Hey Art Fans, there is a very cool exhibit happening at STM gallery (2nd floor by library) until Oct.29th, that you should check out.
At first glance Zoe’s work looks like a visual research study on Canadian Identity. Her work catches you with a large academic style text quote on brightly colored backgrounds. Beside each quote is a pop art style portrait of the person being quoted and a short bio of that person. Looking at these quotes really challenge Canadian identity and are loaded with some biting truths. The work shares a general theme following the modern disappearance of the Canadian identity. When I looked at it, I was really captivated by these characters and was interested in learning more about them and their research. I thought to myself “Wow! Zoe’ really did some great research finding these diverse academic’s views on Canadians!”
But it gets better. She made them all up! The people, the quotes and the bio’s are all fiction!
There is some excellent social commentary here. Zoe Fortier comes from a Francophone community of Zenon Park. Francophones outside of Quebec face assimilation and cultural threats constantly. Francophone culture is celebrated in Quebec, but what about in the west? They’ve been largely ignored despite their historical significance in settling this country. She based her work people’s writings on Francophone culture but reversed it to look at Anglo-white Canadian culture. Her work is political but not militant, Zoe’s cheeky humor is quite evident.
I was speaking to someone who works on the 2nd floor of STM and he said that he hears people being offended by the pieces while other people are laughing out loud. Don’t you think it worked?
* You really should visit them in person to read the fictional bio’s-very funny stuff!