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5:30 P.M. TO 9 P.M

2 P.M.

PATRICK MIKHAIL GALLERY is pleased to present LIGHT DISTANCE, an exhibition of new work by Quebec artist JOSÉE DUBEAU. The exhibition comprises a site-specific sculptural installation, a series of new drawings, and new video work created specifically for this presentation.

Josée Dubeau's installations explore our relationship to the world by deconstructing the morphology of public and domestic spaces. Sculptures made of pine wood draw the outlines of architectural elements and furniture to create open environments that generate structures and patterns derived from the ideology underlying the systematization of space and time. The investigation of modular arrangements combines the vocabulary of drawing and the aesthetic of minimalist sculpture: in the absence of surface and weight, the environments being mimicked appear in their delicate nomenclature. The resulting lightness leads to believe, from an existential point of view, in the concept of a detached and unattached world, like that of a scale model.

In LIGHT DISTANCE, Dubeau is concerned with the marking, and pacing of time and space. In the new series of drawings, drawn with a tire-ligne—a tool that permits lines drawn with ink of varying thickness—there is an appearance of large, and small size rulers. However, what the units of measure are, and what they might measure is uncertain. The delicate and meticulously drawn vertical or sloping lines do not measure, or indicate “the straight and narrow” but rather, establish patterns and rhythms akin to musical scores. These lines, previously drawn exclusively on watercolour paper, have now made their way from the page to colour the artist’s most recent modular sculptures, marking and distinguishing their delicate wooden planes. Colours painted on the vertical and horizontal bars act as a kind of three dimensional ruler, one that measures and emphasizes the act of looking at the sculpture, the physical moving around these works - rather like orienteering a journey through a landscape. This interest in the marking and demarcation of physical space resulted in Dubeau’s site specific intervention at Tate Modern, in London in 2011. Her Calendar involved her making a large scale grid drawing using chalks and card templates on the bankside of the gallery. Two of the larger drawings from this series were purchased by the City of Ottawa public art collection in the summer of 2012.

Also included in LIGHT DISTANCE are a series of eight short videos—including those made from her illicit filming of two performers (Véronique Guitard and Hugo Gaudet-Dion) at an IKEA store as they made their way around the store trying out the various items—opening and closing drawers, reclining on sofas / beds, sitting on chairs and at tables. The pace of these videos is measured by the conspicuous use of sound by Simon Guibord, and the editing of Phil Rose.

Josée Dubeau holds an MFA in Fine Arts from the University of Québec in Montréal (1994). Her installations, drawings, and videos are developed in the context of residencies and exhibitions in Canada and abroad, including the IAAB/Christoph Merian Stiftung in Basel (1998), the Künstlerhaus Villa Concordia in Bamberg, Germany (2002-03), the Künstlerhaus Bethanien International Residency Program in Berlin (2004-05), the Studio of Tokyo in Roppongi Hills, where she was the recipient of grants from the Ministère des relations internationales du Québec, the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec, and the Ministère de la culture, des communications et de la condition féminine du Québec in 2009. Dubeau was awarded the International Residency Grant at SPACE in London by the Canada Council for the Arts in 2010. She has received numerous grants from the Canada Council for the Arts and the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec and has realized several public art commissions in Québec since 2000. Her most recent outdoor public art sculpture can be seen at the entrance of the Gatineau Hospital in Gatineau, Quebec. Her drawings are found in the collection of the Musée National des Beaux-Arts du Québec, the City of Ottawa public art collection, and in private collections throughout Ontario, Québec, Switzerland and Germany. In 2011 a catalogue of her installation work was published by Axeneo7. And Esse magazine has also published a major article of her work realized in London, in their 2012 spring/summer edition titled Living Things.

Josée Dubeau would like to thank the Ontario Arts Council for their financial support in making the videos; Phil Rose without whom the videos would not have been made; Simon Guibord for his creative contribution; Hugo Gaudet-Dion and Véronique Guitard for their performances; and the Canada Council for the Arts for the London Residency during which this body of work was developed.

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