Alexia Laferté-Coutu. Leurs ombres centenaires
Graduating master’s student in visual and media arts (MFA), UQAM
Artist: Alexia Laferté-Coutu
May 16, 2018 - June 16, 2018
Opening: May 15, 2018, 5:30 pm
Galerie de l’UQAM presents the exhibition Alexia Laferté-Coutu. Leurs ombres centenaires. A graduating student from UQAM’s MFA program in Visual and Media Arts, the artist offers a complex reflection on our relationship to architecture and history. Through the gesture of applying soft clay on the exterior surface of buildings, Alexia Laferté-Coutu seeks to generate an active relationship to sculpture.
The enigmatic forms of Alexia Laferté-Coutu’s sculptures are rooted in a process of material addition and subtraction from the surfaces of historic architectural structures. Moulded shapes harden, carrying within them the mark of liquid glass and the mould’s lacework, or that of the architecture’s forms and the gesture of moulding itself. These characteristics remind us of the base material’s former liquid state, a state that it may indeed someday reclaim. Evoking as they do the reversibility of matter and its forms, casting techniques are associated with a way viewing the world that is always shifting, a way of imagining its transformative potential as being sculptural in and of itself.
Casting is much like the poultice, that medical technique of yore where one would apply a mixture of clay and plant matter to an affected area of the body, to absorb toxins and stimulate blood flow. The poultice — casting’s cousin — here becomes a sensory and tangible mode of recording by which energy capable of penetrating stone, clay and glass is stored and transferred. The resulting sculptures act as bridges for the movement of an imperceptible relationship between fluid and hardened substance, between gesture and architecture, between history and the sculptural object.
As the fragmentation of elements multiplies ways of being born into the visible, so sculpture presents itself here as an act of fragmentation of reality, an act that opens up new associative possibilities and initiates outward movement. A fluid and pluralistic relationship is thus created, a relationship to architecture and history—structures that are perhaps not as rigid and linear as they seem.
Alexia Laferté-Coutu was born in 1990 in Montréal (Canada), where she also currently lives and works. Following musical training, she studied sculpture at Bauhaus-Universität Weimar, and completed a BFA at Concordia University in 2013. Laferté-Coutu’s installations, sculptures and performances have been presented in numerous group shows in Canada and Germany.