|LE TEMPS DE L'ŒUVRE, LE TEMPS DU TRAVAIL / THE TIME OF THE WORK
Sightings/Leonard & Bina Ellen Art Gallery
Curator: Katrie Chagnon
July - September 2016
With the collaboration of:
BGL, Sylvain Bouthillette, Pierre Dorion, David Elliott, Brendan Flanagan, Annie Hémond Hotte, Nelson Henricks, Paul Hardy, Dil Hildebrand, Pierre Julien, Trevor Kiernander, Benjamin Klein, Guillaume Lachapelle, Luce Meunier, Ève K Tremblay
This project proposed, for the duration of an exhibition, an economic system that allowed the acquisition of artworks without resorting to money or another utilitarian form of exchange. Instead, the currency used was the passage of time. The goal was to question the relationship between the unpredictable nature of artistic practices, the value given to the result of the work, the currency used to express this value, and the contexts associated with the acquisition of artworks.
Concretely, fifteen artists and one collective each offered an artwork for the project, and evaluated the time invested in its making. To acquire a work, participants had to spend inside the SIGHTINGS cube (a space associated with the Leonard & Bina Ellen Art Gallery) a period of meditative isolation corresponding to the time it took to make the work.
This period of isolation could be completed in one or several sessions, but had to be spent without a cell phone, tablet, computer, book, or other tool or device of communication, work or entertainment. The space was specially installed with a comfortable chair, curtains, ventilation, a big plant and a small wall on which the chosen artworks were displayed, one at a time, for the duration of their acquisition. A pen and paper were provided for the acquirers, who were encouraged to note their thoughts during the experience. Once the transactions were completed, the notes were then given to the artists as a testimony of the time spent for the acquisition of their work.