Commissaire Aseman Sabet
Galerie Division, Montréal.
March 8 to April 17, 2018
Art history is founded on an ensemble of categorizations which, despite their interdisciplinary and theoretical flexibility, dictate meaning. At the same time, the separation between fine arts and artisanal crafts attests to a cultural heritage which, to various degrees, affects the perception of objects and determines their hierarchical ranking. Louis Bouvier’s work proposes a radical deconstruction of these logics of classification, a way to de-systematize knowledge by regrouping elements as varied as industrial architecture, antique sculpture and domestic furniture. The references to popular culture and natural history accentuate the blurring of categories and highlight the intrinsically diverse potential of aesthetic experience.
Through these anachronistic montages, Bouvier also reflects on the status of the image. More specifically, the drawings present themselves as accurate copies of photographs the artist appropriates and combines. The documentary sources are diverse, drawn from design magazines or maritime encyclopaedias, statuary histories or the architectural catalogues of Bernd and Hilla Becher. The photographic references allow one to observe the way objects and artworks have been fixed in time. The formal eclecticism that characterizes the artist’s practice also appears in his ceramics and his brightly coloured sculptures deployed throughout the space: they encourage a more malleable reappropriation of the historical and artefactual referents.