Laurent Craste, the executioner of vases

Laurent Craste, le bourreau des potiches

“Entomolovase VII”, “Revenge II” and “Entomolovase X” by Laurent Craste

On December 8, 2019-4: 00 am

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Laurent Craste, the executioner of vases

Laurent Craste, le bourreau des potiches

Josianne Desloges

The Sun

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“Punishment”, the first exhibition to Quebec ceramist Laurent Craste, shown in vases of porcelain, disemboweled, crucified, and beheaded by workmen’s tools. An illustration surreal of class struggle, where the artist plays with the symbols and historical events.

Laurent Craste occupies the space to the left of the entrance of the Gallery 3, while Daniel Barrow (we’ll get to that later), exhibited pieces in the space to the right. In his serial Abuse, a large vase, with flowers of lilies and perforated by darts emblazoned with the british flag, represents the general Montcalm. Three vases crucified by their handles evoke the death of Christ, but also the rebels getting crucified at the door of the barns during the French Revolution. Laurent Craste has fun to put her characters in porcelain to create new scenes and new resonances for each presentation.

“The vases are objects that are intrinsically linked to the aristocracy, to the political and economic elites,” explains the artist, born in France, living in Montreal for over 25 years. “Already, the vase itself has an anthropomorphic aspect. When it describes, we speak of the foot, the belly, the shoulder, the neck, the lip. Me, I’m exaggerating, in order to arouse empathy. There is a small side cartoon, comic strip.”

Laurent Craste, le bourreau des potiches

“Iconocraste to the bar to nail II”, Laurent Craste

THE SUN, ERICK LABBÉ

A simple tear in a vase bent to the rear, with their handles identified as two outstretched arms with clenched fists, giving the impression that the subject screams in rage and pain. The compassion of the visitor is accompanied inevitably with a wide smile in front of this object seeming to come out of the castle of the Beast.

The works are made in a workshop by Laurent Craste, who carries out all the steps, from kneading the clay until the glaze. A careful artistic production, which nevertheless evokes the products of the great european manufacturers of the Eighteenth and Nineteenth centuries, where a score of specialized workers were putting the hand to the dough to produce a single vase.

Laurent Craste, le bourreau des potiches

“Great pal I”, Laurent Craste

THE SUN, ERICK LABBÉ

Tools of worker found in flea markets fall violently on the representatives of the upper classes. The whiteness and the perfect lines of the porcelain contrasts with the rough appearance of the metal and the wood of the tools worn by time and the hands that have held.

Laurent Craste, le bourreau des potiches

“Iconocraste the chopper butcher”, Laurent Craste

the Sun, Erick Labbé

“During the uprising of the working classes both in Europe and in Asia, we attack the aristocracy, but also their possessions. The letter of the revolutionary committee in 1792 said that he had to destroy everything that bears the marks of the tyrant,” says Laurent Craste. In short, the vases Medici and the vessels time are beaten.

Just as the citizens of the Commune of Paris walking around with a gun when the Versaillais fall in the city. Inspired by photographs of the massacre, showing dead bodies contorted in coffins too small, Laurent Craste has created the series Casket (which means coffin, but also jewelry box, in English). The vases of porcelain are twisted to enter in wooden boxes.

Laurent Craste, le bourreau des potiches

Laurent Craste in front of his series Casket

The inspiration of the artist also has a for comic. “Throughout the Twentieth century, it has set aside objects of grand-mother. The ornamentation was no longer in fashion, it was a sign of bourgeois decadence. But in the past few years, in the catalogues of auction, one of the national treasures found in attics. I imagined that people had tried to enter vessels too large in shoe boxes.”

The last series, and the most recent submitted to the Gallery 3 (Diversion) demand a second time of reading. We walked in front of the vases to the perfect shapes, decorated with symbols and photographs. Images of castles, of sovereign or battle scenes are replaced with scenes of a disease of urban riots, or migrants drowned. The bee imperial of Napoleon is to be replaced by a fly. The vases, all of a sudden evoke funerary urns and the humor does lighten the more tragic side.

Laurent Craste, le bourreau des potiches

The “tree” between the two “Vases of the riot” by Laurent Craste

THE SUN, ERICK LABBÉ

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THE MYSTERIES IN THE HOUSEHOLD OF DANIEL BARROW

The vignettes designed, sculpted and animated by Daniel Barrow float between poetry and digital communication, fairy tales and domestic dramas.

A distributor of toilet paper is transformed into a staircase covered by a mat. When we draw on the paper, it is as if we pulled the rug from under the feet of a character, which dévalera inexorably. It is necessary, however, to read the poem that is printed… and that speaks of someone coming down a staircase.

Laurent Craste, le bourreau des potiches

“The Descent” by Daniel Barrow

The Sun, Erick Labbé

On two other staircases in the pyramid takes place a parade of strange, where figures dressed as dolls of paper or of men-sandwiches. Under the stairs, a door open-knit evokes both the outhouse and this moment in the cartoons where a character smashes a wall and leaves a silhouette that is perfectly cut. The amalgam of inspirations of Daniel Barrow is a mysterious one : a parade of Christian Dior and the film The People Under the Stairs (The basement of the fear).

Laurent Craste, le bourreau des potiches

“Pyramid 2”, Daniel Barrow

THE SUN, ERICK LABBÉ

The room that is most captivating is certainly a mirror which run six poems and as many masks, and music by Greg Goldberg. The rhymes of Barrow entwined with those of Cole Porter, Steven Merritt, Irving Berlin, while reminiscent of Dr. Seuss and the brothers Grimm. There are also references to very contemporary, as the term catfish, which is a user of online dating sites who is hiding under a false identity.

Laurent Craste, le bourreau des potiches

Daniel Barrow in front of “Bouquet of Mirrors”

The Sun, Erick Labbé

The exhibition At First I Thought It Was A Mannequin also includes a series of drawings where the line of the nape of the neck, the texture or tension exerted on a head of hair are studied carefully, with a color palette reduced, that goes from olive green to dusty pink.

Laurent Craste, le bourreau des potiches

“Frizzy,” “The Noviciate” and “Broken Stalk” of Daniel Barrow

THE SUN, ERICK LABBÉ

One of the poems of Daniel Barrow, where the words are revealed according to the drawings stuck between the lines, such as translations, has been set with a frame with a tablet. A window on the strange, which is already a household object and which reminds us at once hieroglyphs are ancient and the threads of émojis matches modern.

The two exhibitions are on show until 20 December at 247 rue Saint-Vallier est, Quebec. Info : www.lagalerie3.com

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