This 3 minute video shows the fabrication steps of a Keeper and the sculptures accompanied by a test version of the video projection in the studio at the KOAC in May 2021.
In November 2020, I embarked in the creation of an installation art project titled The Keepers during my artist residency at the KO Arts Centre. This residency will ended in late June 2021. You can follow the evolution of the work on my instagram and facebook.
The Keepers is an installation that uses the forest as a visual metaphor to explore concepts of self and community. It is made of recycled cardboard sculptures accompanied by a video projection. It offers visitors a three-dimensional environment through which they can walk, as if in a forest.
The forest, which appears to be composed of autonomous entities – the trees or the self – is in fact an interdependent community. This community shares food and information including carbon dioxide, water, defence signals and hormones. Each member contributes to its community in an essential way and is dependent upon the others. This observation is the basis for my reflection about our own sense of individual and collective identity.
The sculptures are reminiscent of trees both in their size and vertical curvature. The video projection introduces humans in that environment. They pass through the forest without leaving a trace – highlighting the ephemeral nature of our existence and echoing the passing of the sunlight through the forest canopy. The image projected is composed of a multitude of human bodies that move collectively in a supple wave reminiscent of the curves of the sculptures. Each body represents an individual, the self, and the wave they form represents a community. The space occupied by each body is determined by that of its neighbours, a concept that illustrates the place of the individual in a community, the role he or she plays within it, and the limit of his or her actual autonomy.
In this exhibition, I further explore the relationship between the concepts of community and self. The importance of asking questions about how the human species approaches individual and collective identity seems essential to me in this challenging time, a time when extreme individualism comes at a disproportionate cost to communities.
The Keepers have been shown at the CAVA Gallery in Edmonton in July and August 2021 and at the Western GM Drumheller Gallery in January 2022.
In June 2021, we had a soft unveiling of the project with a small crowd due to covid restrictions. Here is the video of the event.