REQUIEM, La Petite Mort Gallery, 306 Cumberland, ByWard Zone

REQUIEM, La Petite Mort Gallery, 306 Cumberland, ByWard Zone


The choice is ours to make between life and death. Do we read a supernova through the preliminary explosion of energy into expansive space, or through the residual effects of collapse and recession into darkness after the event occurs? REQUIEM will stage a space that attempts to reconcile discontinuities of the lived and unlived: of action and rest, of production and reflection, and of virile agency and tranquil repose.

Gallery 1 will feature POST MORTEM, a travelling international curatorial project between curators Felipe Bracelis (Santiago, Chile) & Guy Berube (Ottawa, Canada). This exhibit explores how our different cultures interpret death.

Gallery 2 will feature REQUIEM, a One-Night-Only project in which chosen artists will present work onto select pages of vintage pop culture publications showcasing since-dead star figures. The gallery space as a whole will act as a transient yet intimate stage for the collective energies of the evening to rectify in a state of both remembrance and of memory-making.

REQUIEM will explore the (dis)location and (dis)connection of both lived and represented subjectivities as to question the limits of presence through and against plasticity. The ways in which we mediate, relate and fetishize art and objects allows for a meditation on what it is to be an active body in the contemporary moment.

To treat life against death is to catalyze the fragility of now. We are systematically trained to forget ourselves as vehicles of pleasure. To resist the mold, we must attempt to honour the thrill of each parting breath. REQUIEM will act on remembrances of the absent as to form a celebration of a lived corporeal presence.

– Written by Adam Barbu, La Petite Mort Gallery, 2013


Michael Powell & Yuri Bakker

LPM – Guy Bérubé’s vision for La Petite Mort is truly – and perhaps surprisingly, given the gallery’s name – a vision of social ethics. He sees the artist’s struggle with self-awareness through visual art reflected back to the viewer not as passive recipient but as active participant in the creative endeavour. A signature feature of LPM is the feeling of discomfort many of the artworks evoke, which, as is the goal of subversive art, reflects the viewer’s personal projections back upon herself.

This discomfort is a necessary part of Bérubé’s aesthetic and ethical sensibility. It recognizes the role of art in alienation and in critical transformation, for cultural progress is usually provoked by the ideas invoked at the boundaries of our communities. LPM artists represent subjects at the margins of contemporary Canadian urban society – the sublime as well as the homeless and the schizophrenic – no different than most mainstream art since the post-Renaissance period.


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