COZIC AT the MNBAQ: for the pleasure of the senses [VIDEO]

COZIC AU MNBAQ: pour le plaisir des sens [VIDÉO]

Monic Brassard and Yvon Cozic, who form the duo COZIC, have the honour of a retrospective at the MNBAQ.

October 9, 2019

Updated on October 10, 2019 at 10h59

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COZIC AT the MNBAQ: for the pleasure of the senses [VIDEO]

COZIC AU MNBAQ: pour le plaisir des sens [VIDÉO]

Eric Moreault

The Sun

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The retrospective “COZIC” at the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec has established itself as a landmark event in many ways. Because it is a first for this major figure in contemporary art in quebec. But also because the corpus of the happy duo, partner in life and in the establishment, shaking up the codes museum, inviting the visitor to touch, to hug, and even to feel their works : a treat for all the senses.

Monic Brassard and Yvon Cozic met at the mid-point of the 1960s at the École des Beaux-arts de Montréal, where they have followed a training “academic”. But, very quickly, “we are questioning ourselves on our profession of a sculptor and the dictates of the art of the time. Why the color was reserved for the painting? Why some materials are noble and others not?” said Mrs. Cuff during the visit of the hundreds of works grouped together for the exhibit.

“Art is dictated by the look that you put. Our practice is very tactile, we also wanted to use all the other senses,” adds Yvon Cozic.

The duo puts theory into practice with Surface stroking (1971), large square red plush of which the title says it all, as you can see at the beginning of the course, chronological. A pellet to the ground, like other “surface to sniff” or “interactive work”, invites us to pass the act.

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“At that time, people did not dare to touch. It becomes a public gesture that is intimate and that becomes revealing. Then they lived the experience vicariously by touching their children,” laughs the creator.

COZIC will not cease, since, to question the practice as we can see with this chronological journey. The changes are sometimes dramatic, could one believe, but they are part of a continuity, they are speaking often in the same voice. This is consistent given that they want no one to know who did what…

We can, indeed, measure how their “obsessions” are transformed. The second section, devoted to the ownership — well assumed, it-we discover a work created from shirred folded from pieces of paper found during a full year, the aptly-named A bitch a Day Keeps the Obsession Away (1978). “It’s almost like a diary,” fun Monic Brossard.

COZIC AU MNBAQ: pour le plaisir des sens [VIDÉO]

The well-named “A bitch a Day Keeps the Obsession Away” (1978) brings together 365 casserole for as many days of the year.
A Photo Of The Sun, Yan Doublet

A Photo Of The Sun, Yan Doublet

We find, in the next room, that this interest is new clothes in the 1980s with assemblies, more abstract, of the folding of disordered rather than structured like origami. Beautiful blink of an eye, COZIC has made a Large bend in-situ especially for this retrospective.

A gesture that reveals the great delight of the two artists in the creation as much as the willingness to interact with the viewer in a playful spirit. The hundred parts offers a colorful and flamboyant. COZIC wants to satisfy the mind with wonder. “Our work is closer to poetry than to prose,” explained accurately Monic Brassard. Or perhaps is it Yvon Cozic…

COZIC AU MNBAQ: pour le plaisir des sens [VIDÉO]

The hundred parts offers a colorful and flamboyant.

A Photo Of The Sun, Yan Doublet

In the 1990s, the two artists will especially create sculptural installations, structures in equilibrium that allow them to work on the silhouettes and play with the light. You can see a Moment of awakening (1988), which looks like a squeegee giant!

Speaking of usual object, the last zone of the exhibition of works from last two decades has been placed under one theme developer : re-enchanting the everyday. COZIC has taken the approach of neo-pop ” by using materials of all days.

Which does not have a metaphysical preoccupations, as demonstrated by the black hole (2016) and others. Monic Brassard draws a parallel between the research of art and science : “The finds are often made by chance.”

COZIC is constantly renewed throughout the last 50 years, yet without forgetting the themes that are dear to them. Masquerade (1999-2016) takes the form of a collection of cardboard boxes, not reworked, which have the particularity to evoke a face. A box of clementines, “it is the whole of Africa looking at us!” exclaims Monic Brassard. These holes which look like eyes, “it is the view that the work puts on us,” adds Yvon Cozic. The eyes, an obsession since the beginning, just as the use of materials unusual.

COZIC AU MNBAQ: pour le plaisir des sens [VIDÉO]

“Masquerade” (1999-2016) takes the form of a collection of cardboard boxes, not reworked, which have the particularity to conjure faces.
A Photo Of The Sun, Yan Doublet

A Photo Of The Sun, Yan Doublet

This body of work, “thought two heads and woven by four hands,” they won great recognitions over the past fifteen years : the career award Riopelle, awarded by the CALQ; the prix Émile-Borduas Prize from Quebec; the Governor general’s award of Canada in the visual arts…

But to see the light in their eyes, Wednesday morning, this retrospective makes them really warm in the heart. They were even required to record their own testimonies and anecdotes for the audioguide of the exhibition.

COZIC. To you of play — From 1967 to today is on show until January 5, 2020. A multitude of activities take place in parallel with it. The detail in www.mnbaq.org.

COZIC AU MNBAQ: pour le plaisir des sens [VIDÉO]

Monic Brassard and Yvon Cozic in one of their fun facilities.

A Photo Of The Sun, Yan Doublet

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The retrospective in perspective

“It’s just to situate all this work that we have done for the last 50 years and gives it meaning. It is seen that there has been a continuity. There has been a recognition of our work in the past, but this retrospective is a very nice interlude,” Yvon Cozic.

Work hand in hand

“People always say to us, “you chicanez ever?” I would say that it is more difficult to live as a couple than to work together. When you find yourself in the workshop, it is because you have a desire to do something. I don’t know if there have been skirmishes. With the time, it was forgotten. The complicity is more easy,” explains Monic Brassard.

The dialogue with the viewer

“For us, the viewer, is the other part of the triangle. That people give us their assessment or not, it doesn’t matter. But we know that if he spends some time in front of our works, he knows that he will get something out of it. When he leaves the room, it is necessary that the viewer has in memory what he saw. That is why, amusingly, it actually works that change the look of the person,” notes Yvon Cozic.

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