I left a full-time 7-year cycle of creation before becoming involved in teaching visual arts at Cégep de l’Abitibi-Témiscamingue. I noticed that this more conventional life had unfortunately entered me into the rat race and daily routine of commuting and work; a clear departure from my more anarchic lifestyle.
I have this clear image of a swimming pool in which everyone is turning in the same direction except me and a handful of other anarchists. I was the “committed artist” who swam against the current by reacting against the established social system, and even if it was sometimes exhausting to live with this reactionary energy, I had always valued and visualized my life as well. I felt like a salmon swimming upstream in keeping with its own purpose: the survival of its species.
To get me out of my daily routine of commuting and work, I created a research protocol with discipline worthy of a yogi in survival instinct. Since September 2014, I have collected photographs of dead animals when I walk and run; waste left on the side of the road, photos of scenes opposing an artifact-culture versus an artifact-nature, or any other object that is pictorially interesting where I invent a short story.
This process is a way for me to observe, question and beautify human behavior using visual artifacts, as if traces and waste left by humans were sociological and anthropological indices in order to understand and question it.
The Slow Down Time exhibition is the product of this research protocol. My collection of images shows images of truth. A selection was made to mount (stick) on a wooden stand. This allows me to get involved in painting and to incorporate a plastic language and a pictorial richness. Sometimes painting literally invades photography and sometimes photography remains master of the work and reveals the object of departure. We can perceive a dialogue between the abandoned real object and the plastic intervention that embellishes or destroys the object. Sometimes the work titles bear witness to the creation process and not the finished work. This way, I emphasize the life trajectory. The road traveled is more important for me than its purpose…I therefore subscribe to the philosophy behind the Slow…art movement!
This creation process has lasted 3 ½ years, which means that since that time, I have always, or almost always taken the same route to keep me aware of what is happening around me. Like Camus, I use the Sisyphus allegory. “Man is searching for meaning caught up in a repetitive journey he calls absurd. Does realization of the absurd require suicide? Camus replied: “No, it requires revolt.” https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Le_Mythe_de_Sisyphe
These snapshot images are authentic moments of experience to avoid sinking into the absurdity of this world that is devoid of meaning and spirituality, and often without any respect for the environment. It is through art that I am able to channel this energy of revolt and finally, to rediscover the salmon in me!