Artful Musing

A look at What Is True? What Is False? + Ends of the Earth

You have probably seen the monumental sculpture Tipping Point by Quebec artist José Luis Torres. This critique of overconsumption is a jumble of brightly coloured plastic household goods exploding from a wall.

Tipping Point by Quebec artist José Luis Torres
Tipping Point by Quebec artist José Luis Torres

The sculpture moved around the national capital area last summer as part of a public art program by the Department of Canadian Heritage. Torres will be having a multimedia solo show, including collage and assemblage, at the Karsh-Masson Gallery in Ottawa City Hall May 4 to June 11. Expect some surprises, including some “hints of Tipping Point,” an exploration of “what is true and what is false,” and references to the artist’s own journey from Argentina to Canada.

Coming Up

Montreal photographer Valerian Mazataud, an immigrant from France who became a Canadian citizen three years ago, found the citizenship ceremony “moving” but also off-putting.

The End of the Earth , Excerpt, 2015, by Montreal photographer Valerian Mazataud
The End of the Earth , Excerpt, 2015, by Montreal photographer Valerian Mazataud

There were 300 people taking that oath with Mazataud. “It was like a big citizenship factory.” And then there was swearing allegiance to the Queen of England.

Mazataud decided to use his camera to capture his “ambiguous” feelings toward the ceremony. The result is the exhibition called La fin de la terre at Art-Image in Gatineau from May 25 to July 8. Through photos, film, and installation (including a portrait of the Queen), Mazataud presents the highs and lows of citizenship ceremonies. It’s a good time to ponder citizenship issues, this being the 150th anniversary of Confederation.