Director/Curator of Artspeak
GHADA AHMER, JEAN-SYLVAIN BIETH, BERNARD LALLEMAND, DANY LERICHE, PATRICK RAYNAUD
December 13–January 31, 1998
The Contemporary Art Gallery and Artspeak Gallery are pleased to present an exhibition that brings five artists from France to Vancouver. In their artwork these artists move between the terrain of aesthetics and sexual content. While researching this exhibition, it became evident that sexual content in visual art is not widely promoted, addressed or even accepted by many French critics and curators. This is somewhat of a paradox in light of the ubiquity of sexual references in imagery in French film and advertising.
The artists in this exhibition are each clearly concerned with the aesthetic and material aspects of their work; however, underlying these considerations is an exploration in representing sexuality on a psycho/social level. Ghada Amer makes what appear to be lyrical abstract patterns delicately embroidered onto canvas; but these patterns are in reality representations or women in graphic sexual acts that confuse the relationship between high and low culture, between women’s work and pleasure. Jean-Sylvain Bieth presents a multi-media installation with references to sexual desire; but it is also a place of solitude and suffering. Bernard Lallemand employs the materials and surfaces of the hospital to make pristine minimalist objects; but their shapes, often erogenous yet devoid of a body, refer to service and constraint, like strange objects of bondage or ritual. Dany Leriche meticulously re-stages famous paintings to create large allegorical photographs; but the central figures are all women whose nudity is confrontational and challenges the role of the viewer’s gaze. Patrick Raynaud presents nude figures illuminated by the seductive surface of back-lit transparencies; framed in various coffin-like casings, these bodies hover at the edge of eroticism and death.
At Artspeak Gallery: Dany Leriche and Patrick Raynaud.
At the Contemporary Art Gallery: Ghada Amer, Jean-Sylvain Bieth and Bernard Lallemand.
This exhibition has been funded by the Canada Council Dissemination Assistance Program and Association Française d’Action Artistique, and the Consulate General of France in Vancouver.
January 13, 1998
Ghada Amer is participating in French Kiss, an exhibition of five artists from France presented at the Contemporary Art Gallery and Artspeak Gallery. The talk will take place at the Contemporary Art Gallery space on January 13th, 1998.
Title: French Kiss
Category: Exhibition Catalogue
Artist: Ghada Amer, Jean-Sylvain Bieth, Bernard Lallemand, Dany Leriche, Patrick Raynaud
Writers: Michel Gaillot, Susan Edelstein, Keith Wallace
Design: Alexandra Hass
Publisher: Artspeak, Contemporary Art Gallery of Vancouver
Printer: Hemlock Printers
Year published: 1998
Binding: Perfect Bound
Features: 14 colour images, text in French and English
Dimensions: 23 x 16 x 0.8 cm
Weight: 185 g
Price: $4 CDN
A Bilingual catalogue produced in conjunction with the Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver. Essays by Keith Wallace, Susan Edelstein and Michel Galliot critically examine each of the artists’ works in relation to the themes of sexuality, eroticism and perceptions of French culture.