Skip to navigation Skip to content

Fondation

Floyer feature 1280x935
Courtesy of 303 Gallery, New York.

Ceal Floyer

  • Exhibition
  • Contemporary Art
Look up to address on google map

PHI Foundation 451 and 465 Saint-Jean Street
Montréal, Québec H2Y 2R5

Wednesday to Sunday:
11 AM to 6 PM

Free admission

Curator

Ceal Floyer’s art displays a clarity of thought within elegantly concise presentations. Engaged and active viewing is typically required—and then rewarded—in the artist’s minimalist-conceptualist amalgams. Her work, which resonates in a gently philosophical manner long after the first encounter, often draws attention to neglected everyday objects and situations. Floyer thinks of her art as very self-reflexive: not necessarily about anything outside of the work itself, but focused instead on the context and conditions of its production and display.

What at first may appear very reduced, expands with contemplation. Floyer has the uncanny ability to coax and activate entirely logical, yet overlooked, associations from dull and inert objects. Drawing on the tradition of the ready-made and conceptual art, an interesting disproportion is created between the almost-not-there form the works take and the many ideas and perceptual shake-ups they generate.

Floyer lays open the structural character of things, as well as reflecting on the linguistic basis of signification. She often takes objects and situations to an extreme logical conclusion. These mental deliberations can sometimes achieve a haunting poetry. Titles, therefore, always play a key role, often refering to both the subject and the process of a piece. For instance, Light Switch (1992-99)—a key and by now classic work—consists of the image of a light switch projected in scale from a 35mm slide on the wall, just where you would normally expect to find it. Similarly, Double Act (2006) is an inward, thwarted spectacle where nothing ever happens, but where much is going on. Consisting of a spotlight directed at a bare wall and floor, it projects but also illuminates a stage and a red curtain, the light source doubling as the image source.

The DHC/ART exhibition also provides an opportunity to see a reconfiguration of Things, first shown at KW Institute for Contemporary Arts, Berlin in 2009. Two dozen or so plinths, devoid of objects, stand in an empty room each emitting the word “thing” at different intervals in real time—the only audible section from otherwise silenced pop songs. Apart from the plinths themselves, however, no ‘things’ are present in the room.

The deceptive simplicity of Floyer’s work is informed by her particular sense of humour and awareness of the absurd. Through subtle interventions the artist uses double-takes and shifting points of view to encourage viewers to renegotiate their perception of the world. In the words of Jeremy Millar, her work “looks simple; it often seems as if there is nothing to see. Yet these works can lead us in important directions, allowing us to consider the nature of representation, or the difference between art and non-art.” Floyer asks us to accept this challenge.

Biography

Ceal Floyer
Pakistani-born, London-raised, and Berlin-based, Ceal Floyer (b. 1968) has exhibited widely, including the 53rd Venice Biennale, 2009. She was the subject of solo shows at Palais de Tokyo, Paris, MADRE, Naples, and KW Institute for Contemporary Arts, Berlin. She graduated from Goldsmiths College in 1994 and was awarded the prestigious Nationalgalerie Prize for Young Art in 2007. Her work is in major museum collections including Tate Modern and MoMA, New York.

Ciela Outrances experienceaudioimmersif COVER
Experience Poetry

Lashing Skies

Feb 17 May 29

Lashing Skies, is a captivating 45-minute immersive audio journey of 5 imagined stories on the edges of disaster during the events of September 11th, 2001 designed and directed by multidisciplinary artist Brigitte Poupart

Eternal Darkfield Radio Cover
Experience Immersion

ETERNAL

Feb 17 May 29

Presented for the first time in Canada, ETERNAL is a 20 minute immersive audio experience for one person, alone in a bed

Superheros PGLO
Exhibition Community

Collaboration

Pouvoir

Mar 16 Jun 5

A multi-faceted project consisting of drawings, texts, posters and the powerful and moving short documentary film Pouvoir, directed by Paul Tom

Marguerite la pierre
Event Contemporary Art

Collaboration

Marguerite: la pierre

May 7 Jun 5

The PHI Foundation, in collaboration with Onishka Productions and the Centre du Théâtre d'Aujourd'hui (CTD’A), presents the sound walk Marguerite: la pierre.

PHI Centre Techno World WEBCOVERcrop
Exhibition Music

TECHNO WORLDS

May 13 Jun 19

An exhibition at the intersection of music, art, pop, media and technology in relation to the multifaceted techno scene, genres and political projects stemming from the subcultures of the 1980s to today and traces the processes of cultural and economic appropriation