Alternate universe

Pathie is a new video-based art installation by Andrée-Anne Roussel, currently on display at the ODD Gallery in Dawson. PHOTOS: Andrée-Anne Roussel

There is a new exhibition showing at The ODD Gallery in Dawson City, a gallery that showcases contemporary art year round. Pathie is a new, video-based installation by Montreal artist Andrée-Anne Roussel.

The exhibit opened Wednesday, January 17th, with an artist’s talk at the Klondike Institute of Art and Culture (KIAC) ballroom, followed by a reception in the gallery itself. The exhibit runs until February 24.

Roussel is both a filmmaker and an artist in digital arts. She has a bachelor’s degree in cinematography and a master’s degree in experimental media research and creativity from the Université du Québec à Montréal. Her work has been showcased around the world, including at the Sapporo International Short Film Festival in Japan, the London Analogue Festival in the United Kingdom and at the Analogica Festival held in the Southern Tyrolean Mountains in Italy.

Roussel works primarily with the medium of video. Her projects are in the form of interactive installations and sensory films, with themes of ambiguity, failure, fragility and empathy.

Most of her projects take place in a time parallel to ours, but at a slower pace. For example, her work La Femme dans la chambre (The Woman in the Room), a project she showcased at the Musee d’art de Joliette in 2015, is a video, projected on a wide screen, of a woman sitting on a bed. Visitors sit in the dark in a comfortable armchair placed in front of the screen while the woman appears on the screen engaging the viewer in a one way tête-à-tête. Roussel features this type of one-way interaction often in her work. Her characters slowly wander in alternate universes, carrying out daily tasks in a studied manner, because, according to Roussel, this displays an important act of resistance to what she feels is an invasion of our private lives by the capitalist system.In her artist’s statement on her website, she is quoted as saying, “We are called to become active consumers 24/7. The boundaries between the private and the public, work and leisure, in short all spheres of our lives, are going to disappear, giving us the feeling of ubiquity. Through these contemplative characters (that I create) and their relationship to their environment, I approach several notions such as the economy of attention, non-communication, intimacy, failure, the representation of the woman, the absurd and ambiguity.”

As well as continuing her work in digital art this year, Roussel will also be joining the residency programme at La Plata in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and at LABoral – Centro de Arte y Creación Industrial in Gijon, Spain.

ODD Gallery hours are Tuesday to Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturdays from 12 noon to 5 p.m.
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