In Pushing On A String, performed February 26, 2015 in the courtyard of the Art Building, Yannick Desranleau and Chloe Lum orchestrated a series of performances between humans and materials. The performance was conceived as an exploratory work for the fostering of new narratives, developed from observations made in past installation works. These observations informed the diverse nature of the materials at play, chosen for their 'performative potential': papers, fabrics, rubbers, and foams. As a baseline for these performances, in order to keep a lineage with their installation work, Desranleau and Lum established that both the humans and the materials involved in the performances are to be considered as equal actors. This premise, rather than leveling the human participants as materials, anthropomorphizes the materials or allows them to become cybernetic appendices. From the resulting actions the artists hope to reveal the affect found in the "space in between" two functions: the speculative value issued from the interpretation of these physical shifts, and the perceptive changes that happen in the performance space in time. The performance was the culmination of a one-week Guest Artist in Print Program at the Department of Art + Art History.
On display at the Materials Lab is the resulting debris from the performance – colorful abstract “costumes” of screen printed Tyvek - and video and stills from the performance
Desranleau and Lum live and work in Montréal. In their installations, sculptures, prints and other interventions, they explore how material entropy affects the readings of a given work, through the implementation of strategies displaying diverse forms of mechanical contingency. They have exhibited in Canada and abroad, notably at YYZ artists' outlet (Toronto, 2013), The Blackwood Gallery (University of Toronto, 2012), Musée d'Art Contemporain de Montréal (Québec Triennial 2011), Kunsthalle Wien (Vienna, Austria, 2010), BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art (Gateshead, England, 2009), and Whitechapel Project Space (London, England, 2007). Their collaborative work is in many private and public collections, notably the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.
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