For articule’s storefront window, Marc-Antoine K. Phaneuf will showcase a collection of fleur de lys flags as well as objects bearing its effigy that we commonly find in dollar stores and pharmacies around the time of Québec’s national holiday.
These poorly made objects flaunt the symbols of Québec just as they alter them: The colour blue sometimes differs from the flag’s official hue, and the heraldic lily is sometimes deformed. These disjointed and grotesque elements, evoking travesty and the counterfeit, will be presented in a baroque disorderliness, resting in the storefront window as if in the showcase of a low-end folk museum.
Champ de lys is the outlook of an artist upon a people to which he belongs: a people that struggles with the question of identity and the latter’s characteristic elements. According to the artist, although Québec is rich in its diversity of cultures, its symbols are perceived as bearing a univocal and restrictive message like a bland corporate logo: they represent the worn out dream of sovereignty—a subject that is in need of an update, a reassessment, of a re-evaluation. Starting a few days after Saint-Jean-Baptiste day, this installation can be seen as an homage to Québec, but an homage that drags on a bit too long, loses its flavour and leaves a sour aftertaste, akin to the issue of sovereignty.
In his work, Marc-Antoine K. Phaneuf looks at objects of popular culture. Relying on ready-mades and quotations, he renders poetic banal realities, and invents stories and imaginary spaces from trivial or kitsch objects that reflect North-American popular culture, its myths and whimsies. Many of his works consist of collections featuring various forms of a same object. The accumulation of these specimens and the variations distinguishing them, confer upon the collected object the status of symbol, reifying its sociological and anthropological dimensions.
Phaneuf is an artist and writer. Since 2006, he has exhibited in various artist run-centres and galleries including Centre Clark, the Leonard and Bina Ellen gallery, Laroche/Joncas, l’Œil de Poisson, Vu Photo, le 3e impérial and Dare-Dare. He has published three poetry books at the éditions Le Quartanier, including Cavalcade en cyclorama, published in May 2013.
Participating Artists: Marc-Antoine K. Phaneuf (Montréal)
Credits: Images: Guy L'Heureux