations create a suggestive force, the representation of something else. In short, an artwork. Even in black and white, Lefort flies his colours: it is important to him to leave a trace of the creative gesture.
See the magazine for the complete article and more images: Ciel variable 116 – LANDSCAPES AS MIRRORS