Montreal

Kevin Kelly

Michel Tétreault Art Contemporain

Since 1988, Kevin Kelly’s dioramas have incorporated large-scale paintings, videotapes, and photographs of virginal arctic landscapes, open pit-mines, and sequentially ordered, rectilinear Dutch forests. Constructed in a 180-degree, semicircular fashion, like the wilderness scenes one might see in a museum of natural history, at first sight these installations are strikingly beautiful. They internalize the kernel of the Romantic ethos that considers the act of representation a sublime ideal that somehow surpasses nature. The harsh resource elements, such as water, mine tailings, oil, rocks, and dirt set into constructed foregrounds, provide a stark physical contrast to the stagey backdrops that re-create images of nature in various stages of environmental deterioration. These reconstructed landscapes tap into the desires that motivate the acquisitive objectivity implicit in the act of

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