Words from the Curator
Life is short, yet the world goes on around us. We fill our lives with objects of value, prospects of accomplishment and fulfilment, and dreams of success, knowing all too well that at heart we are all just transient beings, that death is inevitable and that all earthly goods and pursuits are fleeting. The Dutch explored these facts with fascination during their golden age of art through painted studies of vanitas. Closer to our time, Damien Hirst’s diamond skull For The Love of God acts as a clear memento mori – a reminder of our own mortality. Be it the discovery of a house lost in the woods, the peculiar colour of a fading black eye, or a simple saltine cracker, things disappear to leave room for something new.
The cyclical return of these themes in art however, points to the potential of endurance. This exhibition combines a selection of artworks by McGill students, which puts into reconsideration transience and ephemera. Each attempt to capture a moment in time, which the artists felt deserved a second look. We aim for this exhibition to provide a space for viewers to contemplate on these matters, or simply to enjoy the fleeting moment captured by the artists through a variety of media. Viewers will find not only paintings and photography, but also drawing, collage, an audio mix and a performance. As humans, we all hope to one day leave our mark on this planet – to create, produce or do something which can be remembered as ours once we are gone. Art gives life to a lost moment, lets fame or fashion endure in our memories, ultimately reflecting life’s ephemeral yet cyclical nature.
Cover image: Hari-Hari, 2013, black and white photography (prints), 18x24’’
Tue Giang Nguyen
Cameron Lee Reid