Raymond Boisjoly’s practice is steeped in a dialogue that questions the representation, production, and dissemination of imagery. He often conflates image, text, and video, borrowing from or referencing the work of other artists and writers. Further Clarities and Convolutions is part of a larger body of work—an iteration of which is also on view at the Koffler Gallery—derived from experimental filmmaker Maya Deren’s Divine Horsemen: The Living Gods of Haiti. The film is an exploration into Haitian Vodou rituals that Deren not only documented but literally immersed herself in, creating a complicated cross-cultural investigation. Boisjoly’s scrambled images are captured by placing his iPhone, with Divine Horsemen playing on it, facedown on a flatbed scanner. Through this futile process to translate the moving video into a still, Boisjoly’s renditions further obscure access to the film, resisting a clear, direct, or resolved communication. Void of any decipherable forms, the artist’s images are visually similar to those of television encryption—a method used to block the content of channels not being paid for by the viewer. Through his scanning process, Boisjoly breaks down and encrypts his original source material to a similar effect.
For this site-specific billboard project, Boisjoly’s distorted scanner images are tiled to form a backdrop for a series of overlaid, cryptic texts written by the artist himself. Enlarged to massive scale and positioned on traditional advertising spaces within a rapidly gentrifying neighbourhood, Boisjoly’s billboards withhold strategies that easily appeal to the sympathies and desires of consumers. The artist’s compositions offer a disorienting series of provocative statements for passersby. Rather than spoon-feeding viewers prescribed and easily digestible messages, they provide an unexpected opportunity for contemplation—encouraging close, analytical inspection in a place reserved for authoritative commodity fetishization. Further Clarities and Convolutions foregrounds the convoluted ways in which our understanding of others, and therefore ourselves, is mediated.
Supported by PATTISON Outdoor Advertising and Nikon Canada