By Nicholas Raffoul
Concordia Fine Arts come to life in a small-scale vivid exhibition made up of ten student artists. Corrupted Portal is a multisensory exhibition presenting one set of work from each artist, each work opening up a different gateway into their artistic processes, the past, and the present. In the small space of the VAV Gallery, the installations’ different styles had the effect of articulating the distinct styles of each artist.
Artists explored concepts such as nostalgia, nature, identity, and even witchcraft. The works did not integrate together in any particular visual way, and walking through the installation was more like meeting ten very different people sharing their perspectives on distinct experiences. All pieces connected thematically in which they all took inspiration from items and experiences turned beautiful and sensory after deterioration (in any sense of the word).
Peter Psillos presents an eye-catching abstract series of Cineplex Laval at the beginning of the gallery space in which he deconstructs sci-fi images of the cinema and personifies them; an attempt to bring back the lively personality of Cineplex Laval that Psillos believes was lost in 2005, “upon [Cineplex’s] purchase of Famous Players.” Psillos’ concept was made up of three vibrant arcade-like oil paintings that depicted recognizable images from a movie theater, including the popcorn station and an old movie projector.
The most lasting pieces for me were the exhibition’s sculpture and multimedia artists. Juliana Delgado explores the far right’s attack on Brazil’s art scene and a recent fire at the National Museum in Brazil with a small olfactory sculpture with a decapitated head–the first time I was asked to come up to a piece and smell it. The sculpture combined a rich aroma of moss, smoke, and pines to recreate the scent left behind by the items burned in the Museum, teleporting the viewer to the time and place of catastrophe, underscores the vulnerability of the arts especially in connection to inadequate funding.
Scarlet Fountain’s Rope Project, which, according to the description is an ongoing work producing a rope of theoretically infinite length, was a vibrant and perplexing central work. The work brought together varying strings, wires, textiles, and waste items to create one long rope object to represent a unification of different elements into a stronger whole. Fountain’s use of unconventional materials to create a stimulating and animated artwork symbolizes the creation of individual identity and a society’s creation of shared culture, simultaneously representing the exhibition itself; an amalgamation of individual experiences to display commonalities between them.