The Contemporary Art Gallery presents the first solo exhibition in North America of Paris-based artist Dove Allouche. Developed in collaboration with Centre d’art contemporain d’Ivry – le Credac, this exhibition
The Contemporary Art Gallery presents the first solo exhibition in North America of Paris-based artist Dove Allouche. Developed in collaboration with Centre d’art contemporain d’Ivry – le Credac, this exhibition comprises new bodies of work alongside recent ones, with the aim of tracing correlations and connections across the artist’s expansive practice.
Central to the exhibition is an investigation of Allouche’s desire not to produce new things in the world but rather to make visible that which otherwise remains unseen, hidden or buried. Grounded in reprographic processes, his practice is fundamentally concerned with the matter of the earth and the slow passage of time. From the surface of the sun to Parisian sewer networks, stalagmites and the growth of spores, these subjects all demonstrate the effects of natural events, which both shape their structures and, in most cases, obscure them from human view.
In Allouche’s work the medium itself becomes the subject and the process of fabrication generates the imagery. The Pétrographie series (2015), for example, employs a technique invented in 1828 by a Scottish physicist who used crystal cut from calcite to dramatically improve a microscope’s power. From the Terre et Histoire de la Vie laboratory at the Institut Royal des Sciences Naturelles de Belgique, Allouche loaned a 117,000 year old length of stalagmite from Belgium’s Remouchamps caves. Thin slices were cut through the calcite and then each layer — holding a latent image much like a strip of unexposed film — was treated as a photographic negative. In each unique silver gelatin print produced, the stalagmite’s rings appear like those of a tree, revealing the material’s expression of time passing and the environmental forces that impacted its growth.
The title of this exhibition refers to a phrase first used by the poet John Keats to characterize writers’ capacity to pursue an artistic vision despite the fact that it may lead them into intellectual uncertainty and doubt. Negative Capability describes a willingness to dwell in a prolonged state of “not knowing.” While an almost impossible state to maintain, especially for humans so quick to jump to reason, this temporality is imperative for Allouche’s practice: it is the one that allows his imaginative inquiry to hover so long at the edge of darkness.
September 27 (Thursday) - December 30 (Sunday)
Contemporary Art Gallery - Vancouver
555 Nelson St, Vancouver, BC V6B 6R5, Canada