Celebrating its 15th edition, the much-anticipated exhibition Fresh Paint/New Construction once again graces Art Mûr. Emulating our current, digitized reality, this most recent selection brings together an array of mediums, notably integrating all that is mechanized. While previous editions were known for upholding their concentration on the eclectic worlds of sculpture and painting, this year’s event wholeheartedly embraces the rather inevitable inclusion of intermedia. Fresh Paint/New Construction 2019 is made possible by the contributions of an equally dynamic selection of 52 young artists, hailing from 13 universities across Canada. Each of these students’ practices hold a unique view of the socio-political and geographical landscapes surrounding them. While some continue to employ classical forms of art-making, the influence of technology and cybernetics is more explicit in others. This collection embodies the ever-widening spectrum of artistic production, grouping together polar opposites and anything in between. From a macro perspective, the works themselves can be seen to contrast the ethics of self-sufficiency and individuality with the outcomes of an increasingly hyperconnected, influenceable world.

Commenting on a relatable, contemporary state of mind, Cecilia Mulvey (University of Waterloo) creates ceramics that are aimed to exist in a transitional phase, in between two ideals. Through manipulation of the human form, her sculpture Emerging Light (2015) integrates light and electricity to simultaneously criticize and praise the constant presence of technology in our lives. Katherine Khedni Wyatt (University of Ottawa) instead looks to her external surroundings to gather and reconsider the status of discarded materials, old and new, as a means of unlearning the ‘conventions of disposability’. Using similar strategies, Colin Courtney (Concordia University) also looks to the outside environment for materials and pigments to manipulate. In an effort to highlight the effects that all organisms may have on each other, the artist primes these found pigments to pursue symbiotic lives of their own, on canvas.

Laurena Fineus (University of Ottawa) explores the realities of her own identity, through representations of the Haitian diaspora and womanhood. These elements are nonetheless influenced by an interest in hybridity and interpersonal relationships, allowing the viewers an elaborate glimpse into the dynamics of her lived experiences. Marie-Soleil Provençal’s (Bishop’s University) works delve into the distinction between what is even considered human or not, demonstrated through the malleability of mundane objects and their respective physicalities.

Finally, arriving to those situated adjacent to the cybernetic end of the spectrum, one can observe the works of Nicolas Lapointe (Concordia University) and Philippe Vandal (Concordia University). Lapointe examines cyberspace as a realm that fuses technology and mysticism. In his art practice, this idea is demonstrated through pushing the technological apparatus itself beyond its intended use. Vandal’s Potential Conversation (2018) instead places a plant as the subject in question, surrounded a multitude of sensors analyzing some of the most microscopic aspects of its being. This information is then translated into visual and sonic manifestations, allowing for a bridge to form between machine, human and anything non-human.

Art Mûr invites visitors to engage with this intriguing group show starting July 18th, and celebrate Fresh Paint/New Construction’s 15th time around the gallery!