This booklet accompanied the exhibition by artist Pascal Grandmaison at the Contemporary Art Gallery from November 21, 2003 to January 4, 2004. The publication contains an essay by Reid Shier.
Pascal Grandmaison is a Montréal artist whose video projections and photographs combine interests in conceptualism with commercial trends in rock video and advertising. The video Solo (2003) features slow panning, tight close-ups on musicians playing instruments. The fluid pace is at odds with the frenetic and hyperkinetic tradition built by promotional mediums like MTV and allows for a stripped down, anti-heroic view. Manner (2003) is a suite of large scale photographs depicting drum skins, their beaten surfaces showing evidence of the violence of their use. A selection of these photographs was featured alongside Running (2003), a DVD video projection showing a person’s leg and foot upside down. The running shoe on the foot moves to a slow, rhythmic beat, jumping imperceptibly from the pressure of the blood pumping through the leg. With these two works, Grandmaison’s articulation of physical activity takes the form of nuanced documents of its effects and aftermath.
Pascal Grandmaison combines interests in conceptualism with commercial trends in rock video and advertising. His recent works use large scale photography and video installation as mediums and often feature series of related images. A sense of process and the suggestion of a slow elapse of time runs through the artist’s works, and their meticulous attention to detail supports a strong, contemplative mood.
Running (2003) and Manner (2003), the works that were on display at the Contemporary Art Gallery, transcribe the effects of durational activity. In Manner, drum skins exhibit the abuse of hours of service, while the video Running shows a foot, its rhythmic motion imperceptibly hinting at past activity. Here, Grandmaison’s articulation of physical activity takes the form of nuanced documents of its aftermath. The artist often employs a dialogue with cinematic production. The extreme size of his photographs monumentalizes everyday subjects, while his videos utilize close-up framing and languid pacing to cut against the hyper-kinetic traditions employed by contemporary media.
Was the person whose foot we see in Running just ‘running,’ so that the blood pumping through their leg, and making the trainer beat, a sign of it? While an answer to this question might be possible, it may be more accurate to approach the video, and Grandmaison’s other works, as documents of the time and space often edited out of much contemporary representation.MORE