April 20th — May 27th, 2023

Fascinated by cycles of productivity, in nature and in all forms of work, Rose de la Riva has been collecting worn-out brooms the last two years. Found by the roadside or collected in her neighborhood, the frayed brooms become the object of metaphorical projections. They bear witness to an array of material transformations, and their use produces excessive wear that the artist formally and symbolically links to burning, mowing down, and burnout.

The drawing explores the tension between destruction and regeneration inherent to the cyclical process of agriculture. Based on a slow rotation of plots, slash-and-burn cultivation aims to both enrich the soils and clear the land. Despite the fertilizing effect of ash, this practice can, depending on context, contribute to soil degradation. Its purpose is therefore impossible to determine by its visual representation. Whether regenerative or destructive, the fire is maintained on the fringes of an indefinite cycle.

Rose de la Riva, a visual artist and cultural worker, was born in Tiohtià:ke/Mooniyang/Montreal. She holds a BFA in visual and media arts from UQAM (2018) and is currently a candidate for a master’s in Studio Arts at Concordia University. Since 2016, her work and her performances have been featured in both solo and group presentations at several festivals and artist-run centers as well as in apartments, vacant lots, and urban wastelands.


Image : Burnout Brooms (detail), Rose de la Riva, 2020-22; photo credit : Kyle Tryhorn.