A pool is water at Galerie Division

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Artists: Raque Ford, Maryse Larivière, Tiziana la Melia, Athena Papadopoulos, Megan Rooney

Exhibition title: A pool is water

Curated by: Loreta Lamargese

Venue: Galerie Division, Montreal, Canada

Date: July 14 – September 10, 2016

Photography: Paul Litherland, all images copyright and courtesy of the artists and Galerie Division, Montreal

Pools are technological apparatuses that allow us to enjoy a limited fantasy of nature. Unlike the ocean, their sublime progenitor, or their murky relatives, lakes, pools exist for the subjects they contain. They act as mirrors, reflecting and changing according to the bodies that enter into their fold. At the same time, meaning spills out beyond their precincts—they are what Foucault calls heterotopic spaces: complicated surfaces, sites that simultaneously represent and contest another reality.

The title of the exhibition is a short extract of a Joan Didion quote. Plucked from its initial context, it leaves as evidence a semantic distillation of a complex site reduced to its content alone. Like the exhibition it nominally frames, this quote underlines the poetic’s power to remediate, to suggest and then impart new meanings based on the performance of language. At the same time, it implies fluid and equal transmutation between different forms (between pools and water, between poetry and painting) while maintaining the personal and political faculties each form presents.

Writing through the voice of Georgia Brown, a femme-fatal from the first cinematic musical with an all-black cast, Cabin in the Sky, Raque Ford substitutes a unified first-person with a collective voice made up of archetypes, personas, and tropes; A long-form poem is treated as enigmatic drawings, printed words, and a painting in Tiziana La Melia’s work; Maryse Larivière charts the migratory path of her studied hummingbirds, a multi-directional course through love poems and domestic fixtures; Creating a dense and layered language of both sinister and celebratory imagery, Athena Papadopoulos imagines a world populated with wine and pepto-bismol stained fleshy surfaces and amputated legs; Megan Rooney’s storytelling spans spoken and written word, painting, sculpture and drawing, wafting through scenes of repeated but elusive characters, barely composing the memories they perform.

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Megan Rooney, Looking at vertical lines in the palms of fluffy hands, 2016
Paint, pencil, marker, pastel and ink on Topshop magazine, 31 1/4 x 24 1/2 in. (79.38 x 62.23 cm)

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Megan Rooney, Big blooms smelling ripe after days of silence, 2016
Paint, pencil, marker, pastel and ink on Topshop magazine, 31 1/4 x 24 1/2 in. (79.38 x 62.23 cm)

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Megan Rooney, Shapeless paradise, 2016
Paint, pencil, marker, pastel and ink on Topshop magazine, 31 1/4 x 24 1/2 in. (79.38 x 62.23 cm)

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Athena Papadopoulos, S & B, III, 2016
Hair dye, red wine on wadding, image tranfers on calico, stuffing, thread, suede, leather, glue, pine dowels, 48 3/8 x 21 5/8 x 11 3/4 in. (123 x 55 x 30 cm)

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Maryse Larivière, Bird baffle, 2016
Wood, rope, leather, metal chain, metallic 3D ribbon, 32 x 6 in. (81.28 x 15.24 cm)

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Tiziana La Melia, No.5 Orange, 2016
Oil on linen, 77 x 55 in. (195.58 x 139.7 cm)

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Athena Papadopoulos, Will-o-the-wisps Licked His Lips, Lizzard Seeks a Sip of Angel’s Trumpet Soup, Best Served Cold, 2016
Hair dye, lipstick, nail polish, bleach, image transfers, thread and pins on bed sheet over canvas, 82 5/8 x 78 3/4 in. (210 x 200 cm)

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Megan Rooney, Untitled, 2016
Clay, fabric, paint, bird seeds, string, 7 7/8 x 165 3/8 in. (420 x 20 cm): Dimensions variables

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Megan Rooney, Untitled, 2016
Clay, fabric, paint, bird seeds, string, 7 7/8 x 165 3/8 in. (420 x 20 cm): Dimensions variables

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Tiziana La Melia, From staring at the ceiling seeing d.o.g., 2015
Vinyl, 156 x 36 in. (396.24 x 91.44 cm)

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Raque Ford, The Devil is in the Details, 2016
Acrylic, 36 x 24 in. (91.44 x 60.96 cm)

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Maryse Larivière, Hummer Perch, 2016
Steel, plastic, metal rose, electrical wiring, LED bulb, 43 x 14 in. (109.22 x 35.56 cm)

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Megan Rooney, interpretations, leisurely, 2016
Pastel, pencil, acrylic, oil on canvas, 65 x 86 in. (165.1 x 218.44 cm)

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Raque Ford, God Bless the Child, 2016
Acrylic, epoxy clay, dried rose petals, 50 x 102 1/2 in. (127 x 260.35 cm)

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Raque Ford, God Bless the Child, 2016
Acrylic, epoxy clay, dried rose petals, 50 x 102 1/2 in. (127 x 260.35 cm)

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Raque Ford, God Bless the Child, 2016
Acrylic, epoxy clay, dried rose petals, 50 x 102 1/2 in. (127 x 260.35 cm)

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Raque Ford, Honey in my Honeypot, 2016
Acrylic, 16 x 32 1/2 in. (40.64 x 82.55 cm)

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Maryse Larivière, Agave, 2016. Collage, 16 x 12 in. (30.48 x 40.64 cm)
Maryse Larivière, Medusa, 2016. Collage, 16 x 12 in. (30.48 x 40.64 cm)

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Megan Rooney, Ding dong in the mirror, 2016
Pastel, pencil, acrylic, oil on canvas, 62 x 82 in. (157.48 x 208.28 cm)

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