A common practice on construction sites in many urban settings is the use of whitewash to block windows and storefronts. Referencing this whitewash (painting), my intent with this work was to explore the imagery of the urban space and the transitory conditions of that which constitutes it. In a sense, the focus is on what is not there. By hinting at both a development in the process of construction and an abandonment, this work is marked by an ephemeral facet.
Valérie Kolakis, born in Athens, Greece, works and lives in Montreal. She has exhibited widely in Canada, the United States, Europe, and China. Her most recent exhibitions include Art Rotterdam (Fold Gallery, London 2016), Chara (Centre Diagonale, Montreal, 2015), The Duration of the Sharp Hard Outline of Things (Fold Gallery, London, 2014), and Living in a Material World (Centre Phi, 2013, Montreal). Her work was presented in the Québec Triennial (Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal, 2011), and in 2013 she was shortlisted for the first Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec Contemporary Art Award.
Kolakis’s work is an exploration of architectonics in relation to issues of migration, displacement, and change. Her underlying themes are subtraction, vacancy, and the false referent in the urban landscape. Specifically, it is a conceptual investigation of how identity is constructed and subsequently constrained by society and its physical spaces. At the core of this is a questioning of the idea of biography.