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Announcement of theme 23 – Superimposition

Updated: Sep 9, 2021

Superimposition is the act of arranging two or more things on top of one another. In geometry, the superimposition of two figures aims to demonstrate their equivalence or their perfect coincidence. By extension, we superimpose two concepts to signify their accretion, or their correspondence. The superimposition of ideas or elements can conceal or reveal: in either case, the outcome is the reading of two or more elements together, one through the other. This month on Quarantined Museum, we propose a reflection on superimposition as a conceptual and technical strategy. This theme was inspired by an exhibition currently on display at the Musée. In his Somebody Nobody Was..., Kaska Dena artist Joseph Tisiga superimposes both narratives and objects. In the series No Home in Scorched Earth, for instance, he uses watercolour to retouch large-scale photographs printed on wood, which he then covers in plastic wrap meant for packing. The images document a performance by Tisiga during which he refers to his own mixed identity and to that of an intriguing and controversial figure, the Englishman Archibald Stansfeld Belaney (1888-1938). Better known as Grey Owl, this environmentalist before his time immigrated to Canada at the age of 17, then forged a Scottish and Indigenous heritage and pursued a career as a successful speaker and author.

Exhibition view, Joseph Tisiga. Somebody Nobody Was…, Musée d’art de Joliette, 2020. Series No Home in Scorched Earth (detail), 2014-2019. Photos: Paul Litherland

In his series The Benevolence of Nomadic Ancestors: 3 Masks, 3 Maps, 2 Camps, Tisiga imagines what the visual traces of a life on the land might look like, of a culture that is only transmitted orally. In these three-dimensional paintings, or mural sculptures, he does so through the assemblage and superimposition of assorted elements such as clothes, tools, ceramic cigarette butts, and artificial grass.

Exhibition view, Joseph Tisiga. Somebody Nobody Was…, Musée d’art de Joliette, 2020. Series The Benevolence of Nomadic Ancestors: 3 Masks, 3 Maps, 2 Camps (detail), 2019. Photos: Paul Litherland

👉 With this call for participation, we invite you to consider superimposition as a technique and a strategy for reflection. What objects in your everyday life can be perfectly superimposed upon one another? Do you know artists who work with collage? What happens, for instance, when one superimposes two mediums, like sculpture and photography? Or two gels of different colour? How do you describe the effect of an exquisite cadaver? Is history not the superimposition of stories? Is accumulation a source of joy for you, or of anxiety? Are layers of meaning for you things to delve into? To peal away? To flatten?

This month on the blog:

Anne-Marie St-Jean Aubre, Curator of Contemporary Art, will speak to us about the superimposition that Martin Désilets has adopted in his recent photographic work.

➔ Nathalie Galego, Assistant Curator of Collections, will speak to us about various collages in our collection.

As always, the education department is preparing a “family special” activity for you!

And several more surprises are coming up on the blog, including the third installment of the new podcast series Spécialiste en la matière !

Stay tuned!

This article was written by Charlotte Lalou Rousseau, Assistant Curator of Contemporary Art, Musée d'art de Joliette.


Follow the indications to participate and get your art on this platform. The next deadline is Friday, April 30, 2021, at noon. The exhibition will be online on Thursday, May 6, 2021.


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