Laurent Gagnon

Born in Quebec City.  Lives and works in Quebec City.

BIO

Laurent Gagnon holds an MFA in visual arts from Université Laval (2002). He is a sculptor who also works with printmaking techniques. He has presented numerous solo and group exhibitions in Quebec, Canada and on the international scene. The artist has a particular interest in public art in all its forms and has produced several works for the Integration of art in architecture program of the Quebec Government.

APPROACH

Gagnon’s approach to politics in art lies within the perspective of showing allegorical objects. These objects create a gap, a hazy area in relation to our expectations: the artist presents their malleable, aesthetic qualities, which elevate them to the state of symbols. In looking again at everyday objects, the artist encourages us to reflect about the world around us. Through the accumulation of found objects, he broaches the subject of consumption and its alienating processes.

Political issues alternately fascinate and disgust him. Faced with the current politics, he often has the feeling of being deprived of any power to take action about the way things are. To counter this lethargy, his work produces symbolic effects to open a gap. The game creates a distance that allows us a detachment in relation to established forms of domination.

PROJECT

Gagnon wishes to create various interventions in which the main theme is the game. The trigger can be found in a play on words or in an existent game transposed into sculpture or installation. Thus, Baliser l’arène (Mark Out the Arena) proposes an extension of surveyor’s equipment while L’échiquier mondial (World Chessboard) embodies a map of the world in which all the continents are represented as squares of various colours.

D’inextricables enjeux (Inextricable Stakes) reproduces a game of Jackstraws. Each inordinately large stick is transformed into a javelin. Engaging in new stick compositions, the public recreates – metaphorically – the complex issues of this world. Subsequently, the sticks are removed one by one as if to resolve the situation.

Gagnon works

Photo: Stéphanie Jones

Fireworks, 2017, steel and items found, Courtesy of the artist