Canadian Cultural Centre Paris

Centre Culturel Canadien | 5 rue de Constantine
F-75007 Paris

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press release

Programmed as part of the Rencontres Internationales Paris/Berlin/Madrid - one of Europe’s most important new cinema and contemporary art events - (November 22nd - December 1st, 2007 in Paris), the Canadian Cultural Centre in Paris presents the first large exhibition in France by Canadian artists Lisa Klapstock and Paulette Phillips. Composed of video installations and photographs, this exhibition brings together major works by these two Toronto-based artists.

Lisa Klapstock’s work confronts the viewer with empty or occupied everyday places that are rendered eminently ambiguous. Her artistic practice investigates mechanisms of seeing and the role of the camera in affecting and challenging the way we view and experience our surroundings.

The exhibition is centred upon a series of five small video works entitled Ambiguous Landscapes (2003-2005) and Threshold (2001-2002), a photographic series revealing the hidden environment of Toronto’s urban laneways, drawing attention to the fragile and mutable interface separating public and private realms. The Canadian Cultural Centre will also present the world premiere of Field Studies (2007) a video installation that plunges the viewer into a completely new visual and sound experience: a double projection creates an unsettling translation of the relationship between the individual and the crowd, in an abstract and blurred public space where the human figure is reduced to a shapeless blur of movement.

Paulette Phillips’ video creations explore drifting behaviour and thought that transform everyday situations (walking through a crowd, observing a landscape, visiting a tourist site) into mysterious events. Paradox, trauma, displacement and discomfort are recurring elements in her work. Presented for the first time in France, four video works engage the viewer in latent dramas structured upon both perceptual and emotional tension: It’s about how people judge appearance (2001), The Floating House (2002), Crosstalk (2004) and Monster Tree (2006) associate diverse forms of voyeurism with a paradoxical approach, bringing together urban indifference and non-differentiation, as well as a curiosity of the spectacular generally associated with suspense cinema.

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Lisa Klapstock / Paulette Phillips