montreal

Laurie Walker

Galerie Christiane Chassay

Laurie Walker’s Altus, 1992, was filled with sensory ambiguities. Upon climbing in virtual darkness one of four ladders welded to Walker’s minimalist tower of steel, one found oneself peering at a vat of bioluminescent bacteria. The immediate sensation was of looking up instead of down, of intractable distance. The contrast between the patterns of living light and the austere, structural shell of the piece reaffirmed Thomas Carlyle’s notion that, “unconsciousness is the sign of creation; consciousness at best that of manufacture.” Not simply a feminist assault on Minimalism, Altus foregrounded the space between touch and the less tangible forms of sensory experience.

For one of her first shows in Montreal, she brought together—with riotous alacrity and absurd humor—current discourse about art’s unstable relation to science. Producing Monsters, 1986, a giant papier-mâché moon

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