Mark Clintberg: Fruits and Flowers

9 May - 22 June 2019

Pierre-François Ouellette art contemporain is pleased to present an exhibition of new work by Mark Clintberg. This new series of textile works returns to and refigures an earlier body of work titled HairHair photographically catalogues found photographs of men’s haircuts displayed in barbershop windows. The artist’s silhouette is subtly reflected by the glass in front of each found photo, and these images of haircuts are named according to resemblance to individuals known by Clintberg. These images, which were first printed on fragile newsprint (a material that fades and deteriorates easily) have been translated into woven form.

Each textile work is produced through a fabricator specializing in jacquard woven blankets featuring photos provided by consumers - blankets that are marketed as personal commemorative objects. Each textile object is hand embellished with stitching, fabric editioning labels, and hand cut sequins. In this series, the artist’s own earlier work becomes the source of sentiment and nostalgia, as do the barbershop photos themselves - images that record unnamed male models that are coincident with the first HIV/AIDS generation.

Accompanying these new works are Quiet DiscoFrott age and An object of irrational fascination.

In the video room, Quiet Disco (2013) replicates the sound of being next door to a disco party, including muffled, throbbing bass. When exhibited in a gallery setting it suggests that there is a second space, behind the gallery wall, that is a socially active setting, and serves as a reminder of the activities and emotions of staff involved in mounting an exhibition, including curators and technicians. It is also a sonic reflection on the museum gallery is a potential site of loneliness and solitude. This mix was prepared by Montreal DJ David Shaw. The edition was produced with the support of the Illingworth Kerr Gallery (Calgary) for the exhibition Do I still cross your mind? curated by Tatiana Mellema in 2013.

Frott age (2018) neon tubing, dibond, transformer. In a fraught period, seeking instead of avoiding the fricative and friction with others is one way to radicalize the self. Frott age is a neon sign that describes an era of continual contact (with news, ideas, words) that is also “fraught” (with conflict, emotional upheaval, and sometimes despair). The term “frottage” describes a form of drawing that involves taking a rubbing from textured sufrances. “Frottage” is also a methodology of affect I have coined to describe a frank approach to emotional attachments in scholarly work. Finally, “frottage” is an erotic act greatly stigmatized.

An object of irrational fascination (2018) This whistle is astonishingly loud. In the 1980s and 90s and to this day, some gay men have worn whistles to call for help if assaulted or threatened. This piece is a tribute to my elder trans people, queers, gays and lesbians who have done work to make public space safer for non-normative individuals.



Mark Clintberg Mark is an artist who works in the field of art history, and curates exhibitions. He is an Assistant Professor at the Alberta University of the Arts. He earned his Ph.D. in Art History at Concordia University in 2013, where he was also an Assistant Professor, LTA. In 2010 he conducted Ph.D. research at Oxford University, St Peter's College, with the support of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council. He completed his M.A. at Concordia University (2008), his B.F.A. at the Alberta College of Art & Design (2001), and was an exchange student at the Nova Scotia College of Art & Design (1999-2000). He was Shortlisted for the 2013 Sobey Art Award for the region Prairies and the North. His doctoral dissertation was nominated for the 2013 Governor-General's Gold Medal. Public and private collections across Canada and in the United States - including the National Gallery of Canada, the Edmonton Arts Council, and the Alberta Foundation for the Arts - have acquired his work. His work has recently been shown at the Dunlop Art Gallery (Regina), the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia (Halifax), the Art Gallery of Alberta (Edmonton), the Illingworth Kerr Gallery (Calgary), AXENÉ07 (Gatineau), and Trapdoor Artist Run Centre (Lethbridge). Other exhibitions featuring his work have taken place at Locust Projects (Miami), the National Gallery of Canada (Ottawa), the Banff Centre, Centre des arts actuels Skol (Montreal), The Harbourfront Centre (Toronto), and Eastern Edge (St. John's), Alberta Biennal 2017 and at Fruitmarket Gallery (Écosse).