Philippe Caron Lefebvre – Artist in Residence
During my time in Linz…
I aim to work on my collage practice. I have brought laser cut board and cut out images to do a new series inspired by the residency context. For example, I aim to make reference to nature in Austria, specifically the bucolic postcard landscape of the countryside. I am also making compositions of found images in free association depicting sculpture, animals, plants and architecture colliding in a science fiction inspired environment. Furthermore, I plan to work on my conceptual project about spikes. I have collected images, objects and sculptures, to portray and create an improvised lexicon on the variety of things that display pointy appearances. I source my material from a design, a natural, a fictional and finally, from a conceptual point of view. In Linz, I plan to take pictures on details that present spikes, such as anti-pigeon devices, fences, fruits, fashion, and medieval aesthetics.
My collage practice is a tool. In my artistic process, I use it to discharge my obsession with images. We are constantly bombarded with images. From « good old » publicity in billboards and magazines to the cosmos of the internet. This relation with images has conditioned us to recognize things and categorize the content and the container in our subconscious. Therefore, I am emulating this context by recreating a composition of objects. The representation that I select reflect my own field of interests and inquiries. These structured collages are directly feeding my oeuvre, in a sense that it also acts as a palette or a contemporary mood board, for my next installation, sculpture or exhibition. It helps me to develop an aesthetic or a way to organize the chaos of life.
Otherwise, my spike aesthetics research is taking an important place in my practice. Again, the work that will be accomplished here will be helpful to lay the groundwork to find the proper format to display my collection of images. It could be online, in the form of a book, in drawings, etc. In the end, this residency is an opportunity to experiment and preparing a body of work around the spike, for upcoming exhibitions.
Philippe Caron Lefebvre about the atmosphere he needs for the artistic working process…
In general, light. Lots of light. I would say that, I usually enjoy exchanging with my peers. Experimenting with new materials, from garbage to brand new object. From Thrift-store to a shopping mall. Taking walks in gardens or in the city. The atmosphere I am looking for is highly influenced by my senses, in the soundscape, the odours and the sights.
There is a challenge in the solitude, since I enjoy socializing. Obviously, for a sculptor such as myself, the lack of tools and workshop, such as a wood shop, ceramic studio or a metal shop can be hard for the working process. Although, this lack of easy access to these facilities can be relieving, in a sense of creative improvisation, resourcefulness and experimental approach in the making.
Indeed, while in Austria, I am planning to visit some cities, such as Bregenz, Salzbourg, Graz and Vienna. In Bregenz, I aim to see the Kunsthaus Bregenz, where I can see an exhibition of the American artist Jordan Wolfson. This Kunsthaus is famous not only for its cutting-edge contemporary art, but for its history of showing great mid-career and establish artists such as Raphaela Vogel, Jeff Wall, Richard Prince, Wael Shawky, Theaster Gates and many more. I plan to walk around Lac de Constance. In Salzbourg, I plan a more touristic approach, by visiting traditional buildings such cathedrals and castles. In Graz, I specifically want to see the architecture of the Kunsthaus Graz. This is the kind of contemporary architecture that inspires my art practice, with its alien and biomorphic aspect. There is an exhibition of German artist Hito Steyerl coming up. In Vienna, spread on many days, it will be for the numerous institutions, historical plazas, cafés and galleries. Such as Museion, Gabriele Senn Galerie, Mumok, Sammlung Essl, Leopold Museum, Shore Gallery, Kunsthalle Wien, Kunsthistorisches Museum and Albertina.
What does inspire him…
It may sound brash, but I’m always inspired, there is just not enough time and resources to accomplish all the ideas that float in my mind! So, the real question is how to channel and focus inspiration? Well, my collage practice helps. I will say that in order to focus the inspiration, I take a lot of photos, I try to write when I have the mental energy, make lists or draw sketches.
Otherwise, since I’m from Montreal, Canada, I am fascinated by many things. Austrian things that are new to me. The architecture, the urbanscape and the design of Linz, the fashion of Austrians, the Danube and its train-long boats. For my spike aesthetics research, I am always paying attention to anything that could be related for my topic.