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image
Virginie Laganière, Ex colonie marine Rosa Maltoni Mussolini, Calambrone (Italie), 2018.
Image tirée de la vidéo | Video still
Avec l'aimable permission de l'artiste | Courtesy of the artist

Virginie Laganière
From November 10th 2018 to December 15th 2018
Le Prisme

Opening, Saturday, November 10, 2018 - 3PM to 6PM

Saturdays with the Family: November 17 and December 15

In her sustained residency work, Virginie Laganière adopts an attitude akin to that of an anthropological artist, mindful of immersing herself in the material and emotional texture of the spaces she studies. She conducts field work in which architectural structures in need of redefinition reveal an abundance of current and future potentialities. Developed during a stay at Studio du Québec à Rome, Le Prisme furthers this endeavour by dwelling on the formal and ideological universe of the colonie marine, or Italian seaside colonies.

In the first period of their existence, beginning in the mid nineteenth century, these colonies were health-care facilities meant for children with TB. Ideally located on the coast, their tended cure was based on the purported benefits of sunlight and saline air. Under Mussolini’s reign, their purpose shifts toward indoctrination as they take on the aspect of somewhat militaristic summer camps. Often borrowing from the stylistic vocabulary of the ocean liner and deeply influenced by modernist architectural principles, the imposing buildings convey Party values and constitute veritable spatial instruments for influencing children’s behaviour. After World War II, the seaside colonies eventually establish a pedagogical vocation aiming to promote individual and collective emancipation through non-hierarchical learning activities. Some, in fact, have since been transformed into schools. Most, however, are in a state of neglect, still overlooking the sea, their great carcases strangely punctuating the landscape around seaside towns.

Juxtaposing documentary and fictional fragments, Laganière proposes a free interpretation of the legacies of these heterotopias. Arranged with photographs, videos, low reliefs, small constructions, and even a light, aromatic mist, the exhibition space creates a total environment inspired by what the seaside colonies had once been. The outcome is less a commentary on their controversial past than a subtle look at current issues, in particular with respect to the practices of mass tourism: the accelerated privatization of the coastline and the impact of massive summertime migrations on local communities.

Author: Josianne Poirier

Josianne Poirier is a doctoral student in art history. Her research concerns the fantastical nature of city lights.

PRESS RELEASE (pdf)


PRESS REVIEW

MAVRIKAKIS, Nicolas. «Sur le radar : la nature des chose au Centre Optica», Le Devoir, December 14, 2018.

The DHC/ART Foundation recommends the exhibition of Virginie Laganière: The Prism as part of the DHC/ART Foundation newsletter of December 10, 2018 untitled "This winter at DHC/ART".

L’HEUREUX, Chantal. «Vernissages/événements arts visuels autres du 3 au 9 décembre 2018», Magazine radio In situ, Radio Centre-Ville, CINQ FM - Radio Centre Ville 102.3 FM, December 5, 2018.

MAVRIKAKIS, Nicolas. «Les arts visuels sous le signe de l’engagement», Le Devoir, August 25 and 26, 2018.



With an MFA from UQAM, Virgine Laganière lives and works in Montreal. Her works have been exhibited in Canada, Mexico, Spain, Finland, Japan, and Switzerland. In winter 2019, partnering with Jean-Maxime Dufresne, she will take part in a group exhibition presented at Gallery de l’UQAM.