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Palindrome, 2000 Installation © Akrey, Poorter
Palindrome, 2000 Installation © Akrey, Poorter
Curated by: Esther Bourdages

745 Ottawa Street
Montreal, Quebec H3C 1R8
July 7th, 2000 - August 30th, 2000

Wednesday to Sunday from 12 to 7 pm | Thursday 12 to 10 pm


Donna Akrey and Yvette Poorter draw interest from the city and its inhabitants. Their respective work focusses on installation and in-situ art. Through the principle of recycling of the object they create utopian constructions. Working in collaboration, the artists are constructing an enclosed room in the Darling Foundry composed of objects found the streets of Montreal, most derived from the garbage. Their daily act of gathering began within the context of July - moving month in Quebec, when the streets are full of discarded objects. The room simultaneously inhabits two identities: that of the street - public space, and that of the interior, the private sphere. The exhibited object thus performs a transition: derived from the private, it is recycled and provided with a second life in the public realm. At the end of the exhibition they will return to the street, a site of transition. The Darling Foundry itself demonstrates these characteristics of the street. The inside and outside seem to merge, becoming subject to confusion.

The use of the found object is not without precedent in the history of art: the French New Realists, among others, made it their primary material and their practice recalls the Italian Arte Povera movement of the late 1960s, where used objects served as primary, raw material. In the work of Poorter and Akrey, assorted objects derived from the everyday are not displayed for entirely aesthetic purposes, rather, they become construction material, serving to build the walls of a dwelling. These countless sturdy objects (sofas, chairs, desks, washing machines, mirrors, suitcases...) encroach the space, unfurling through processes of accumulation and assemblage - stacked and overlapping fragments joined by material appropriate to the language of construction.

With its gigantic dimensions, Palindrome questions ideas of sculpture and space. Having no autonomous existence, its is not architectural, and remains both inseparable and in opposition to the Darling space. During the exhibition, the artists will intervene in the space of the city, creating fake furniture from abandonned wood palettes. These constructions will be left in place, stamped with a notice which briefly outlines the artistic context. They seek to create a convivial space recalling the domestic world. and anticipate the participation of passers-by with their bedroom, their living room and their dining room. While a chair belongs to the realm of the closed room, a dismantled palette is transformed into a chair. With these small urban refuges and the constructed room, the artists demonstrate the permutation and theversatility of the object. In the work of Akrey and Poorter, their poetics reside in the many expressive possibilities of spanning them between the private and the public.