In Le siècle des lumières (2008 - 10) Doyon-Rivest make spectacular use of the cathedral-like qualities of the Allen Lambert Galleria at Brookfield Place. The artists transform the Bay Street entrance’s 18-meter-high window into a giant stained glass-like artwork, featuring portraits of people lit by the small screens of their portable electronic devices. Each image, many of which were shot on location in Brookfield Place, reveals only the person’s face as they gaze at their cell phones, iPods or BlackBerrys. The portraits float together in an indeterminate black space, creating an atmosphere that makes us think of the beauty of the night sky. The all-over composition creates a contemporary allegory about our faith in communication technologies, a force that has power over all of our lives. In the new technological universe the artists’ evoke, no hierarchy exists; each figure is separate but of equal importance. The work is strongly suggestive of McLuhan’s idea that “tribal interdependence” would be the hallmark of the electronic era - a new age in which humankind will move from individualism to a collective identity. (Gutenberg Galaxy)
Mathieu Doyon (born Quebec City, 1970) and Simon Rivest’s (born Sherbrook, 1974) collaborative approach to artmaking draws from two distinct perspectives: Doyon’s training as a visual artist, and Rivest’s work in advertising and graphic design. In keeping with the ethos of contemporary advertising, their goal is to create an emotional bond with their customers; to sell them, not a product but an “experience”. This Montreal based duo has nationally and internationally shown in many solo and group exhibitions including Biennale de Liverpool and Manif d’art 4, Quebec.
Presented in partnership with Brookfield Place.