meet the artist
saturday, May 8 from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Born in Zurich (Switzerland), Catherine Bodmer has been living and working in Montreal since 1996. Graduated with a bachelor’s degree in visual arts education from the Lucerne School of Art and Design, she also holds a master’s degree in visual arts from the Université du Québec à Montréal. Starting from a documentary approach in photography, she reaches the places chosen as variable arrangements through an often repetitive and performative approach. Her work has been exhibited in numerous individual and group exhibitions. We may highlight Les paradis de Granby (3e impérial, 2015), Camellones (Centre Sagamie, 2012), Casas (Optica, 2012) and Exposant deux (Centre d’exposition de Saint-Hyacinthe, 2014). Catherine Bodmer worked as a training and professional development coordinator at the Regroupement des centers d’artistes autogéré du Québec (RCAAQ) for seven years (2013-2020) before becoming Executive Director in July 2020.
Galerie B-312 is pleased to close its regular annual program with Synonyms, Catherine Bodmer’s most recent exhibition. Started in 2010, the artist’s photographic quest around the green spaces of Mexico City continued until 2018, when she started to focus more specifically on the kiosks located in the Viveros de Coyoacán, a public park that also houses a tree nursery and a plant market. The latter is frequented mainly by the rich city dwellers, but runs by a cooperative of small family businesses.— The garden seen as a paradisiacal utopia is a powerful genesiac image. A place of peace and wisdom, enclosed and protected, where nature is luxuriant. By its ordering, it is a representation of an ideal, changing according to regions, time and, it must be said, according to the visions of the dominant class. Tame nature, make it symmetrical and geometric in a methodical order in the style of the Versailles or create an apparent disorder in the English style. The garden brings you closer to nature; it allows daydreaming and the development of certain imaginations. However, even in its most idyllic version, it remains, despite everything, a construction that is linked to an economic activity. Thus, the installation Synonyms constructs and deconstructs this tension that exists between reality, its contingencies and our multisensory perceptions that a visit to such a place allows. — In the small room of the gallery, the artist presents a series of photos where digital manipulations, precise and well mastered, combine the images and textures of market kiosks. The photographic overlays reveal in various subtleties, from the most imperceptible manipulations to an almost total distancing from an almost entirely black image. All judiciously induce the complexity of appearances and the polysemic coexistence of realities. In the main room, Catherine Bodmer presents a set of works, which display a variation of the same theme. Focusing on the back of kiosks and the people who work there, she also studies the materiality of images and words. A series of monochrome panelled silk prints sit neatly on a long shelf. Testimonies of workers collected by the artist sit on another nearby shelf. A large black-and-white image with a stripe of colours stands alongside the assembly of paper samples and other materials. Integrating light into her research, colourful interventions on the windows give an immersive character to the place, as if it was seeking to leave the image to bring life and feel the place by calling on the senses in a different way. Finally, let us note the textual exploration, in a projection on the ground and in a more sculptural form, where the rhizomatic continuance of synonyms seeks to capture the figures of an imaginary happiness. A successful, delicate and intricate exhibition to visit and review until June 12.
ISABELLE GUIMOND [free translation]