Presented in partnership with MOCCA.
Gwenaël Bélanger characterizes his approach to image making to that of a bricoleur or handyman. His process begins with a vivid mental picture resulting from his close observation of the everyday world and its mundane objects. Like a construction site, his creative space expands as his images begin to take shape.
Using digital technology and photographic processes, Bélanger playfully and deftly assembles multiple stills into one picture plane. He manipulates forms and transforms objects, combining perspectives to reveal a fictitious point of view. Set within a “real” scene, his images of an imagined realm of possibilities maintain uncanny believability.
Echoing the parking lot setting, Bélanger’s image Le Grand Fatras (2005) (The Big Clutter) is reproduced as a massive mural and adhered to a building in the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art’s courtyard. Displayed in the same location as the CONTACT 2008 mural by Robert Burley that documented the demolition of a Kodak factory, Belanger’s image could be interpreted as the downpour that followed the explosion in Burley’s photograph. Objects propelled into the air, rebellious and playful, may well be understood as fallout from the demise of the photochemical era or representatives of the material glut of our existence. Open to interpretation, Bélanger’s work freezes moments in time, leaving the viewer to imagine the inevitable smash of his objects on the ground.
Montreal-based Gwenaël Bélanger has exhibited his work in numerous galleries and museums in Quebec including the Galérie de l’UQAM, le Musée National des Beaux-Arts du Québec, le Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal, and internationally at the 11th Visual Arts Biennial in Pancevo, Serbia and Montenegro and the triennial l’Art qui fait boum!. He is represented by the Graff Galerie in Montreal. For CONTACT, Bélanger’s work is also in the exhibition Still Motions at the Gladstone Hotel.