visual arts / Visual arts, Architecture & Design / VANCOUVER - Caroline Mesquita: The Ballad @ 221A

Caroline Mesquita’s sculptural practice intertwines the materiality of her altered, oxidized, and painted copper and brass sheets with theatrical playfulness. Her metallurgic experiments result in life-size figures, interacting with each other in a mise en scène crafted from the sculpted sheets and forming an environment of coated steel. For the exhibition The Ballad, presented at Fondation d’entreprise Ricard, Mesquita produced a series of twelve sculpted characters interacting and facing each other or the viewer as their presence blurs the line between fiction and reality, humans and mannequins. It is a procession, a form of public celebration, a moment of communion.

There is a distinctive boldness in Caroline Mesquita’s gesture and approach to the material and the object as she transforms rough pieces of metal into a sophisticated ensemble of colored sculptures forming a joyful parade of dancing souls. The structure of the body of work is framed by large pieces of dark gray steel, evoking a sidewalk, a wing and jet engines of a dislocated plane, as if it had crashed in a faraway desert zone, providing the metal characters—perhaps the plane’s passengers—a backdrop or playground made of its leftover fragments. In the video produced for the body of work and titled The Ballad (2017), Mesquita appears alongside her sculptures and the interaction she creates pushes the limits and reinvents ways of living together. Masquerading as a myriad of characters with diverse costumes and makeup experimentation, whether personifying a pilot officer, a teenager with braces, or an elegant Gothic woman, she seems to challenge our understanding of identity construction and representation, oscillating between tenderness and violence, love and vice. As her sculptures cuddle and caress her, then attack and wound her, the soundscape of the video—metallic jingling and clinking—gives the impression of a deliciously perverse carnival.

Martha Kirszenbaum, Curator


Opening reception / April 1, 2017 - 5 to 8pm


The first chapter of the project was hosted at the Fondation d’entreprise Ricard, Paris, earlier this year. The exhibitions will dovetail into an artists’ book published later in the year. More info: 221A

With the support of Cultural Services of the Embassy of France in Canada and Institut Français.

221A gallery 100-221 E Georgia Vancouver, BC

VANCOUVER - Caroline Mesquita: The Ballad @ 221A

When
April 4 to June 3, 2017
Where
221A gallery
100-221 E Georgia
Vancouver, BC
Excerpt from Caroline Mesquita’s The Ballad, 2017, digital video, 29 min. Courtesy the Artist, carlier | gebauer, Berlin and Union Pacific, London. Produced by Fondation d’entreprise Ricard, Paris and 221A, Vancouver.

Caroline Mesquita’s sculptural practice intertwines the materiality of her altered, oxidized, and painted copper and brass sheets with theatrical playfulness. Her metallurgic experiments result in life-size figures, interacting with each other in a mise en scène crafted from the sculpted sheets and forming an environment of coated steel. For the exhibition The Ballad, presented at Fondation d’entreprise Ricard, Mesquita produced a series of twelve sculpted characters interacting and facing each other or the viewer as their presence blurs the line between fiction and reality, humans and mannequins. It is a procession, a form of public celebration, a moment of communion.

There is a distinctive boldness in Caroline Mesquita’s gesture and approach to the material and the object as she transforms rough pieces of metal into a sophisticated ensemble of colored sculptures forming a joyful parade of dancing souls. The structure of the body of work is framed by large pieces of dark gray steel, evoking a sidewalk, a wing and jet engines of a dislocated plane, as if it had crashed in a faraway desert zone, providing the metal characters—perhaps the plane’s passengers—a backdrop or playground made of its leftover fragments. In the video produced for the body of work and titled The Ballad (2017), Mesquita appears alongside her sculptures and the interaction she creates pushes the limits and reinvents ways of living together. Masquerading as a myriad of characters with diverse costumes and makeup experimentation, whether personifying a pilot officer, a teenager with braces, or an elegant Gothic woman, she seems to challenge our understanding of identity construction and representation, oscillating between tenderness and violence, love and vice. As her sculptures cuddle and caress her, then attack and wound her, the soundscape of the video—metallic jingling and clinking—gives the impression of a deliciously perverse carnival.

Martha Kirszenbaum, Curator


Opening reception / April 1, 2017 - 5 to 8pm


The first chapter of the project was hosted at the Fondation d’entreprise Ricard, Paris, earlier this year. The exhibitions will dovetail into an artists’ book published later in the year. More info: 221A

With the support of Cultural Services of the Embassy of France in Canada and Institut Français.