Mathieu Gagnon - Monuments d'abandon

Mathieu Gagnon, Monuments d'abandon

September 6 to October 5, 2013, Galerie Youn presents the exhibit Monuments d’abandon, a series of recent drawings by Mathieu Gagnon. Having shown the paintings forming Panthéon in the winter of 2013, he now deploys his exploration of a fantasy museum in ruins by borrowing further from brutalist modern architecture. In these outdated spaces where everything seems stagnant, there remain a few monuments and works erected to science in an indistinct era.

Realistic enough to excite spatial imagination, the images of hallways and atriums suggest the continuation of a journey through empty platforms, passing through an empty cenotaph marked with an ancient alchemical quotation to end at a world effigy spread out into a monumental spiral. Inspired by a found diagram, this helicoid monument is deployed in space through a thought-out presentation device, like this mezzanine from which we could observe it from another angle.

The notion of exploration in this work is given shape by first creating the buildings using modeling software, then by moving through them to seize photographic perspectives and reveal their volumes through drawings. The visual result is assuredly reminiscent of photographs of ruins, an informal visual trend now widely broadcast online. In this context, the artist questions the general limits of creativity and attempts to push them back by combining syncretistically encyclopaedic and visual references never otherwise united. Behind the images evolves a game aimed at enchanting these “mental” locales through a fascination for light, a sense of wonder for science and its cults coupled with a mise-en-abyme of time, the world and its representations.

Originally from around Rimouski, Mathieu Gagnon works in Montreal and has a degree in visual and media arts from UQAM. He is also a photographer with an interest for architecture and its heritage. His works have been shown at Usine C in the winter of 2013, in group exhibits, published by l’Hexagone, and permanently installed at Montreal’s General Hospital.