WALLPIECE I-III, 2009. burnt sugar (liquid), Maple, MDF, swimmingpool coating.
80 x 60 x 3,5 cm.
35 x 45 x 3 cm.
120 x 90 x 4 cm.
An object whose volume consists of viscid burnt sugar, melted due to air moisture while being another work of art. Put on the wall immediately before the opening reception, the content slowly starts to flow out. exhibit view
What is a “thing” in the first place? What is a work of art? We were made aware, through Duchamp, that the context is very important. Then Cultural studies taught us that a work of art is nothing outside the corpus of interpretations it generates. Gestalt psychology and phenomenology taught us something similar when they argued that perception is not possible without expectation, without a project. In fact, perception is a project, an intention. The world needs you to exist; it needs your “will to find meaning.” The dead world of natural scientist is just that: dead. That’s not the world we inhabit.
“The erosion of cultures – and of “culture” as a whole – is the theme that runs through the last 25 years of my artistic practice,” says Québécois artist Guy Laramée. His four-page CV details only a portion of his artistic career, which has included exhibits, collections, essays, interdisciplinary performances, and sculpture, stands as a testament to his dedication to art as a style of living.
I first learned of Laramee’s work through his photogenic Great Wall project. For this project, Laramee carved sculptures and landscapes into the books (photos of which are interspersed in this piece) comprising a hundred-volume historiographic series about the so-called “Great Wall of America.”
I contacted Laramee to ask if he would be open to a conversation about his work, and the work of art in general. What follows is the first part of a four-part conversation culled from a month-long e-mail interchange between Laramee and I where we talk about ideology, culture, belief, and most importantly, existence.
As a single person, I hope that my feelings and thoughts alone maintain some sort of consistency. But I feel the film comes first. Unless I’m being commissioned to create a piece, I just don’t think I should be designing a poster for a film unless I truly love it. And so far, that’s always been the case. Every poster I design truly is a love letter to the film itself, inspired by the feelings, shapes, and colors that I took away from at least some part of the film that really stuck with me. I usually try to tap into the parts of the film that only a true fan would really appreciate. Those parts are usually the parts that really stick with me. The pieces below the obvious outer layer. It’s fun to incorporate those elements and see people get excited about spotting it.
- Artist Adam Rabalais on film, art, and inspiration.