8 sculptures, 2016
Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal
The recent works of Valérie Blass are filled with a dual tension that contrasts the notions of visibility and invisibility, as well as the boundaries between volume and surface. Her sculptures, whose anthropomorphic postures tend toward abstraction, arise out of deliberately unstable representations: the unity of the work is conceived so that it slips away, is transformed and then re-formed according to the viewer’s positions and movements. The referential impact of the representation is made denser this way, and the sculpture acts as a plural entity.
In this new series of sculptures, the motif of the invisible man intensifies the perceptual diversions. The random properties of the materials combine with the plays of solid and, above all, void, which contribute to the illusion of invisible figures or objects that can be located using certain clues in terms of materials or clothing. The simulation of transparency is produced by elements that seem to float and that are arranged so as to draw the outlines of that which is absent. The contrast is all the greater since that which is made visible is precisely that which is normally hidden or private: bags of drugs attached to an (invisible) body that we imagine going through customs, undergarments or even postures that belong in private space. These imagined snippets tie in with a carefully disjointed narrative framework, a calculated grotesque that operates rather like humorous jibes, retorts flung at us by the artist.
Commissioned and produced by La Biennale de Montréal for Le Grand Balcon.