Novas Contemporary Urban Centre, Greenland Street
20th September - 2nd November 2008 (Tue-Sun 11am – 6pm)
The Novas Contemporary Urban Centre is currently playing host to a selection
of intriguing work by Canadian artists, which have each featured in past
Québec City Biennials. This convergence of two biennials in a small
corner of Liverpool is appropriately organised around the theme of 'meeting',
though this is often interpreted so loosely as to be lost on this reviewer.
A case in point is Le siècle des Lumières (The centuries
of lights) by Doyon and Rivest. In one sense, the 'idea' of a constellation
meets the 'idea' of people's faces being lit up by laptops, iPods and
mobiles, creating what at first sight appears to be a constellation but
is actually people's faces being lit up by laptops, iPods and mobiles.
In another, every piece of artwork ever created (indeed every action)
synthesises things, so the motif is stretched to apparent meaninglessness.
Still, clever effect.
Catholic icon of Jesus meets dartboard in Sacré-Coeur (Sacred
Heart) by Jean-Marc Mathieu-Lajoie. Hitting his forehead is worth sixty
points, whilst the representation of divine love for humanity is bullseye.
This exhibit is bound to provoke some outrage, but then Saint Sebastian
is always portrayed with arrows, and people seem to like that, so this
may be an allusion to him and martyrdom somehow.
Similarly, Diane Landry mixes stuff she's found ('assisted readymades'
to you) with religious symbolism, with her Mandalas in series Blue Decline.
These automated installations suggest the cosmos, like charts in Indian
religions. However, these ones are made out of washing baskets, empty
water bottles, a spoon, and electronics. The effect of watching them is
indeed evocative, and brought up thoughts of nature out of balance (like
I don't always have them anyway). Kind of the same, but slightly different,
to traditional mandalas.
Finally, Polish-born 'Modern Day Nomad Who Moves Where She Pleases' Ana
Rewakowicz has created a 'sleepingbagdress' - that is, a dress that turns
into a sleeping bag, and a sort of inflatable tent where the gallerygoer
can watch videos of public interventions projected on one of the sides,
so long as they take their shoes off first.
Effectively, there is no overarching theme, other than the fact that
all these people have been on one point on the globe and now their art
is in another, which is well worth a look if you're in the area.