Critics’ Picks

Celia Perrin Sidarous, Marble egg, seashell and images, 2015, inkjet print on matte paper, 30 x 36".


Celia Perrin Sidarous

Parisian Laundry
3550 St-Antoine Ouest
January 14–February 20, 2016

Many of the black-and-white and color photographs that constitute Celia Perrin Sidarous’s current solo show, “Les Figures,” document her travels in Greece, Italy, and Norway. Images such as Cyprès, Pompeii (all works cited, 2015) and Palm, Ancient Agora of Athens offer unspectacular views of the titular subjects. On the walls of the Parisian Laundry in Montreal, these photographs provide clues to how Sidarous came to create other images, also on view, that depict assemblages of found objects. Was the piece of coral placed on a mirror in Black Coral a memento from Greece, or the green-gray ovoid in Marble Egg, Seashell and Images a souvenir from Italy? These questions are tangential. What makes Sidarous’s images compelling are not the stories behind the objects’ journeys to her studio but the complex compositions of the assemblages.

Among the more striking works in the show, The Waves triangulates a conversation between a cutout photograph of a ruffle pattern, its reflection in a circular mirror, and birds feeding in the sea, also pictured with their reflection, all against a seemingly flat, white background. The boundary between the real thing and its representation is undermined to create a space that only exists within the image. While works such as Black Coral offer the stability of a still life, unlikely landscapes such as The Waves allow viewers to reconsider their understandings of medium, material, and perspective.