IN REFERENCE TO, 2020
The window of articule, Montreal, will be used to present a series of sculptures and drawings. I have been using empty retail spaces for “exhibitions” over the last years, and have been drawn to their immediacy and democratic nature – they belong to everyone and no one. I am interested in forms of display, how value is created and determined, and how culture is utilized as a commodity. Historically, store windows and museums share a mutual enactment of instilling behavioural norms. They also enforced modes of surveillance and self-regulation through multi-leveled, open spaces filled with glass vitrines that carried objects back from the colonies. I am questioning how my own culture has been commodified and represented. The forms I am presenting oscillate between religious objects, sex toys, or drawing tools. These forms belong to an ongoing body of work in which I am trying to reclaim and decolonize histories of drawing and form-making. My forms can be read as referring to the Hindu god, Shiva, as a lingam or an abstraction, which was deemed a phallus during colonialism. However, I find myself in a bind during a process of a decolonial gesture that risks pushing these forms into the non-secular – a move that is contentious given the current rise of Hindu nationalism in India. These forms also refer to bollards, once used to moor boats to other people’s shores. Now used as street architecture, bollards create car-free zones and have more recently been used as anti-terrorist devices.
In Reference To, 2020
Installation in the window of articule, Montreal
June 29-August 6, 2020
Photographs by Guy L'Heureux