An Article in the Montreal MIRROR / Un article dans l’hebdomadaire MIRROR Montréal

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Myths and car crashes

Galerie SAS (372 Ste-Catherine W., #416) offers up a show of improbable fantasy landscapes and advertising lampoons in Catherine Bolduc’s Le Voyage d’une fabulatrice and Christian Barré’s Car Crash Memories, on view concurrently through Jan. 30.
Bolduc’s large-scale watercolour landscapes represent the topography of an artist’s teeming imagination. Ravenous Freudian psychoanalysts will not go hungry here, as there’s no lack of geological orifices that smoke, sputter and spurt. Pebble paths lead to nowhere, and mountainscapes often take on a scaly skin and massive amounts of inexplicable hair, revealing a possible follicle fetish at SAS. (If you take a peek at Fred Laforge’s Cousin It-esque women in the back gallery, a pattern seems to emerge.)
Meanwhile, Barré’s photos depict stunned drivers holding airbags against impeccably lit grey backdrops. There’s no car, no steering wheel, no blood—just airbags. Barré appropriates the immaculate studio fantasy world of luxury car ads as the setting for these crashes, recontextualizing the moment of impact within the commercial domain.
Accompanying these photos is an ad-spot-length film of a totalled car, which, though beautifully shot, is ultimately much more reminiscent of Hitchcock than of Audi.
by DAVID LEVITZ