Nadia Belerique: Have You Seen This Man

May 1 - June 7, 2014

Have You Seen This Man furthers Belerique’s investigation into the moods of space in its physical and psychological occupations. Borrowing from diverse literary styles such as poetry, news headlines and prose, she translates these languages with varied technologies into an illusory visual installation.

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Provoking the performativity of objects, photographs, objects in photographs and photographs in objects, the installation beckons, “Look. Yes, look again, and longer this time.” By playing with notions of positive and negative space, Belerique creates inversions, resulting in intentional disorientations that compel perceptual reassessments.

The Archer 3 depicts a temporal collage of found tape, acetate and Rubylith©, an antiquated masking film used in photolithography to edit images prior to their reproduction. Assembled on a digital home-office scanner, light skims The Archer 3 to produce a fixed image. Traces of Belerique’s activity are also revealed; smears from her fingertips on the material become suggestive markings. The background becomes a vague gradient, created by her manipulation of light from the scanner and the room, which together act as a surrogate aperture.

A vast, off-white rug fills the gallery, punctuated by ambiguous steel structures derived from life-sized, figurative cardboard cutouts. The carpet reveals more markings, this time from boots, track shoes and heels dipped with Liquid Light©, a light-sensitive emulsion that, when exposed to sunlight, reveals the imprinted activity on the rug. A mystery transpires. The structures, in their apparent fixity, remain suspicious.

Nadia Belerique (b. 1982, lives and works in Toronto) constructs installations that engage with the poetics of perception and asks how images perform in contemporary culture. Primarily invested in questions around materiality and dematerialization through the illusion of photographs, her image-based works are often interrupted by sculptural objects. She received her MFA from the University of Guelph, and has recently exhibited at such venues as Narwhal, Gallery TPW, Xpace and Diaz Contemporary in Toronto.

This is a featured exhibition of the Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival.

This exhibition was made possible by The Ontario Arts Council.