Latitude 53


Chloë Lum & Yannick Desranleau | What Do Stones Smell Like in the Forest?

September 6 – October 26, 2019


Opening reception | Thursday, September 5 at 7 pm

Artists in conversation | Saturday, september 7 at 1pm

What Do Stones Smell Like in the Forest?

What Do Stones Smell Like in the Forest?, is a project by multidisciplinary artists Chloë Lum and Yannick Desranleau that challenges ideas of perception and mobility as they relate to invisible disability. First presented in the FOFA Gallery at Concordia University in Montréal, the project builds on themes previously explored in, Is It The Sun Or The Asphalt All I See Is Bright Black (2017). In light of Chloë Lum’s recently-diagnosed chronic illness, What Do Stones Smell Like focuses on the inability of others to understand the immobilizing effects of an illness that cannot be seen. Featuring a two-channel video installation with quadraphonic sound, the exhibition investigates the material nature of the body and the transformative power that objects have on the senses. 

Fashioned as an opera, What Do Stones Smell Like in the Forest? tells the story of Golem, a character whose diminishing mobility results in a misunderstanding between her and her able-bodied social circle; the Choir. As Golem’s disability becomes worse, her perceptive abilities begin to relocate to her other senses including her sense of touch and smell. Golem learns to find solace in the objects that are nearest to her and her sensory connection with them grows.

What Do Stones Smell Like in the Forest? ultimately serves as an inquiry into the ways that bodily difference can become an arena for new modes of research that seek to expand the notion of the human condition beyond the self.

Becoming Unreal

Becoming Unreal is a gestural and vocal score interpreted by Toronto-based artist Xuan Ye; it is a duet between a performing body and the objects that support its gestures and weight. 

Written as a response to the sculptural installation Of, In or Under by Jasmine Reimer, Becoming Unreal presents an imaginary dialogue within an artist’s head about the ethics of their sculptural practice; how uncanny the act of representing the natural world with unnatural materials is in the context of the global environmental collapse.

Chloë Lum and Yannick Desranleau are multidisciplinary visual artists based in Montreal, Canada. Their work focuses on theatricality and the choreographic in both their performance work as well as an interest in staging tableaus and working with ephemeral materials that can be said to perform through re-deployment and decay. The duo’s recent works investigate the agency of objects, the material condition of the body, and the transformative potential that bodies and objects exert upon each other. These interests are informed by Chloë’s experience with chronic illness and its effect on their collaboration as well as the duo’s exploration of narrative tropes from literature, theatre, and television. 

They have exhibited widely, notably at the Center for Books and Paper Arts, Columbia College, Chicago; the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal; the Kunsthalle Wien; BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art; Whitechapel Project Space, London; the University of Texas, Austin; the Confederation Centre Art Gallery, Charlottetown; the Blackwood Gallery, University of Toronto; and the Darling Foundry, Montreal. Lum and Desranleau are also known on the international music scene as co-founders of the avant- rock group AIDS Wolf, for whom they also produced award-winning concert posters under the name Séripop. Their work is in the collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Montreal Museum of Fine Art, and the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal.

Xuan Ye is the prototype of many objects. Through diagrammatic processes and multimedial translations, X engineers installations and performances about systemic violence and distributed subjectivity in various interconnected networks. More recently, X has collaborated with artificial intelligence and other non-human agents to co-author forms of media poetics. X’s art projects have been featured, exhibited and commissioned in international contexts such as Supermarket Art Fair (SE), InterAccess (CA), Inside-out Art Museum (CN), Goethe-Institut (Beijing & Montreal), ArtAsiaPacific, KUNSTFORUM International (GE), Squeaky Wheel Film & Media Art Center (US), Trinity Square Video (CA), AGYU(CA), the Wrong Biennale (URL), Times Museum (CN), Galleri CC (SE), among others. X’s sound and body improvisation has been lauded as “one of Canada’s most exciting voices in textural soma” by OBEY Convention.

Becoming Unreal , performed by Xuan Ye.

Becoming Unreal, performed by Xuan Ye.