Mathieu Beauséjour

Icarus (La Récolte), 2011

Mathieu Beauséjour
Icarus (La Récolte)
Dimensions and medium
Inkjet print on polypropylene banner, furniture, REGA P1 turntable, 33 rpm vinyl record, drawing on panel, metal disc, and vertical blinds, Variable dimensions
Gift of Collection Loto-Québec, acquired in partnership with the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal
Artwork description
Mathieu Beauséjour’s installation Icarus (La Récolte), part of the Icarus series he began in 2009, revisits this Greek myth to address the theme of our fascination with the sun. Here, Beauséjour draws an allegory of greed and the transcendence of reason. The work conveys the artist’s interest in the passage of time, renewed through appropriated symbols, myths and historical content ranging from the Acéphale (a headless character popularized by the magazine of the same name edited by the French writer Georges Bataille in the 1930s) to the simple, drawn line—an essentially misleading motif since each band it creates can simultaneously belong to the plane that follows and precedes it. The installation includes other components, such as a black and white, wooden, table-like structure carrying a turntable that plays a 33 RPM record of the sound produced by the sun, as recorded by NASA. A large-format ink-jet printed polypropylene banner depicts the sun hovering above the headless body a reaper, an image borrowed from a Yugoslav banknote. Here, the dialectical representation of the work of economic, libidinal and symbolic forces uses the icon of the Sun in order to bring about the figure of nihilism and its destructive potential. The work thus transposes and contemporizes the notions of power, spending and loss that have endured throughout time.

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