Grégory Chatonsky and Dominique Sirois
(France/Quebec, Canada | Quebec, Canada)
September 3 to October 11, 2015
Several advanced neurological research facilities are currently hard at work looking for ways to visualize brain activity in the form of figurative images, as the first step toward materializing the fantasy of creating a machine to project dreams. Meanwhile, artists such as Grégory Chatonsky and Dominique Sirois are pursuing a similar goal by poetic means. With Memories Center (2014–15), they have developed a device that brings us closer to the perception of mental images. Using a database of twenty thousand dreams, compiled by Adam Schneider and G. William Domhoff at the University of California, the software generates new dream sequences, reads them, and then searches the Internet for images corresponding to the selected keywords. Dreamt situations or events are externalized and expressed as short picture stories, with a structure similar to that of a storyboard or a succinct photo novella, pulsating, perhaps, with the tortured sensibilities of a David Lynch.
The process devised by Chatonsky and Sirois is rooted in the exuberance of archives (the dream bank, the infinite abundance of images on the Internet) and celebrates the germinal condition often characteristic of post-photographic creation. More importantly, though, above and beyond the iconic implications regarding the nature of visual thinking and the future of images, this experience hovers over high-risk areas in humanistic and democratic terms. In fact, it anticipates various recurring dystopian nightmares in which centralized power exercises control over people’s minds – maybe producing visually prophylactic effects.
Grégory Chatonsky was born in Paris in 1971; he lives and works in Montreal and Paris. He holds degrees in multimedia from the École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts de Paris and from Paris I La Sorbonne. In 1994, he founded Incident.net, a net art collective based in France, Canada, and Senegal. Dominique Sirois was born in 1976; she lives and works in Montreal. She holds a master’s degree in visual and media arts from the Université du Québec à Montréal, and her work has been exhibited in galleries in Canada and abroad. Chatonsky and Sirois have presented their collaborative projects in many venues, such as iMAL in Brussels (2015), the Unicorn Art Center in Beijing (2015), the Centre des Arts d’Engheins-les-Bains (2014), the Museum of Contemporary Art, Taipei (2013), and Bazaar Compatible Program in Shanghai (2012). Grégory Chatonsky is represented by XPO Gallery in Paris.
This exhibition is presented with the financial support of the Consulat général de France à Québec and the Institut français.