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Richard Ibghy + Marilou Lemmens: Drawing Rainbows in Unequal Air

RICHARD IBGHY + MARILOU LEMMENS | DRAWING RAINBOWS IN UNEQUAL AIR
SATURDAY 08 OCTOBER- SATURDAY 03 DECEMBER 2016
ARTIST TALK | SATURDAY 08 OCTOBER, 12:00PM

OPENING RECEPTION | FRIDAY 07 OCTOBER 2016, 6:00PM-8:00PM

02 Trickle-Down Theory of Growth and Development_WEB

Richard Ibghy & Marilou Lemmens, Trickle-Down Theory of Growth and Development (2016), wood and colored gel, 10.5 x 18 x 3.5 inches

RICHARD IBGHY + MARILOU LEMMENS | DRAWING RAINBOWS IN UNEQUAL AIR

Richard Ibghy & Marilou Lemmens’ exhibitionDrawing Rainbows in Unequal Airfeatures a series of sculptures that give material form to graphs and diagrams used to map the unequal distribution of wealth in our society in a wide range of disciplines, from economics and sociology to management and gender studies.

Inequality is one of today’s most controversial and widely discussed issues. In most advanced economies, the unequal distribution of wealth, in which the wealthiest people in society possess an ever disproportionate share of the capital, has been increasing over the past couple of decades. This intensification is connected to political changes, especially with regards to taxation and finance, but also to neoliberal economic policies and practices that have strengthened the logic of social exclusion and reinforced uneven access to employment, education, health services as well as other resources. Recently, growing inequality has led to waves of popular unrest, including the Occupy Movement, anti-austerity protests in Southern Europe, the Maple Spring in Quebec and, earlier, the anti-globalization movement.

The starting point for these new works are graphs and diagrams mostly from the last thirty years that the artists have culled from academic journals, reports and other publications. In the works, a variety of simple techniques is employed to playfully contrast the handmade models with the authoritative dimension of the original diagrams. The sculptures vividly render the ways in which economists, sociologists and other researchers have conceived and characterized the distribution of wealth as well as the linguistic articulations involved in their representation. Through these operations, the means by which graphical representations transform complex ideas about inequity into systematised forms is explored, including the relationship that exists between the diagrammatic and mental space, which is to say, how diagrams create forms of thought.

Drawing Rainbows in Unequal Airfollows projects such as The Prophets (2013-2015), in which Ibghy & Lemmens engaged with the language and aesthetics of economic representation, and Each Number Equals One Inhalation and One Exhalation (2016), which focused on the measurement of the productivity of labour. In these recent works the artists explored what it means to move from a material world of entangled, interacting agents to a world of mathematical modelling and graphical abstraction. What transformations of knowledge and sensibilities take place? How are particulars (circumstances, forms of life, actions, desires, etc.) mapped and connected in these models? And, finally, what happens when we bring abstractions back to the concrete? When we go from a formal schema to physical matter?

All works in the exhibition are a commission of the International Studio & Curatorial Program (ISCP).

RICHARD IBGHY & MARILOU LEMMENS have developed a collaborative practice that combines a concise approach to the form and construction of the art object with a desire to make ideas visible. Spanning across multiple media, including video, performance and installation, their work explores the material, affective and sensory dimensions of experience that cannot be fully translated into signs or systems. For several years, they have examined the rationale upon which economic actions are described and represented, and how the logic of economy has come to infiltrate the most intimate aspects of life.

Recent solo exhibitions have been held at the International Studio & Curatorial Program (New York, 2016), Leonard and Bina Ellen Gallery (Montreal, 2016), VOX – Centre de l’image contemporaine (Montreal, 2014), Trinity Square Video (Toronto, 2014), among others. They have participated in a number of group exhibitions including the 14th Istanbul Biennial (Istanbul, 2015), La Biennale de Montreal (Montreal, 2014), 27th Images Festival (Toronto, 2014), Manif d’art 7: Quebec City Biennial (Quebec City, 2014), and the 10th Sharjah Biennial (Sharjah, UAE, 2011). They live and work in Montreal and Durham-Sud, Quebec.

ReadDrawing Rainbows in Unequal Airby ARYEN HOEKSTRA, an essay published alongside RICHARD IBGHY & MARILOU LEMMENS’exhibition.