Patrick Viallet: Du savon plein la tête


January 13 – February 11, 2006
Artist’s talk on Saturday January 21 at 3pm

Project Description

Du Savon plein la tête is a three-part exhibition by Montreal artist Patrick Viallet, combining sculpture and photography in a site-specific intervention. Here, the artist examines the interface between the body and space by questioning the physical and symbolic properties of the wall. The walls give way to create recesses, inviting the insertion of the spectator’s body; at other times, they are punctuated by thoughtfully arranged protruding segments, or lastly, they call on us to represent space mentally. In all cases, the wall is transformed into an enveloping device, stimulating our awareness of our body’s scale.

The internal surfaces of an opening cut in the wall are covered with soap, transforming space into an experience on the meaning of being there. The wall then takes on an unusual sculptural dimension where one begins to feel like an integral part of the work: a partition, obstacle or surface for the inscription of memory. A stand-alone construction made of foam lets viewers experience isolation. The brick-like segments on the surface rescale the recess motif, activating in our heads the potentialities of displacement inscribed on the surfaces themselves. A third approach to the integration of the body into the architecture resides in the photographs which represent the mural recesses using “trompe-l’œil”. This emphasizes the minimalist geometry of the overall corpus while prompting our ability to mentally project ourselves into the work.