By Johanne Sloan
VOX – Centre de l’image contemporaine, Montréal
18.11.2021 — 19.02.2022
The wit, energy, and experimental spirit of Sorel Cohen’s work is as inspiring
as ever in an exhibition at VOX, which brings together selected pieces from the 1970s to the 2000s. Cohen’s art practice flourished at the intersection of conceptual art, performance, and photography, with a recurring feminist angle – all of which resonates with the concerns of contemporary artists. The exhibition is part of VOX’s sustained commitment to researching and representing Montreal’s art-historical past, with an emphasis on important conceptual art episodes. The gallery must be commended for this important work, which, in an ideal world, would be also undertaken by the city’s museums.
The first room of the exhibition begins, unexpectedly, with soft sculptures: a handmade floppy fabric grid is suspended in the middle of the room. On an adjacent wall, the curators, Marie-Josée Jean and Claudine Roger, made the smart decision to enlarge the photo-montage that Cohen made as a proposal for Corridart, the 1976 outdoor exhibition torn down by the city’s mayor just before the Montreal Olympic Games opened. A bright-red version of the textile grid would have been hung along Sherbrooke Street. This material jumpstart to the exhibition stays with us as we move on to encounter Cohen’s better-known photographic work. In fact, textiles and fabric appear repeatedly in Cohen’s photographs, in which apparently ordinary pieces of cloth are endowed with movement and agency…
[ Complete issue, in print and digital version, available here: Ciel variable 120 – FIGURES OF AFFIRMATION ]
[ Complete article and more images, in digital version, available here: Sorel Cohen, Métaphores conceptuelles — Johanne Sloan ]