Atelier du Futur Antérieur

Galerie Maisonneuve
January 2007

The Galerie Maisonneuve has the pleasure to inaugurate its new premises with Mathieu Briand’s project : Ubïq : A Mental Odyssey, whose format and timing are a challenge for the mere structure of a gallery.
From January 2007 till January 2008, the gallery will unfold the ten chapters of the artist’s visual, mental and perceptive “odyssey”, a journey in time and space where reality and fiction will echo each other, either shrink, swell, or seem forever at odds with one another.
Scrutinising the interweaving of life experience and its imprint on the imagination, Mathieu Briand fathoms the quality of today’s world whose reality is confined in the naming of it alone. It is obvious that when confronted to each other, neither life nor imagination has the upper hand, but what we consider as real is the constant intertwining of both.
To this purpose, the artist has partly adopted the visual language of Stanley Kubrick’s cult film 2001: A Space Odyssey. Kubrick’s recurring associations create an idiosyncratic, aesthetic vocabulary which blends the whole. To boot, the influence of the film is here expressed in the radical reversal of time passing.
The appropriate word to describe Mathieu Briand ‘s project is definitely “manipulation”. As would a prestidigitator, Briand leads us into his private world — a world made of personal references, either self-experienced or dreamed of — and to this purpose the tricks he uses are material objects and visual events alike. These references are brought together and distanced again ; in the illusionist perspective thus created, another world emerges, with multiple entrances and no known frontiers.
When so doing, he attempts — while questioning and even dissecting a certain number of elements — to lead the viewer to find a way of its own and in order to achieve this form of training, he paves the way of the viewer with compulsory questions about his surroundings. The outcome of this seminal obligation requires necessarily the unravelling of threads, i.e. the threads of one’s own perception of the world, the threads of one’s own history.
The Prologue of Ubïq : A Mental Odyssey features a faithful reconstitution of the artist’s studio, the place where this wide project was first conceived. A complex accumulation of elements is here displayed — an abundance of hints, prefigurative of developments to come — simultaneously throwing light on the artist’s working methods, networks, and questionings, in short: all that feeds him and provides substantiality and structure.

In French