Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival
Philippe Ramette, Promenade irrationnelle, 2003, Courtesy Galerie Xippas
Philippe Ramette, Promenade irrationnelle, 2003, Courtesy Galerie Xippas
2007 Public Installation

Philippe Ramette
Selected Works, 1990–2006

May 1–28, 2007
St. Patrick Subway Station Platform
Dundas St. W. & University Ave.

The work of French artist Philippe Ramette,
installed across
from that of Erwin Wurm in the St. Patrick subway
relates to Wurm’s in its preoccupations with
sculptural construction,
performance and the photograph as document.

His Magrittean images of a man in a suit walking up
a tree trunk,
standing on a balcony built into a wall of water and
sitting on a
chimney with the horizon rotated 90 degrees are
not the trompe
l’oeil images they seem to be, nor are they digitally
they are scenes Ramette choreographs and
actually enacts himself.

Ramette began his career as a sculptor. The
specialized prostheses
and devices that he makes, worn hidden under his
suit, allow him to put himself into what he
calls “irrational
postures,” gravity-defying situations that enable
his body
to experience what should have otherwise been
left to the
imagination. Marc Domage, his collaborator, makes
the photographs.
These, as records, attest to the usability of the
and to Ramette’s altered relationship to his

While Ramette’s obstinately analogue craft eludes
gravity, it
does not elude gravitas. He presents a universe
where human
beings oscillate between moral baseness and
spiritual grandeur,
between the desire for damage and the desire for
freedom. His
sculptural objects amplify the potential of the body
under special,
paradoxical conditions while at the same time
engaging ideas
about how it is that we gather knowledge about
the world.

Born in 1961, Ramette lives and works in Paris. His
work has been featured
in numerous solo and group exhibitions, most
notably Mutations
(2006), which toured to seven venues as part
the European Month
of Photography, and La force de l’art (2006)
at the
Grand Palais in
Paris. His work can be found in important public
collections including
Paris’s Maison européenne de la photographie and
its Fonds National
d’Art Contemporain. This is Ramette’s first
exhibition in Canada.

This installation is proudly sponsored by Concord
Adex Developments
Corporation as part of their Private Developer
Public Art Program.

Installation co-presented with the Art Gallery of

Curated by Sophie Hackett and Bonnie Rubenstein

Scotiabank CONTACT
Photography Festival

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