Adrien Plains | Fragments (2016)
Stunned and petrified at the recent generalized escalation of violence, it can become a challenge to summon a constructive voice. Each wave of soot burying deeper, each surge of entropy leaving the light from yesterday ideals dimmer. To wake up, washed up on a beach of ash, to open your eyes to the only cardinal points left – the divergences and fractures characteristic of chaos. You try to pick up your bones, to the sound of a terrifying grind, the presentiment that despite the darkness, it is in fact, only dawn.
Fragments (2016) is an attempt at channeling a visceral, unapologetic response to the alarming surge of entropy. It comes in the form of an visual echo concealed and contained in abstraction, free of afterthoughts and impermeable to the ambient vitriol.
Written by Adrien Plains.
Adrien L | lungbutter’s vile, or the Colors of a Memory (2014)
It’s a rare thing for the ritual of looking at old photographs or archive footage to leave one’s perception of the past intact. Drawn by a faint sense of fondness or fear at the thought of an old friend or distant trip, you find yourself flipping through files and photo albums, looking for that one picture where the essence of that moment has been preserved all those years. But most often you don’t find it. Most often that ineffable feeling you were looking for has been surgically removed by the camera’s cold, hard flash, and what you’re left with is the post-mortem of your memory, impressed with cruel precision on a glorified piece of paper. Looking at old pictures is like digging for your soul. In the end, all you find is the bare bones.
But the problem isn’t the photos themselves. It’s the way we relate to them. The mistaken tendency which takes root with the increased accessibility and volume of photographic and video footage is the tendency to take images as a substitute for our memory, to slip into the thinking that they can somehow contain and crystallize emotional reality, when in fact they can only ever be a trigger for our re-membering, re-composing the past experience. This project is an attempt at reclaiming that dynamic relation between image and experience. By reinvoking the footage with accents of decay - of time's erosion and nature's nebulous sway - so that in turn it can stimulate re-membering of the past, this opus aims to mend the fracture between the images and our subjective experience and memory.
Written by Maxime Lepoutre and Adrien L.
Special thanks to Kert Gartner, Grant Podelco and Thomas Nesme.
Adrien L | Forest Families (2013)
Provoqu[er] la confusion sans détruire la force de la pensée jaillissante…
Forest Families is rooted in the same creative process and draws on similar conceptual tools as Dual Relationship : in the same way that Dual Relationship involved a dialogue between artistic intervention and natural processes, Forest Families is a set of suggestive works, or “growths”, that deliberately places certain dynamic properties of nature at the forefront of the artistic endeavour. Specifically, it explores how manipulating such natural properties can serve to purposely engage our capacity for imaginative projection in the creative process – more exactly, in the creation of iconic images. In doing so, Forest Families fundamentally appeals to the idea of acheiropoeita – literally, “made without hand” – which denotes icons created not simply through human craftsmanship. Such icons – like the Shroud of Turin, in which a christic face is purportedly perceptible – arise when an object in nature is completed by an external force, traditionally a “miraculous” force. While Forest Families retains the notion of creation as the completion or even re-creation of nature, it replaces miraculous force with imaginative projection.
Indeed, this set of growths explores our subjective experience of nature by stimulating imaginative projection: our propensity to reorganize nature’s given by projecting ideas, forms, or concepts derived from imagination onto it. Paradoxically, then, Forest Families orchestrates the creation of acheiropoieta. To explain: it is a manipulation of subjectively natural processes that stimulates the imaginative completion, or re-creation of another’s personal idea of nature. Thus, instead of communicating a single novel perception of nature, Forest Families induces the spectator to interact with nature in a certain way: it invites the spectator to imaginatively impress of his or her interiority onto it, and engage in the subjective transformation of nature into personal icons.
Written by Maxime L. and Adrien L.
Adrien L | Dual relationship (2012)
Dual relationship takes its origin in a puzzling experiential dialogue – the intractable juxtaposition of analytical and subjective experiences of reality. More specifically, ahundredhuevos explores the dependence and independence of his behavioral experiences with nature.
On one hand, as a research assistant in fluvial geomorphology at McGill University, he attempts to model, to explain the fluctuations of riverine paths and habitats. From his lab, perched in Montreal, nature comes to him in abstract form, remote and independent of his behavior and judgment, yielding patterns perceptible only from afar. Where survival is a given, nature seems the fruit of design, of intelligence.
But as setting changes, so does perspective, and, accordingly, his experience of nature. When in the field, in the striking wilderness of the Saguenay region, the visceral push for survival overwhelms scientific abstraction and drives motion: nature is a place unpatterned, a disordered darkness. Nature is no longer an abstract object which ahundredhuevos examines. It is the whimsical force with which he must contend, a force threatening through unpredictability, which arouses primal fears. Research and analysis, at this point, are out of the question: independent design yields to a dependence on chaotic nature.
It is this dual relationship to nature that ahundredhuevos strives to capture in his work. By confining his artistic intervention to mere technical orchestration and physical energy, he allows nature to act – through the physical process of capillary action – in the foreground of his work: design unleashes nature, then gives way before it. Thus, in his work is realized Alain’s beautiful formula that the artist “is also a spectator to the birth of his own work.” Indeed, this creative venture, wherein independent technique and dependence on nature come to be inextricably interlocked, allows an artistic meditation through which ahundredhuevos both acknowledges his inability to fully design the painted patterns, and communes with nature.
Written by Maxime L. and Adrien L.
Portland-based artist and musician Adrien L received his Bachelor of Atmospheric Sciences and Physics from McGill University in 2011.
 “Capillary action: The interaction between contacting surfaces of a liquid and a solid that distorts the liquid surface from a planar shape”
 “l’artiste est spectateur de son oeuvre en train de naitre” (Alain, Système des beaux arts)