January 9 – February 1, 2020
Circuit Gallery @ Prefix ICA
401 Richmond Street West, Suite 124
Toronto, ON, M5V 3A8
Opening Reception: Friday, January 10, 6-9 p.m.
Gallery Hours: Tuesday – Saturday, 12-5 p.m.
Circuit Gallery is pleased to present Time Sensitive, a solo exhibition by Canadian artist Andréanne Michon. This exhibition, her first in Toronto, incorporates the artist’s recent work across a range of media including photography, printmaking, sculpture, video, and sound.
But Time Sensitive is much more than a collection of new and diverse pieces. It is an eloquently unified whole. Carefully considering all aspects of her installation Michon transgresses expectations of genre, medium, and display to create something poetically new.
Michon’s work has always been environmentally conscious and curious, interested in Nature and the various natural and anthropogenic forces at play in its continual transformation, such as seasonal and climatic changes, fire, and drought. She has previously taken the action of these forces as subject, documenting cycles of growth, destruction and regeneration, in a predominantly lens-based practice.
Her latest work maintains this interest in the subject of transformation, drawing our attention to the planet itself and to the geological and tectonic processes and timescales involved in its formation. But here she also asks us to consider, as analogous, art making at the level of materials and processes interacting across significantly shorter time periods.
While photography remains at the core of Michon’s practice it now also functions as both material and metaphor. For example, in the aptly titled photographic series Index, Michon’s frame filling images of the earth’s strata, seen through various cross-sections of solid bedrock, function, in a sense, as the exhibition’s ground or starting place, a point of reference from which the formal experiments and geological interpretations in Time Sensitive take flight.
Michon has become an alchemist, transforming her materials and sources through carving, burning, tracing, editing, and shaping. She layers and blends techniques and processes to make hybridized new works: photographic materials (paper and film) assume three-dimensional form, pyrographic embossings become photographs.
Experiencing the exhibit, we accumulate layers of insight and understanding which act on each other much like photochemical or geological processes, melding the parts into something that is both completely new and coherently composed of its distinct parts.
At the same time, Michon’s work is consciously enigmatic, playing with perception, perspective, and scale in terms of both subject and medium, relishing the contrasts of macro and micro, light and dark, solid and fragile, appearance and disappearance, line and mass, the ephemeral and the eternal. She deliberately obscures her images’ sources, creating confounding visual mysteries that make the viewer’s interpretation yet another stratum in the transformative process. Are we looking at a contour drawing of a mountain range or a detailed mapping of the veins, seams, and cracks running through rock? Are we watching the freezing or melting of an ice sheet?
As the title implies, Time Sensitive is both an experiment with and a discussion of temporal scale, overlaying the transitory mutations of the darkroom on the vastness of geological transformation. Michon pointedly illustrates the paradox of Humanity’s absurdly small place in the deep time story of the Earth and the devastating urgency of addressing our impact upon it.
Andréanne Michon is a Canadian artist based in Toronto. She received a BFA, with distinction, from Concordia University (Montreal, Canada) in 2010 and she completed an MFA at the San Francisco Art Institute in 2013. She has participated in numerous solo and group exhibitions in North America and Europe and her work has been selected for inclusion in international juried shows by important curators from major museums (LACMA, SFMoMA, FAMSF, J. Paul Getty, and the Guggenheim). Michon works with a range of media, including photography, printmaking, sculpture, video and sound, which she often explores in artist residencies; notably at L’imprimerie centre d’artistes in Montreal, at the Vermont Studio Center, and at SÍM Reykjavík in Iceland. In 2019, Michon exhibited her most recent artworks in California at Bass & Reiner Gallery and SF Camerawork.
Top: Matrix, Basalt (Pyrogravure Embossing), 2018; Bottom: Matrix Pyrogravure Embossing Ensemble 1 (diptych), 2019
Index Ensemble (1-12), 2018-19
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Disappearing Landscape 3, 2018
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n o w h e r e – Fractured
n o w h e r e – Fractured (25), 2018
Embossing with Transfer 2
Embossing with Transfer 2, 2019
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Once Glacier (excerpt from video, total duration 7:00 minutes), 2018-19
My recent artistic practice involves multi-layered processes and explores volcanic and tectonic activity, and how the planet functions and evolves. Subtle changes occur over time and are often latent and not immediately visible. They come to be recognized incrementally. Simultaneously, some shifts can be dramatic and sudden. I am interested in these variations.
Thinking about photography as the core of my art making practice, I have come to understand the medium as being capable of operating in parallel to the planet’s ability to transform itself. The cataclysmic forces of nature, which include cycles of destruction and creation, are similarly present in my own work, but are active at a more intimate scale.
In my growing body of work, a drawing-like image in the form of a silver gelatin print representing the outline of a carving meets a heated film sculpture in a dark chamber made of wood and black chromogenic prints. Photography also enters into a dialogue with painterly moving images and sound, and printmaking merges with ceramics. This back and forth between media and techniques is symbiotic with a meditation on the movements of the planets over time, and it inspires my interpretation of geological formations through art making.
Heat, pressure, erosion, chemical reactions, imprinted traces, and extremes of light and dark are all key to the photographic hybrids that I create. These phenomena are in dynamic exchange in my work and migrate seamlessly between media such as carving, pyrography, printmaking, sculpture, photography and the moving image. This back and forth between processes allows for the emergence of a different kind of visual language that supports new forms and vocabularies.