Through her use of media such as photography, installation, video, sculpture, and printing, Carolyne Scenna bases her practice, among other things, on the capacity of material to retain: what it can be imprinted with, what it is capable of absorbing and what it rejects, what it reveals temporarily or permanently. Some surfaces and objects, reused, bear a sort of material memory that enables her to blur the lines between the end of one project and the beginning of the next, encouraging constant exploration.
Scenna’s approach is profoundly process oriented; she sees exhibitions not as a goal but as one of the ways in which material can accumulate traces and be deployed. The residency at Est-Nord-Est provided her with an opportunity to reactivate an object that had been central to a previous exhibition: a huge piece of white canvas that had been laid over a platform on the floor. The piece of canvas, now covering the studio’s entire main wall, offered a perceptual exercise that both testified to past traces of Scenna’s practice and hinted at a range of possibilities. Marked with a myriad of small stains, tiny abrasions and drips, and little sculptural folds caused by the application of glue required for mounting it, the canvas was then covered with other layers of frayed material, in neutral, sometimes imperceptible colours. During the public presentation that marked the end of the residency, the canvas was accompanied by a series of rectangular concrete tiles in an arrangement on the floor. Set in a regular pattern in the studio, they became surfaces for composition exercises with various pigments and materials. Both the canvas and the arrangement of tiles on the floor required sustained attention from visitors, reminiscent of Scenna’s work on the limits of the visible: an invitation to become absorbed in the materials.
Carolyne Scenna is a multidisciplinary artist who was born in Montreal; her work takes the forms of installation, experimental animation, and various objects. Eager to discover the prodigious points of access to a world never full enough of images, she recurrently handles speculative archives and photographs documents, tracing the back-and-forth among the processes with which she experiments. The result is unusual situations, on the border between strange and ordinary – images that deploy a diversity of meanings, often poetic and contradictory. Carolyne’s work has been presented at Galerie Les Territoires (2015), Parisian Laundry (2016), the Galerie de l’UQAM (2017), Centre Clark (2019), the Institute of Contemporary Art in Baltimore (United States) (2019), Galerie B-312 (2020), Centre SKOL (2021), and L’Écart in Rouyn-Noranda (2021), and she will be showing at L’Oeil de Poisson in spring 2023. She holds a master’s degree in visual and media arts from the Université du Québec à Montréal (2017).