Artist Véronique Malo is interested in the gestures and traces of everyday life. In the fall of 2018, she invited the public to send her photographs showing at least two people interacting, from which she would make a new series of works. Inspired by the images’ random, unexpected, surprising, and poetic aspects, Malo decided to use the negative space—the areas between bodies—to create new abstract landscapes that make the invisible more tangible. Rather than depicting reality the way traditional photography does, her compositions were built from scratch in the darkroom and seem to capture a certain energy, a game of light and shadow. Malo playfully manipulated shapes cut from her source photographs to make opaque masks, used a range of transparent and semi-transparent papers, and then layered, juxtaposed, and exposed these to light onto photosensitive paper. The results evoke intuitive landscapes that alternate between close-ups and distant perspectives, micro and macro views that throw off our usual reference points. While the light sometimes seems to pierce the horizon, extending beyond the surface to trigger reality’s emotional dimension, hints of the original photographs bring us back to the surface and to the materiality of things, to oscillate between the visible and the invisible. In keeping with the initial gesture of the project, Malo then invited a number of poets to write a response to the work’s title, Les paysages entre nos corps [The Landscapes Between Our Bodies]. From these, she associated certain passages with her images reproduced in postcard format. Now both image and text have passed through the filter of her subjectivity, transformed through contact with her chosen interlocutors, in a conversation that took place through layers of media.
These new black and white photographic works will compose the new exhibition The Landscapes Between Our Bodies and will be displayed in the museum’s traffic areas.
This project was realized in collaboration with the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec, L’imprimerie centre d’artistes, and the publisher Bouc.
Image in the banner
© Véronique Malo, Untitled, from the series The Landscapes Between Our Bodies, 2019, inkjet print, 96.5 x 144.8 cm.
Véronique Malo is a visual artist who works mainly with video installations and printed media. Her work explores social portraits and the ways in which power structures influence behaviour, relationships and human migration. Through video, she juxtaposes the tensions and structures of public space and architecture with the concepts of community, contemplation and time. She lives and works in Lanaudière and Montreal.
Source: Art public Montréal