Scaffoldings, 2018, plaster, 24 posts (8 cm diameter and 365 cm hight)

For almost 10 years, Chloe Desjardins has been questioning the status of objects and artworks inside the artistic ecosystem. Adopting a self-reflective posture translated through different detours, misappropriations and transfers – material as well as contextual –, she invites us to revise some of our pre-conceived ideas about the way we perceive artworks. 

Temporary structure that serves as support in building construction or repair, scaffolding designate also, in the metaphorical sense, a complex assemblage of elements, or else, what precariously supports a system. In this exhibition, Desjardins invests the formal and conceptual potential of the scaffolding to interrogate the fragile interdependence between the artwork and artistic institution.

With an installation representing jack posts made out of plaster – these industrial structural elements, handcrafted here in a fragile material – the artist offers a travelable artwork where coexists different references to architecture and sculpture history.   

Literally, the artwork depends on the architectural structure of the gallery to hold up and deploys itself into space. In return, it seems to support the gallery ceiling. The pieces are arranged to mimic an architectural space; to mark out an interior and exterior space. The dimension and layout of this installation have been organized in function of the physical presence of the visitor; to emphasis its active role in the meaning of what is presented. In directing our gaze towards the outskirt of artmaking, the artist wishes to spark a critical thinking on our relationship to, and the foundations of our perception of artworks.

Text accompanying the show by Katrie Chagnon

Photo credits: Guy L’Heureux