Graduated from Winchester School of Art
Selected by Michael Bartlett
Celebration of The Black-Throated Diver: Journeys Across Boundaries, 2006 - 2007
Celebration of the Black-Throated Diver: Journeys across Boundaries, 2006-2007
I met the ornithologist/philosopher Amelia Tarkovsky in April 2006. For about three months, we intensively spoke of only one thing, one extraordinary phenomenon: the bird named Black-throated Diver Gavia Arctica. A few Black-throated Divers exhibit an astonishing behaviour: they fly so high, too far beyond their own capacities in a dash of courage and madness, that they kill themselves after reaching a point of no return.
In June 2006, some friends and I went on an expedition to find the Black-throated Diver Gavia Arctica hoping to observe its unusual act.
'Celebration of the Black-Throated Diver: Journeys across Boundaries' is partly concerned with the concept of Territories and relating issues found in the philosophical work of Deleuze, Foucault and Rancière. It investigates the use of different languages (the language of the 'gallery space' as well as 'typical/historical' mediums and strategies: the frame, drawing, the book, video, photographic documentation, prints, Minimalist and Conceptualist strategies) in conjunction with a narrative to:
- construct (co-existing) Territories and,
- analyse and allow for spatial and perceptual movements across territorial boundaries, acts of De/Re-Territorialisation.
The work attempts to visually and conceptually push these different languages toward their own limits by using them 'weakly': by purposefully misusing them and introducing glitches, errors and mistakes in their grammar and syntax; this self-undermining use of languages induces forms/Territories that are fragile, de-sublimed, on the break of collapse and prone to deconstruction.
The narrative acts as a textual structure that creates a virtual space which enters into a symbiotic but heterogeneous relationship with the physical space.
'Narratives [...] are political because they are like structures that enable different possibilities of thoughts, different movements of thoughts. It's just like architecture. [...] I call them [narratives, architecture and the work as such] thought platforms because the work is open-ended to different movements of thought.' (Anna the Little Girl in White: The Archeology of a Journey, Extract from an Interview with Antoine L'Heureux by Amelia Tarkovsky, 2007 - Celebration of The Black-Throated Diver: Journeys Across Boundaries)
The work gives the responsibility to the viewer to perform a journey of searching, discovering, (de-) constructing and establishment of meanings through a formally rhizomatic presentation. Through the development of narrative strategies and self-reflexivity, the work proposes itself as an open-ended series of events/encounters: '[...] multiple points in time and space where events takes place and where everybody taking part in the event go off on own tangents, their own journeys.' (Anna the Little Girl in White: The Archeology of a Journey, Extract from an Interview with Antoine L'Heureux by Amelia Tarkovsky, 2007 - Celebration of The Black-Throated Diver: Journeys Across Boundaries)
Antoine L'Heureux's MA Show Installation 'Celebration of the Black-Throated Diver: Journeys across Boundaries' (2006-2007), is a collection of works which are deliberately set in a 'White Cube,' with open windows, which allow natural light and air from the outside to permeate and light the space providing a link the world outside and continuity to the show.
L'Heureux's links the enclosed 'White Cube' with a multi-faceted and multi-referenced display of artwork which takes its beginning from the deadly journey of the Black Throated Diver which reputedly journeys high towards the stars and to its ultimate destruction because of courage and perhaps madness.
The works on display create a narrative that not only re-creates the Divers journey but references drawing, sound, vision and methods of display including a minimalist sculpture, Prints of the Diver's flight meticulously and obsessively reproduced, text and maps.
L'Heureux's hopes that The Black Throated Diver's journey juxtaposes scenarios/narratives that will engage motivate and enable us to go beyond our own limits.
L'Heureux's MA show begins with the shows title in large letters near the entrance yet barely noticeable. Close by is a gallery guide or map of the installation. The wall to the left continues with a continuous line of A4 digital inkjet prints under glass of the Diver flying to it ultimate destruction and running out of room until the prints are stacked on the floor. Beneath these mounted pictures short thick black marks continue around the gallery forming their own Landscape. The installation continues with Close Text referencing the Divers journey.
L'Heureux's MA show is ultimately about Territories. The Gallery space as a territory and the landscape as a territory and using the possible fictional narrative of the diver he is contrasting and bringing together these spaces.
A complex and philosophy driven installation there is a feeling that there is lots to explore and discover in L'Heureux's' artwork where profit would be gained by further readings.
(Michael Bartlett, 2007)
Qualifications and training
- 2007 MA Fine Art – Distinction, Winchester School of Art (University of Southampton)
- 2001 B.Eng. Computer Science, École Polytechnique de Montréal, Canada