Opening reception : Tuesday, June 5, 2012
Mitch Mitchell’s prints and in situ installations present series of staged images of manipulated landscapes that evoke the extent of the constraints imposed on different environments by major construction projects. Without any visible reference to human habitation, they have the poetic and haunting appearance of the transformation process of industrial abandonment.
The artist’s recent works are marked by a deliberate change of scale, which provides the observer with a moment of disorientation and physical separation from space. Mitchell associates this feeling with some research trips during which he visited large construction sites, where the differences in scale between the territory in the distance and the body seem almost senseless and unreal. Without a familiar reference point, it is impossible to differentiate between large and small, micro and macro, masses and empty spaces. This loss of scale leads the observer to situate the imagination somewhere between an illusory landscape and the topography of a more intimate plane, both of which ultimately exist in a domain of the unknown.
For BERTH (berth), its new print-based facility, Mitch Mitchell has created an elaborate visual construction that reflects the industry’s global requirement for perpetual commerce, material distribution and waste generation. BERTH, made of thousands of hand-printed, folded and stacked miniature containers, suggests a correspondence between this mass of transport containers and the stone mountains of a quarry. The claustrophobic and playful relationship revealed by this two-part conversation becomes a poetic metaphor for mass production and the priority of needs and desires on a global scale, and for the link between these issues and those of population density, territorial development and the widespread exhaustion of raw materials.
As part of the activities developed in parallel with the exhibitions, Sporobole invites you to a presentation by the artist Mitch Mitchell on Friday, June 8 at 7:30 p.m., followed at 8 p.m. by a conference by sociologist Alain Deneault on tax evasion and maritime transport
Mitch Mitchell’s Berth installation, which runs from June 7 to July 29, 2012 in Sporobole, is made from thousands of hand-printed miniature containers, folded and stacked, halfway between stacking cargo containers and stacking quarry stones. A claustrophobic but nevertheless playful relationship created in this space becomes a poetic metaphor for mass production, population density and global resource depletion.
Containers, flags of convenience and tax havens….
presentation by sociologist Alain Deneault entitled :
“More than 60% of maritime transport is now managed from free ports such as Panama, Liberia or the Marshall Islands. These laws of convenience invite shipowners everywhere to register their vessels at home by promising them not to apply any duties worthy of the name. Fleeing the tax authorities, underpaying their staff, depriving them of safety at work, neglecting ship maintenance and polluting the world’s main waterways is therefore now a common occurrence in this industry managed in these free ports, outlawed. The transport of goods emblematically represented by containers could not take place as massively as it does today without the maritime transport conditions that legislation of convenience offers at a discount. This is at the expense of the working class and the ecosystem. Thanks to this pressure on working conditions and this ecological disregard made possible, the phenomenon of company relocation becomes profitable. It pushes workers in the North into unemployment while reducing people in the South who find work in free trade zones to the role of convicts. The time has come to become aware of this phenomenon. “A.D.
Video credit: Patric Lacasse Editing: Pierre-Luc Trudel
Dans le cadre de l’exposition de Mitch Mitchell intitulée Berth, qui à travers la figure du conteneur, évoque le transport de masse, la consommation perpétuelle et les catastrophes qui en découlent, Sporobole présente un essai documentaire de l’artiste photographe reconnu internationalement Allan Sekula co-réalisé avec Noël Burch.
The Forgotten Space – english, with english subtitles, 113 minutes.
Crédit photo : Jocelyn Riendeau