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CLARA COUSINEAU. ( " ) Hanging Shells ( " )

 

"These small, hovering semicircles, doubled and curved, suggest not an ordered world, but its opposite: uncertainty, the absence of an axis," surmises journalist and writer Megan Garber.
 
In this respect, the inverted commas of irony, also referred to as scare quotes, are revealing of the moment that spawned them. They form the punctuation of the post-truth age, or rather the age of “post-truth”.
 
While the ordinary inverted comma conforms to the reported words, the ironic inverted commas dissociate themselves from them, sometimes even going so far as to completely reverse an intention and evoke a contrary truth. This punctuation offers a space for fluid interpretation of the words.
 
Like a pair of inverted commas, the exhibition ( “ ) Hanging  Shells ( " ) with recent sculptures and prints by Canadian artist Clara Cousineau, uses the simulacrum strategy to redefine the links between writing and objects.
 
The works presented in this exhibition are assembled in a discourse in which the objects themselves serve as a linguistic vehicle. Like a typographer, the artist uses a repertoire of character-objects in a variety of media and techniques, in an approach that is halfway between semiotics and aesthetics.
 
Clara Cousineau's multidisciplinary work explores the domestic environment and the symbolic charge of the familiar objects that compose it. By blurring the traces of previous use through strategies of camouflage, diversion, accumulation and repetition, she invests her creations with an aesthetic function and confers on them a strangeness that accentuates their singularity.
 
Influenced by Dadaist and (post)conceptual art, her work on language carried by symbols and at the same time bearing symbols, sometimes reminds us of Marcel Broodthaers’ oeuvre.
 
Clara Cousineau, born in Quebec in 1994, lives and works in Montreal. She holds a BFA from Concordia University, Montreal and won the national prize in the BMO 1st Art! competition in 2018.
 
Her work has been presented in several galleries and art centers in Quebec, Montreal and Toronto. It is part of the Claridge Collection as well as several private collections, and is now being shown for the first time in Europe.

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