Mathieu Léger

The Work : The Impalpable Reflection on the Postproduction of a Future, an Impossible Recurrence in 10 Acts (02018-02028)*
The Subject : Art and Architecture

Art and Architecture

Acadian artists frequently question their relationship to the places they live and often consider the important role these places play in the construction of identity. The scenes in Moncton's Parkton neighborhood in Guy Arsenault's painting and scenes of the downtown cityscape painted by Yvon Gallant are notable examples.

In the context of Moncton, street furniture, landscaping, and the mix of architectural styles have resulted in a particular urban configuration that shapes the lives of its citizens. The architectural landscape of the city, subject to constant changes over time, can be understood as an open-air sculptural environment whose shapes and volumes affect our modes of travel, our daily routine, and our relationship to space. Whether in the visual arts, literature, theatre, or Acadian music, the landmarks of Moncton's urban landscape have often been portrayed as the social glue that binds its people together.

Building that now houses the Aberdeen Cultural Centre, after a fire in 1915. Photo : Aberdeen Cultural Centre Archives

The Impalpable Reflection on the Postproduction of a Future, an Impossible Recurrence in 10 Acts (02018-02028)*

Mathieu Léger has devised a long durational performance piece that involves several distinct sites. As per his usual way of working, the artist has developed a protocol methodology that will enable him to create a series of specific interventions over a period of 10 years. Looking towards the future, Léger proposes to invert the retrospective urge to look to the past in order to open up our perspective to the possibilities of what is yet to come.

The Impalpable Reflection on the Postproduction of a Future, an Impossible Recurrence in 10 Acts (02018-02028), 2018, wood plinth with vitrine, bricks and building detritus, the artist's body, time (10 years)

[...] Léger proposes to invert the retrospective urge to look to the past in order to open up our perspective to the possibilities of what is yet to come.

Staying faithful to his artistic approach, which is centered on our subjective relationship to time and space, Léger intends on taking a sample from the façade of a building he will select in the city of Moncton each year. His interventions will be done on buildings that have become landmarks for him, monuments that enable him to orient himself in this city that he travels daily. Among the buildings chosen are key sites in the cultural development of the city: Resurgo Place, the former Collège Saint-Joseph pavilion (today a part of the Arts Faculty of the Université de Moncton), the Aberdeen Cultural Centre and the Notre-Dame-de-l’Assomption Cathedral.

At the end of this ten-year period, after collecting the dust from these ten buildings in a display case at the Moncton Museum, Léger will combine all the salvaged material to produce a series of ten bricks. These bricks will be spread across the city and reintegrated into the original façades. Dyed a deep black, the bricks will stand out, enabling passers-by to recognize the connections Léger suggests exist between various significant sites in the city.

The artist would like to thank the Resurgo Place team, artsnb, the Sheila Hugh Mackay Foundation, the Canada Council for the arts and Vanessa Moeller for their contributions to the project.

Mathieu Léger

Mathieu Léger is involved in creative cycles that, following nomadic performative explorations, are spread over several years and territories. His conceptual projects probe the natural phenomena of how matter is transformed as well as the effects of time and space on our perception. He borrows from a number of sciences and related disciplines to intervene in the real world through actions that often go unnoticed but discreetly alter the world around us. He preserves the traces of these actions through photographic documentation and through writing.

A “serial artist in residence” from Moncton, Léger has travelled in Canada, the United States, Austria, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, and Switzerland. He completed a bachelor’s degree at the Université de Moncton in 1998 and was the recipient of the Marie Hélène Allain Fellowship in 2014. His work has been shown at the Wandering Arts Biennial in Brussels and at the Symposium international d’art contemporain in Baie-Saint-Paul.