Leyla Majeri. Don’t Blame Us If We Get Playful

Graduating master’s student in visual and media arts (MFA), UQAM

Artist: Leyla Majeri

March 10, 2018 - April 14, 2018

Opening: March 10, 2018, 3:00 pm

Galerie de l’UQAM shows the exhibition Leyla Majeri. Don’t Blame Us If We Get Playful. Currently completing a master in visual and media arts (MFA) at UQAM, the artist presents a material exploration of the shifting boundaries between nature and culture. Inspired by the work of the gardener, Majeri’s installation reflects on the notion of reciprocity in our relationship to the things and environments that surround us.

The exhibition

A gardener might work by digging through and tending to material stuff, figuring out what it needs to grow and flourish, what sort of relationships need to be forged to create a life, what needs to die. While the studio artist approaches the physical world in a very different way, the relationship with materials remains one of reciprocity, a shifting balance where mastery is gained and lost, where the unexpected springs up. In art, as in gardening, the distinction between the act of cultivating and the object cultivated fades as we try to harness the spirit of that which eludes and surprises us. The artist draws on the practice of gardening to develop a sculptural approach that probes the various materialities, notions and apories emerging at the intersection of art and gardening, thus offering an unusual look at the ambivalent relationship between nature and culture.

Inside the gallery space, art and gardening blur, each practice arriving from a different plane and scale, meeting at ground level to (re)negotiate the limits of matter. Paper, cardboard, plaster and various refuse are sculpted and arranged, not to imitate a garden, but to explore its porous limits. Guided by this eclectic and speculative approach, Majeri draws attention to the intersections of the imaginary, nature and politics, tracing their connections along the way.

The artist

Leyla Majeri’s practice focuses on sculptural installation and film animation, bringing them into relationship with broader themes concerning the ecology of the material, the immaterial and the imagined. Her work has recently been shown at Parisian Laundry (Montréal, 2016); Sounds Like, PAVED Arts (Saskatoon, 2016); Eastern Bloc (Montréal, 2016); and the Festival du nouveau cinéma (Montréal, 2015). She was the recipient of a project grant from the Canada Council for the Arts (2016) and a Grupmuv research grant (UQAM, 2015). In the spring of 2017, Leyla completed a residency at Est-Nord-Est artists’ centre (Saint-Jean-Port-Joli) to research plastic materials and residue. Her first solo exhibition, Harness the Sun (Arprim, Montréal, 2016), began a reflection on the garden, which she now continues at Galerie de l’UQAM. Leyla Majeri is currently completing a master of visual and media arts (MFA) at UQAM.

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