Building Fictions

Building Fictions

From April 10th to May 2nd
Opening April 10th, 2015 from 6-9pm
Building Fictions brings together the works of John Player, Adela Leibowitz and Michael Antkowiak. Each artist approaches painting as a process to reconfigure pre-existing cultural narratives. Referencing disparate source imagery, including documentary and surveillance photography, representations of mythological gods, or webcam video stills, these artists reposition the original subjects into new spaces, and in the process conflate fact with fiction.

Montreal-based artist John Player paints images sourced from the Internet, depicting the contemporary apparatus of political power and social control. Adopting the point of view of the all seeing eye of surveillance technology, Player places focus on the multitude of systems that inform our knowledge in the information age. His work reframes these highly mediated images into disorienting painted dystopias. The paintings subvert and transform the original image source into an imaginary plane where its artificiality and otherness become explicit. Player is represented by Pierre-Francois Ouellette Art Contemporain.

New York-based artist Adela Leibowitz brings together the worlds of fairy tales and Eastern religions in her paintings, mixing a variety of references, often borrowing from and re contextualizing ancient artifacts from Mesopotamian and Egyptian mythology. Gods and goddesses, chaos demons, sages, protective deities and mythical hybrids are re animated into a primal world of lush, tropical landscape, where all beings co exist in a somewhat tentative state. Leibowitz paintings are at times bright and hopeful, at other times foreboding, depicting the night forest haunted by blue moons. The historical characters of these dramas appear displaced and take on shifting identities, inviting us to envisage them playing new roles.

LE Gallery artist Michael Antkowiak’s work translates webcam stills and found photography of domesticity into fictional narrative spaces. His paintings elaborate on the original stills through gestural marks that partially obliterate and transform the content of the image. The resulting pictures exist somewhere between photographic documentation, and modern painting, reducing much of the clarity and indexical quality of the source image into tactile play of colour and composition. Antkowiak often paints a sequence of inter related imagery, where the position of the camera or point of view remain a constant, or the same scene is depicted from multiple vantage points. This formal device places emphasis on an otherwise superficial and banal moment, imbuing it with seemingly unwarranted gravity.