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Université du Québec à Trois Rivières
Trois-Rivières, QC, G8Z

A wide overview of the art research and creation of the French Canadian Philippe Boissonnet. Art holography, digital photography, interactive installation, photo-performance, drawings, and more



Passing from drawing to holographic installation, Boissonnet courts light by exploring its penetrating power to destabilize vision. He sculpts light, reflecting upon its power. The artist focuses on the ambiguities and attendant complexities inherent in the process of visual perception, clarifying the relativity of viewpoint in the multiplicity of faithful visual representations. Often beginning with the terrestrial globe as a model or motif, his research opens to a planetary abundance, and then overflows beyond the traditional "landscape". What illuminates Boissonnet’s work? - form and/or matter? Light? The earth? The earth and ourselves?  In  fact,  his  interactive  holographic installations  are  built  from  a series  of  intermixtures  of  drawings,  photocopies  and  photographs questioning one  after  another (and one within another) our place on earth, our return to a world essentially trapped by perception.

Adopting the cartographic paradigm, Boissonnet deterritorializes the field of representation that rhymes with our most audacious technologies, where luminous flux, fabulation, myth and the laws of physics circulate. In the motion of orbits and ellipses that Boissonnet celebrates, material and immaterial images travel around themselves, round and round, connecting heterogeneous spaces, and amalgamating otherwise disparate mediums. While pointing to the dawn he signals the apocalypse of our world, locked in a geopolitical harness serving war, deportation, pollution and surexploitation. Memento Mori.  The work darkens.  Yet,  it sparks  and glows,  is eclipsed,  fades  and trembles, reflected and reflecting in the shadow  of  time,  under  the  stratification  of  history  and  of  memory.  And as Merleau-­Ponty observed, «seeing is having at a distance», here is a rich, blinding pamplisist. Light and shadow flicker. Boissonnet practices the art of scintillating between the detail and the panorama, inter-­cutting terrestrial views with the perspective of Icarus. Watching his planetary images, the earth passes by from very large to very small. This vastness seems to resonate in the most intimate part of us. Looking at the Earth is also looking at ourselves, for we are the earth.


«Regarder la terre, c’est aussi se regarder car nous sommes la terre.»

Manon Régimbald (in exhibition’s catalogue: "Philippe Boissonnet. Un espace entre 2 temps", 2004, MACL, Canada. p 45. Translation by Richard Purdy)