September 6 to November 25, 2007
Curator: Mona Filip
Opening Reception: Thursday, September 6, 7 to 9 pm, with a Free Shuttle Bus
to the Koffler Gallery departing from 100 McCaul St. at 6:30 pm; Artist talk: 7 pm

La senteur de mes mains / The Marks of My Hands comprises a new site-specific installation created by celebrated Quebec collective BGL at the Koffler Gallery. Formed by Jasmin Bilodeau, Sébastien Giguère and Nicholas Laverdière while still in university, BGL has made an undeniable impact on the contemporary Canadian art scene in the past decade. Their provocative, witty and unpredictable interventions and installations aim to transform passive gallery visitors into engaged explorers. Challenging the ways we define and experience art, BGL invites us to relinquish preconceived notions and to question the boundaries between art and life.

For their project at the Koffler Gallery, the trio creates an installation defined by their encounters and observations in this particular context. Their work process resembles a thoughtful journey throughout which they remain receptive to the unforeseen, the accidental and the meaningful diversion. As they uncover the many facets of the Koffler Centre with its varied layers of culture, education, social engagement and entertainment, adaptation to the twists and turns of the road triggers new ideas and developments.=

Provoking both enjoyment and uneasiness, BGL’s installations extend beyond the playful exploration of space into an ironic questioning of our social and economic values. La senteur de mes mains / The Marks of My Hands continues their pointed critique of our consumerist drives and behaviours. As the title underscores, the collective’s practice is deeply rooted in a hands-on, sculptural approach and a commitment to material. Evoking metaphors of work, the artists take a stand taken in favour of the tangible in an increasingly artificial and virtual world. Hands carry the memory of touch and the marks of labour, becoming an ever-changing record of our experiences. The human imprint on these sculptors’ hand-made objects poignantly contrasts the generic nature of the mass-produced. Generating plays of exchange and displacement between the worlds of art and commerce, BGL challenges the limits of the art-viewing process. The artistic gesture catches us off-guard, prompting us to slow down our pace and our gaze, to see things differently.

Jasmin Bilodeau (1973), Sébastien Giguère (1972) and Nicolas Laverdière (1972) form the artist collective BGL, an acronym composed of the first letter of each surname. All three artists hold Bachelors of Visual Arts from Laval University (1996) and live and work in Quebec City. They have received numerous grants from the Conseil des Arts et des Lettres du Quebec and the Canada Council for the Arts. Select solo shows include: Le discours des éléments, Galerie l’Oeil de Poisson (Québec, 2006) Se la jouer commercial, Art Mûr (Montréal, 2006) Need to believe, Mercer Union (Toronto, 2005); and A l’abri des arbres, Musée d’art contemporain (Montreal, 2001). BGL has participated in group exhibitions internationally with shows in Argentina, Cuba, Luxembourg, Poland, France and Mexico, and nationally in Quebec, Ontario and Saskatchewan. They have also participated in various residencies since 1998 and have created many interventionist installations and performances for unexpected places, in urban centres, clear-cut forests and parks. BGL were finalists for the 2006 Sobey Art Award and received the 2006 OAAG Award for the installation of their exhibition at Mercer Union, Toronto. Their piece Le discours des éléments was recently acquired by the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa.

GENERAL INFORMATION

Opening Reception and Artist Talk: La senteur de mes mains / The Marks of My Hands will be on view in the Koffler Gallery from September 6 to November 25, 2007, with an opening reception on Thursday, September 6, from 7 to 9 pm and an artist talk at 7 pm in the gallery lobby.

Free Shuttle Bus: On Thursday, September 6, there will be a Shuttle Bus departing from 100 McCaul St. at 6:30 pm and traveling to the Koffler Gallery for the opening reception of BGL: La senteur de mes mains / The Marks of My Hands and the closing reception for Simon Frank: Imprint. The bus returns downtown at 9:30 pm. No reservation required.