Colour video, sound, 21 min 31 s
Gift of Collection Loto-Québec, acquired in partnership with the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal
This video by Claudie Gagnon is a variation on the genre of tableau vivant, where performers hold a fixed pose before a live audience. Here, the artist revisits the various genres, compositions, poses and gestures of painting, while accentuating not so much the scene’s actions, which are minimal, but its sounds. While the characters remain immobile, they nonetheless come alive through strange and subtle sounds that accentuate the artist’s grotesque and humorous interpretation of art history. Each of her videos features art historical recreations, including the religious figures of El Greco; the bearded woman of José de Ribera; 15th century Flemish genre scenes inspired by Hieronymus Bosch; the Surrealism of Otto Dix; Edvard Munch’s famous painting, The Scream; and the acrobats of Honoré Daumier and Pablo Picasso. A veritable allegory of painting, Tableaux casts a humorous and ironic look at the history of art.