Chris Kennedy

“Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster: Potential Spaces.” November 28, 2012

Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster: Potential Spaces

French artist Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster has been querying our relationship to built environments since the early 1990s, studying parks, urban enclaves and modernist architecture to understand and critique their utopian promise, and articulating her discoveries by creating “chambres”— rooms reminiscent of film sets that create juxtapositions between time periods and atmospheres—which draw attention to the malfunctions of purpose-built environments.

This reinterpretation of our environments is also central to her video practice. Plages uses the surging crowds on Rio De Janeiro’s beaches to evoke the constantly shifting urban environment— especially organic when Rio’s city grid meets the natural rhythms of the pounding waves on the seashore. Taipei (Parc Central) takes us to the park where Tsai Ming-liang shot the conclusion of Vive L’amour, a sudden downpour reinforcing the romantic sadness of cinephilia. Noreturn examines Gonzalez-Foerster’s own 2008 Turbine Hall installation, TH.2058, which imagined the gigantic space fifty years in the future as a dystopian nightmare of steel bunk beds under the watchful gaze of Louise Bourgeois’ Spider, an H. R. Giger-like touch. In the video, she unleashes a group of school children on the installation and watch as they move from playfulness to a recognition of the installation’s menace, finally huddling under a Henry Moore sculpture. In De Novo she turns the camera on herself, divulging the complicated thought processes behind the works she made for her five different invitations to present at the Venice Biennale. The video shows her unafraid to question the contexts of her own work in relationship to an ongoing inquiry into the nature of exhibition, exposition and narrative mythologies.

Plages dir. Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster | France 2001 | 15 min. | video
Taipei (Parc Central) dir. Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster | France 2006 | 10 min. | video
De Novo dir. Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster | France 2009 | 20 min. | video
Noreturn dir. Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster | France 2009 | 20 min. | video

Approx. total running time: 65 min.

Co-presented with
Supported by the Consulat Général de France à Toronto.

Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster in person.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012 7:00 pm