The laboratory is a place devoted to inquiry and the creation of new knowledge. As such, it can be compared to the artist's studio, which also proves to be a research venue as well as a place for the production of original knowledge and forms infused with the complexity of the world around us. This part of the exhibition deals with the work of artists who recapitulate the scientific process by devising various experimental procedures, revealing an often bookish relationship to knowledge, patenting their discoveries or handling living matter that evolves and transforms itself. Their creations involve collaborations with scientists, take advantage of the possibilities offered by instruments from outside the field of art, and evoke a desire for mastery over the unknown.
The laboratory is a place devoted to inquiry and the creation of new knowledge. As such, it can be compared to the artist's studio, which also proves to be a research venue as well as a place for the production of original knowledge and forms infused with the complexity of the world around us. This part of the exhibition deals with the work of artists who recapitulate the scientific process by devising various experimental procedures, revealing an often bookish relationship to knowledge, patenting their discoveries or handling living matter that evolves and transforms itself. Their creations involve collaborations with scientists, take advantage of the possibilities offered by instruments from outside the field of art, and evoke a desire for mastery over the unknown.

© Galerie de l'UQAM 2007. All rights reserved

Petri dishes, agar-agar and fungal cultures inoculated in the laboratory.

Photo: Annie Thibault
Annie Thibault
2004
© Annie Thibault, courtesy of Pierre François Ouellette art contemporain, Montréal


Petri dishes, agar-agar and fungal cultures inoculated in the laboratory.

Photo: Annie Thibault
2004
© Annie Thibault, courtesy of Pierre François Ouellette art contemporain, Montréal


LABORATOIRE. Sous l’antre de la Chambre stérile [LABORATORY. In the Shelter of the Sterile Chamber] constitutes the culmination of work that Annie Thibault embarked on during a residency at the Instituto de Biología Molecular of Barcelona. The laboratory becomes her studio, where she works with living substances, namely, fungal cultures (yeast, mould) in a creative context. Suspended from the ceiling, the hung version of the Fairy Ring installation draws its inspiration from certain exobiological theories stating that life originated from stardust (spores) deposited on the Earth by dew. The title alludes to the circular formation that certain mushroom colonies assume as they grow in the shadows of underbrush. The two works establish links between the macrocosm and the microcosm. As with all her work, these two pieces combine aesthetic and scientific questioning and borrow the arsenal of the microbiologist: agar-agar, flasks, microorganisms, and so on. Annie Thibault draws with fungal and bacterial cultures, using Petri dishes, glass beakers and wax moulds to create installations that reflect her desire to work with living matter, in order to create worlds that Read More
LABORATOIRE. Sous l’antre de la Chambre stérile [LABORATORY. In the Shelter of the Sterile Chamber] constitutes the culmination of work that Annie Thibault embarked on during a residency at the Instituto de Biología Molecular of Barcelona. The laboratory becomes her studio, where she works with living substances, namely, fungal cultures (yeast, mould) in a creative context. Suspended from the ceiling, the hung version of the Fairy Ring installation draws its inspiration from certain exobiological theories stating that life originated from stardust (spores) deposited on the Earth by dew. The title alludes to the circular formation that certain mushroom colonies assume as they grow in the shadows of underbrush. The two works establish links between the macrocosm and the microcosm. As with all her work, these two pieces combine aesthetic and scientific questioning and borrow the arsenal of the microbiologist: agar-agar, flasks, microorganisms, and so on. Annie Thibault draws with fungal and bacterial cultures, using Petri dishes, glass beakers and wax moulds to create installations that reflect her desire to work with living matter, in order to create worlds that exist at the crossroads of the artist’s studio, the natural history museum and the laboratory.

The two works, executed and presented following a residency at the Fundacio Rafael Tous d’art contemporaini METRÒNOM (located in Barcelona, Spain), were done in conjunction with the molecular biology laboratory of the University of Barcelona.

To see interviews with the artist Annie Thibault from Beyond Science, please follow this link.

© Galerie de l'UQAM 2007. All rights reserved

Photograph on Lexan, blown acrylic and mineral oil.

Photo: Annie Thibault et Jorsi Nieva
2004
© Annie Thibault, courtesy of Pierre François Ouellette art contemporain, Montréal


Photograph on Lexan, blown acrylic and mineral oil.

Photo: Annie Thibault et Jorsi Nieva
2004
© Annie Thibault, courtesy of Pierre François Ouellette art contemporain, Montréal


Annie Thibault lives and works in Gatineau. After initially studying the pure sciences, she obtained a bachelor's degree in visual art form the Université du Québec en Outaouais and a graphic design workshop (UQAM). This dual training has marked all of her work, which is intended to be a hybrid of art and biology. The artist was awarded a gold medal for sculpture at the Francophone Games in 2001; prior to that, in 1998, she received a Claudia De Hueck Fellowship in Art and Science.

selected exhibitions
2007 De-cons-tructions, National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa (Ontario) Apprivoisements fugaces, Pierre-François Ouellette Art Contemporain, Montréal (Québec) 2005 Ils causent des systèmes : Acquisitions récentes en art actuel, Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec, Québec (Québec) 2004 Beyond Science, Metrònom, Barcelona (Spain) 2002 LASIVARASTO: L’entrepôt de verre, Axenéo7, Gatineau (Québec) 1998 Chambre des cultures, Read More
Annie Thibault lives and works in Gatineau. After initially studying the pure sciences, she obtained a bachelor's degree in visual art form the Université du Québec en Outaouais and a graphic design workshop (UQAM). This dual training has marked all of her work, which is intended to be a hybrid of art and biology. The artist was awarded a gold medal for sculpture at the Francophone Games in 2001; prior to that, in 1998, she received a Claudia De Hueck Fellowship in Art and Science.

selected exhibitions
  • 2007 De-cons-tructions, National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa (Ontario)
  • Apprivoisements fugaces, Pierre-François Ouellette Art Contemporain, Montréal (Québec)
  • 2005 Ils causent des systèmes : Acquisitions récentes en art actuel, Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec, Québec (Québec)
  • 2004 Beyond Science, Metrònom, Barcelona (Spain)
  • 2002 LASIVARASTO: L’entrepôt de verre, Axenéo7, Gatineau (Québec)
  • 1998 Chambre des cultures, Centre des arts actuels Skol, Montréal (Québec)

© Galerie de l'UQAM 2007. All rights reserved

agar-agar

A viscous substance obtained from any of various kinds of red seaweed. Liquid when heated and gelatinous when cooled, it is used as a culture medium in bacteriology and as a food thickener (in jams and candies).

fungal cultures

Growths of mould or mushrooms, that is, of microscopic filamentous vegetation that feeds on organic substances.

Petri dish

A closed dish used in biology to grow cultures of microorganisms. Shallow and round, it can be made of glass or plastic.
agar-agar

A viscous substance obtained from any of various kinds of red seaweed. Liquid when heated and gelatinous when cooled, it is used as a culture medium in bacteriology and as a food thickener (in jams and candies).

fungal cultures

Growths of mould or mushrooms, that is, of microscopic filamentous vegetation that feeds on organic substances.

Petri dish

A closed dish used in biology to grow cultures of microorganisms. Shallow and round, it can be made of glass or plastic.

© Galerie de l'UQAM 2007. All rights reserved

Learning Objectives

The learner will:
  • demonstrate an understanding of how science and art can be linked;
  • try to explain the state of mind of the artist when she made this art piece.

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