Maison de la culture Frontenac
September 2 to October 11, 2015
MissPixels explores the uncertainty that contemporary thinking casts onto a landscape reduced to the aesthetic perceptions of a territory. A landscape is the expression of a place; a place is an inhabited space, a space become culture, a space appropriated by consciousness. The crisis of landscape as a genre arises with the questioning of which political, economic, cultural, and technological mechanisms turn environments into landscapes.
In Retweet (2014), MissPixels starts with screenshots of the abusive tweets that she receives; she then opens the image files in a word processor, which converts them into chunks of undecipherable script. Products of the stupidity of a misogynistic troll and subsequent illogical decoding of the digital files, these anarchic sequences of characters are projected onto snow-covered landscapes of Quebec, which are peaceful yet inhospitable, thus converting them into metaphors for the tensions between serenity and violence.
Data translation is once again the protagonist of Visually Similar Images (2014–15). In 2000, Google introduced its image search function, which uses keywords. We now have the reverse image search resource, enabling us to begin a search with a sample image, which is analyzed pixel by pixel by the search engine, in order to find images with similar pixel structures. In this case, Google algorithms interpret landscapes from Quebec’s 17 administrative regions and match them with other locations in the world. MissPixels has used the results to create dislocated collages that demonstrate the futility of laying claim to “truth to nature” in the face of the demiurgic pre-eminence of search engines.
Isabelle Gagné (MissPixels) was born in 1970 in Boisbriand; she lives and works in Mirabel. She created the iPhoneography group in Montreal and founded Mouvement Art Mobile with two other artists. Since 2009, her works have been presented in solo and group exhibitions across Canada and abroad: Irohani Gallery in Osaka (2014), the Musée d’art contemporain des Laurentides in Saint-Jérôme (2014), the Centre national d’exposition in Saguenay (2014), Factory Art Gallery in Berlin (2013), Moment Factory in Montreal (2013), Lunch Box Art Gallery in Miami (2012), the Centre d’Art Léo-Ayotte in Shawinigan (2012), Gallery on the Corner in London (2011), MMS Gallery in Philadelphia (2011), and Madrid Hub (2010). MissPixels won the Silver Award in creative photography at the 36th National Magazine Awards in 2012.
Portrait: © Luc Girouard