The Contemporary Art group proposes two interventions that unfold in two complementary spaces: Facebook’s digital space and Montréal’s urban space.
To realize sans titre (2018), Steve Giasson makes abstraction, in all the senses of the term, and during a little more than three months, his wire of news Facebook – with the sandstone of his consultations of the social network and according to arbitrary durations – of in a way to depersonalize it, to blur the outlines, to level it out.
The artist wants to show what his Facebook news feed has in common with that of other users, make it a common and poetic experience, a “portrait” more or less collective and minimalist (in the spirit works by Félix González-Torres, in particular).
In doing so, Giasson collects and delivers, disseminated, personal information, in the midst of other more general or anecdotal information, in keeping with the logic of this network, but by smoothing them out, as if they already belonged to a past. distant and diffuse.
The arbitrariness of its choices also reflects the very peculiar experience that we can have of the participative Web (known as Web 2.0): that of a frenzied individualism, reinforced by the illusion of controlling (a bit more) its existence, to have an impact on the world, to be connected to one’s fellow men, to live (a bit more) in a democracy; illusion that various scandals surrounding this social network and its massive collection of data (data) from its users (Cambridge Analytica, etc.) and various writings, (including the recent block of Shoshana Zuboff, The Age of Surveillance Capitalism: The Fight for a Human Future at the New Frontier of Power, 2018), have, of course, undermined.
Steve Giasson’s found words work like slogans, vaguely denoting consumer goods. Isolated, often amputated or decomposed and “neutralized”, they refer only to their “own absurd vacancy”, like the advertising litany from which they come and whose iconic and / or typographic character they nevertheless retain.
These works in progress are inspired by Federico Juan Carlos Loomis’ short Opus, holding in their only titles (Bear, Paillasse, Cream, etc.), a fictional author born under the feathers of Jorge Luis Borges and Adolfo Bioy Casares in “Catalog and analysis of the various works of Loomis”, in Chronicles of Bustos Domecq (1967).
They also pay tribute to the minimalist poems of Aram Saroyan, Robert Grenier and Craig Dworkin, among others.
However, the words found by Steve Giasson give rather to see “the way language turns into an instrument of loss of meaning”, as Robert C. Morgan wrote (in “Monography on an exhibition of Haim Steinbach”, 1990 ) about the textual installations of the conceptual artist Haim Steinbach, to which these works of Giasson voluntarily echo and of which they constitute, as it were, “supplements”.
In addition, the latter are intended to experience multiple and diverse instantiations (impromptu installations in urban and virtual spaces, publications, gallery exhibitions, etc.) that will potentially renew their scope.