Artist: Mathieu Gotti
Opening Thursday, November 24 at 5 PM
Runs November 24 to January 20, 2017
In la Galerie du CCFM
Changements climatiques [climate changes] draws on the expertise developed with the Fonderie polaire [polar foundry] project created in 2015 during an artist’s residency at the Vrille contemporary art centre in La Pocatière, Quebec, and the Fragment d’histoire [story fragment] research project carried out in spring 2015, made possible by a creation and production grant from the Première Ovation program. These two projects contributed significantly to developing the artist’s practice. He now has his own studio, where he devotes himself fully to his research and art.
Sculpture as a public and grassroots gesture
Changements climatiques consists of a series of animals interacting with elements from the human realm, all sculpted in wood.
This project can be perceived from several angles: the animals’ visual appearance suggests childhood, tales and fables. In this new body of work, the animals metamorphose and occasionally use manufactured objects to compensate for the loss of their environment caused by industrial activity. The sculpture is seen as a fragment of life. Spectators have a subjective memory and the ability to interpret present-day images based on their past experience. Beyond their immediate use, objects eventually become vehicles of memory. With a story fragment focusing on everyday objects, the artist’s work becomes an imaginary bestiary. The animals are a part of our imagination because they hark back to our childhood and its wealth of stories and fables. But they are also symbols of contemporary life, like the laboratory rat, and can also become cultural archetypes, like the fox or wolf. While they have subjective power, the colours and inviting nature of the project’s animal creations make them predominantly accessible and fun.
To complement this grassroots aspect, all of the project phases are documented in videos and photographs disseminated via Facebook and his Instagram account @mathieu_gotti.
Artistic practice, and a brief overview of the underlying philosophy
My projects explore territorial and social memory. My practice is therefore primarily driven by contextual research aimed at creating a connection between the work, the venue and the audience. Together, these three elements help give spectators a poetic sculptural experience, encouraging them to reflect on immediacy and duration. My sculptures’ social and natural impact is achieved through their colours, shapes and contexts.
My artistic research deals with the idea of human memory as a natural “footprint.” I also explore memory from its dualistic perspective – selective and destructive – given that we choose what information to memorize, and gradually, consciously or unconsciously, forget certain details.
My projects are always handmade, using both traditional and experimental methods. They are linked to my desire to re-appropriate production methods. The inventor’s instinct and self-proclaimed know-how are a starting point in my practice. The materials used and the way they are transformed create a unique look. Carving sculptures using the direct cutting method and 21st century wood allows me to create a contrast with our times. My formal research focuses on the opposition between traditional style and industrial finishing. Rustic or second-hand materials, sculpted or created using traditional methods, connect with viewers. They therefore appeal to subjective memory, at times creating a feeling of nostalgia. In contrast, industrially finished, painted and monochrome surfaces belong to the technical universe and contemporary works.
My proposed projects are typically conceptualized and created to work within the context of a venue in terms of sculptural or architectural scale. They are mainly designed to be enjoyed and accessible to as many people as possible.
Hailing from France, Mathieu Gotti studied Visual Arts at the École des Beaux-arts de Saint-Étienne and went on to practise in Europe, creating site-specific sculpture projects and video and photo experiments. In 2006, he moved to Quebec, where he studied Arts and Crafts, specializing in sculpture.
After graduating in 2009, Mathieu continued his sculptural practice. A proponent of group projects, he helped found a number of artistic collectives, including Collectif À GoGo (2008 – 2010), Collectif M et M (2010 – 2015), and Collectif 3M (2012 – 2015). These team projects introduced him to a wide audience and he developed an interest in interactivity and cultural mediation. They were also an opportunity for him to renew his connection with video and photography. Mathieu Gotti continued to work on solo sculpture initiatives, and his work has been featured in a number of projects, including Zoo in Quebec City’s Petit Champlain borough in 2010, Compression Boréal in 2010, and Compressions et mémoires in 2012. His work earned him the Millionnaire en Folie production support award in 2013 from the Œil de Poisson contemporary art exhibition and production centre.