McBride contemporain is delighted to announce Incomplete Open, a two-person exhibition featuring the Montreal-based artists Kelly Jazvac and Mathieu Lacroix. These two artists share a strong, committed engagement to thinking about and reacting to the reality of how our artistic and cultural envelope exists ambiguously within economic, industrial and architectural, political and media environments. They are keenly aware that while cultural production and attentive personal engagement can spotlight, provide intelligent critique, and potentially influence those large and powerful realms, they are likewise in turn acted upon and influenced by them. Jazvac and Lacroix have devised complex strategies to investigate and illuminate these pervasive and systemic forces through visual, spatial and material means. This exhibition is a focused manifestation of that ongoing process of confrontation, proposing—with a certain ironic humour and multivalent delivery—a set of realized image and object-based countermoves, in the face of our ever-present 21st century dilemmas.
Incomplete Open features a new installation by Jazvac, where she continues to explore an abiding interest in embodied experience of the scale and materiality of advertising billboards. Tailored to the gallery floor space, viewers are invited to pass across the backside of a material usually seen at great distances and only understood as an image, rather than a thing. The snippets of billboard imagery left visible in this new installation were selected because of visual resonances they have with elements in Lacroix's suite of drawings in the exhibition. The show also features new sculptures that the artist has been developing for the past five years, moving slowly due to the material recuperation processes involved in her rigorous, environmentally-conscious working method. Responding to the destructive potential of manufactured desirability, she offers both an environment and an object-based counter narrative of arrestingly persuasive force.
Mathieu Lacroix’s presentation is a series of aesthetically unique, sensitively imagined drawings. Like Jazvac, he employs both skillful technical means juxtaposed with more de-skilled seeming passages, arising in the idea and execution of the “sketch”. Lacroix elevates the concept of the sketch, while employing the simple directness and energy of spontaneous drawing as a conceptual strategy, as well as a formal resource. He represents architectural, social, and psychical spaces as dimensionally overlapping, and compresses representations that are both problematized and celebratory, of societal, historical, and conceptual data into one discrete whole. He produces a result that often tends to be quite funny as well as serious, focused while remaining “informal”, and both formally beautiful yet archly distanced from the idea that aesthetic pleasure can in itself be asked to solve all of our problems.