BRUCE MONTCOMBROUX - You are not here
Reception: Saturday, August 13, 2pm
August 13 – September 8
You are not here is a series of works that explores the possibilities of place or what it means to be somewhere, actual or otherwise, and then the complexity, perhaps impossibility of how this can be determined and acknowledged.
Some of the motivations for You are not here are drawn from Northrop Frye's observation on the problematic of Canadian identity as less of a question of “Who am I?” and more so that of “Where is here?” By questioning physical location, a sense of identity can be linked to geography and then subsequently to landscape. A contemporary view of place or location is then complicated by digital and virtual landscapes and the infinite variations of identity within these environments. In order to contend with these discarnate possibilities, You are not here considers algorithms as steps to approach the problematic; whether this is accomplishing a simple task, transiting locations, or the complex digital patterns that govern our every-day.
In keeping with the approach of steps, the works in You are not here are numbered and titled one through six, with the exception of "You are not here". The returning image of the lone caribou is a sort of memento mori: the reminder of mortality, or simply an acknowledgment of the hand-rendered nature of each work. The drawing "You are not here" is in some sense akin to a large plastic panel mall floor-map with a dot and caption that reads: You are here. The negative read in: “You are not here” questions location and is a reminder of the gap between producer and public, and even between the artist and the completed work. “You are not here” also plays with the title of Rene Daalder’s documentary, Here is Always Somewhere Else about Dutch artist Bas Jan Ader. The intent here is a further reminder of mortality as Daalder deals with the untimely passing of Ader, and if nothing else, the all too common end of relationships.
- Bruce Montcombroux, July 2016