In modernity one finds the first indicators of the appearance in force of contradictory desires, associated to several behaviours still adopted today: the desire to see and to be seen, betraying the desire to affirm oneself and to be known. These issues serve as a backdrop for the new works by Shannon Bool, presented in the exhibition Promiscuities, which this lecture attempts to analyze.
Alongside the artist’s works are architectural plans by Adolf Loos, Le Corbusier and Mies van der Rohe, in which glass walls and the play of gazes have a large role, as do Siegel mannequins, icons of the beginnings of consumer society. Erotic and orientalist postcards produced in Algeria during the colonial period also blend in with the objects and the images associated with the private life of Kim Kardashian, symbol of Instagram culture.
The issue of visibility – who sees what? and to what aim? – appears as a motif with which to explore Bool’s recent corpus, in which each project reveals a different consequence of the scopic drive, which acted at the heart of modernity and still persists today.
After studying the visual arts at the University of Ottawa, Anne-Marie St-Jean Aubre completed an MA at the Université du Québec à Montréal. Her interests focus on the theme of identity and the cultural issues explored by contemporary artistic practice. As curator of contemporary art at the Musée d’Art de Joliette, she invited Shannon Bool to produce a new body of works to be exhibited in the museum in the summer of 2018 as part of the project The Shape of Obus, of which she is the curator. The same project, revisited at the Canadian Cultural Centre, is presented with the title Promiscuities.