Dépanneur St. Cyr at L.A. Pai Gallery: The Strongman on his day off
Photograph by Christina Thomson
L.A.Pai Gallery, Ottawa August 25 September 14, 2012 Opening reception: Saturday August 25, 12 2 pm
Welcome to the mysterious world of Saint-Henri in the infamous Sud-Ouest of Montréal. It is from here that the installation Dépanneur St.Cyr has sprung. In this store within a store, we find objects of nebulous and negotiable usefulness. Wooden boomboxes, powered only by the imagination, flog silence. Surreal illustrations loosely chart le quartier Saint-Henri. The objects and images on view offer cryptic insights behind closed doors, shadowy ruelles, parks and interlinguistic miscommunications. You are invited to come and browse this marché aux puces and participate with culture through the conduct and politesse of capitalist exchange.
The word dépanneur comes from the French verb, dépanner, meaning to help out, to repair, to tide over. The St. Cyr in the exhibition title is a respectful nod to Louis Cyr (1863-1912), "the strongest man ever known". Louis Cyr accomplished incredible feats of strength, lifting 500 pounds with one finger, pushing steam train carriages up inclines, lifting 18 men at a time. His records have never been beaten. From 1883 to 1885 he worked as a policeman patrolling Saint-Henri, where the artist's studio is also located and where his commemorative statue can be found. This exhibition works to honour Louis Cyr's story through the re-imagining him as a canonised hero with the visual overtones of Saint Francis of Assisi.
About the artist: Anna Jane McIntyre is an interdisciplinary artist with a practice rooted in drawing. She graduated with a BFA from the Ontario College of Art & Design in Toronto and from the MFA studio arts print media program at Concordia University in Montréal.
McIntyre's love of the nighttime spectacle, cheap glamour, the complexity of being human, lights and action has resulted in an obsession with the circus. Her work explores animism, atheism, ritual, the invisible, the imagined, the agreed upon, balance and the powerful allure of the asymmetrical.
Her work has been exhibited and published across Canada, the United States, South Africa and England. Her most recent projects may be viewed at www.annajmcintyre.com and dontarguewithghosts.blogspot.com. She lives and works in Montréal, Québec.
L.A Pai Gallery 13, Murray street Ottawa, ON K1N 9M5 613.241.2767 www.lapaigallery.com Gallery hours Monday to Saturday from 10 to 6 pm Sunday from 10 to 5 pm
Contact Information: Anna J. McIntyre firstname.lastname@example.org www.annajmcintyre.com dontarguewithghosts.blogspot.com