The point of departure for Best of was the mythical image of Jimmy Hendrix smashing his guitar on stage in 1967. The rock singer who demolished his guitar in concert did so in a very particular context. The event and the instrument’s destruction were accompanied by a light show and an intensifying beat while concert-goers’ excitement reached a fever pitch. Here, the act is placed in an entirely different context by reconstructing as neutral a space as possible, detached from any affective connection with the show.
- 2008; 2007
Gwenaël Bélanger was born in Rimouski in1975. He lives and works in Montréal. The attentive and critical observation of what figures as an image in our everyday life is the starting point of all of Bélanger’s projects. His process is above all characterized by a “tinkering” attitude, which consists of using graphic and photographic processes to toy with our perceptual limits of the real and its gray zones. He seeks to exploit the interaction between what we see and what we imagine, or what we remember, in various spheres of human activity. Like an anthropologist of images, Bélanger is interested as much in the mediated image as in the cultural object, both of which contain and convey connotations, denotations and references in order to create perceptual shifts and to deploy the machinations of the gaze. These are the beginnings of a creative space, of a construction site where assemblages, manipulations and transformations will be carried out by deceptively playing with the codes of media language. Finally, through his projects Bélanger seeks to question the status of the image— its production, transmission and reception—to test and challenge what one sees and perceives.
In Montreal, he has had solo shows at the Galerie de l'UQAM, Optica, Skol and Galerie Graff. He has also participated in several group exhibitions such as The Hidden Land at the Nettie Horn Gallery in London, UK (2009), Still Revolution at the Contact Photography Festival in Toronto (2009) and the Quebec Triennial at the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal (2008).