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EVENTS

We are so thrilled to announce that Francisco Gonzalez-Rosas the featured artist-in-residence for our Permeable Lines Residency! Please read below to learn more about Francisco and keep an eye out for what to expect over the 6 weeks of his residency on our social media pages. Welcome, Francisco! 

On behalf of Francisco and the SBC team, we would like to extend an invitation to come see Francisco’s work in the gallery! The gallery will be open to the public on March 4 and 5th from 12 PM to 5 PM and March 6th from 1PM to 6PM. We are so grateful to have this opportunity to reopen the gallery to share a collection of Francisco’s work that has greatly influenced the project he has been working on during his residency at SBC. We can’t wait to welcome you back while ensuring we all respect the safety measures currently in place.

ARTIST BIO

Currently based in Tiohtià:ke / Montréal, Francisco Gonzalez-Rosas is a performance and new media artist born in Chile. He holds a BA in Acting from Finis Terrae  University, Santiago, Chile and a Master in Fine Arts in Intermedia, from  Concordia University, Montreal. His first solo show “Techniques of the  Narcissist” was presented as a multichannel video installation at Elektra  Gallery, Montreal, in 2019. His work has been exhibited in Chile, China, Italy,  UK, Poland, Czech Republic and the US. 

ARTIST BIO

The members of the jury for the Permeable Lines residency were Dominique Fontaine (curator) and Camille Larrivée (street artist, curator).

ABOUT THE EXHIBITION

Francisco González-Rosas, Permeable Lines

Text by Benjamin Allard

 

Francisco González-Rosas’ practice explores the boundary between the digital and the physical. In his performances, technology can either act as an extension of the body (Piel), [1] or as its witness (Dating for export). [2] Throughout his works, the body is envisioned as a conduit between two universes, and technology is employed in various ways to highlight the tension between the corporeality of the artist and its representation.

 

During the Permeable Lines residency at SBC gallery, [3] González-Rosas crafted a three-dimensional model of his own body by combining more than a hundred two-dimensional images, using a method known as photogrammetry. The avatar thus created takes the idea of digital visibility to its next logical step, channeling science-fiction as the artist uploads himself into the computer. This digital model can then reproduce expressions or movements independently—it is now the machine that activates the body.

 

This avatar was created at a moment when many people were limited to a merely virtual presence. With its new residency program, which was put in place in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, SBC offers artists access to the gallery’s space while allowing them to present their work either online or in person, depending on changing health and safety guidelines. It provided an ideal context for González-Rosas to explore the “existing and speculative crossovers between the body and technology.”[4]

 

Interfaces and computer tools are an integral part of González-Rosas’ artistic vocabulary. Before the residency, he had used a 3D avatar of himself created on IMVU (performance.png[5], a platform that allows web users to craft virtual models out of a limited set of physical features. The limitations of this system overdetermined the creations of its users, reducing them to stereotypes.

 

Photogrammetry constitutes a new avenue of research for González-Rosas, one that allows him to reappropriate his own body through a hyper-realistic avatar assembled out of photographs of himself. Despite its realistic appearance, this avatar is employed to make evident the fragmented and plural aspects of our identities. For example, the camera can sometimes clip through the model [6], revealing the fictional body’s hollow interior: a grey landscape where no texture has yet been generated. By making apparent the tools that produce a realistic effect, the work reveals the illusory nature of representation.

 

As part of this process, he also studies how contemporary images are influenced by those that preceded them. Through photogrammetry, he now seeks to position himself in relation to collective memory. He notably references the works of artists who have worked on the theme of Chilean queer identity, [7] such as Pedro Lemebel’s halo of syringes. Recalling Christ’s crown of thorns, [8] this icon evokes the suffering caused by AIDS. His model is also sculpted to resemble Frida Kahlo’s painting The Two Fridas, where two representations of the artist are linked by blood transfusion. This last work was also reinterpreted by Lemebel and Francisco Casas, who gave it lasting political importance.[9]

 

González-Rosas then manipulates his representation by affirming his own body and by consciously positioning himself in relation to an artistic tradition. He uses the expression Fear of Missing Out History [10] to ironically evoke his anxious wish to inscribe himself into history, as if it were a party not to be missed. This angst is felt unequally, because people living in the margins of their society are all too often already forgotten even in their own time. The creation of virtual avatars can be one way for the body to enter the machine, and thus to coexist with the past. It can also reveal the fragility and arbitrary nature of the historical process, or reveal the structures that maintain the illusion of reality.

Benjamin J. Allard is an artist, radio producer, and educator based in Tiohtià:ke (Montréal). From 2018 to 2020, he hosted radio atelier, the cultural workers’ radio show at CIBL. His texts were published by Inter magazine, The New Gallery, and QOQQOON. He completed a BA in Communication Studies (Concordia) and an MFA in Visual Arts (UBC).

 

[1] González-Rosas, Francisco. Piel. Performance and installation. 2018. URL : https://www.franciscogonzalezrosas.com/portfolio-item/piel/

[2] González-Rosas, Francisco. Dating for Export. Video performance. 2019, Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal. URL : https://www.franciscogonzalezrosas.com/portfolio-item/dating-for-export/

[3] Permeable Lines (January 19 - March 6 2021). URL : https://www.sbcgallery.ca/franciscogonzalezrosas-fr?lang=en

[4] sbcgalerie. Francisco, our Artist-in-Residence… Instagram. February 2 2021. URL : https://www.instagram.com/p/CKzY-PynaSA/ Retrieved July 22 2021.

[5] González-Rosas. performance.png. Video performance, 3d animation; digital pieces. 2021, Galerie de l’UQAM. URL : https://www.franciscogonzalezrosas.com/portfolio-item/performance-png/

[6] Translator’s note: in video game parlance, the term “clipping” is used colloquially to refer to collision detection errors within the game engine that allow characters or objects to unrealistically pass through each other.

[7] Based on my conversations with the artist.

[8] For the first usage of the crown in their practice, visit Yeguas del Apocalipsis. URL : https://english.yeguasdelapocalipsis.cl/1988-crowning-of-thorns/

[9] Pedro Lemebel and Francisco Casas’ collective, Las Yeguas del Apocalipsis, was active in Chile from 1987 to 1993, under the Pinochet regime and during the transition to democracy. On the subject of the photograph and their interpretation of The Two Fridas : https://english.yeguasdelapocalipsis.cl/1989-two-fridas/, for the performance: https://english.yeguasdelapocalipsis.cl/1990-two-fridas-in-galeria-bucci/.

[10] Drawn from a text that was being written during the residency.