battat contemporary

Beth Stuart’s ‘The Golem. Her Lover’ at Battat Contemporary

It smells. That’s one of the most notable things. For years, Battat Contemporary has, at least in my stilted mind, become synonymous with the anti-septic. They posses a weird penchant for pushing the cliche of the white cube to the extreme point that they rarely seemed to show work that wasn’t black, white or grey. This has always been a jokey complement to the complete indifference of its staff to those who look at the work or ask questions about it. But the Beth Stuart show smells. Like popcorn at that. And this may in part be why her ‘The Golem. Her Lover’ registers as so theatrical. (more…)

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Sophie Jodoin / Jacinthe Lessard – L at Battat Contemporary.

Sophie Jodoin has been doing elegantly spare, slightly menacing collage work for years. These have tended to involve severed body parts with some additional ink or paint work and were filled with echoes of violent events (war, terrorism etc). Her new show at Battat Contemporary is far more pared down, but this has, strangely enough, added to her workꞌs suggestiveness. Spanning two walls, the pieces feature collages made from book pages. Things have been reduced to bare lines and the occasional rectangle. Stark black and white dominates the show with the exception of greyish and grizzled book sitting alone on a ledge and facing the other pieces. What the works suggest seems far removed from that which so much of her other work tends to hint at. Adding to this is her rather wise pairing with Jacinthe Lessard-L. Her work, including both large photos and a set of videos, involves the various combinations of the elements of a chair. The stark lines of the chair are set against a white background in different configurations. Both sets of work insist on their quality as assemblages that, in spite of their minimal qualities, also attest on their capacity for ready transformation. Their combination also brings out forcefully the architectural qualities which their images possess, the sense of interlocking elements for the creation of articulated spaces and neutralized negativity. (more…)