Alex Beriault, Paralleled
Exhibition • Oct 22–Dec 31, 2016
Two-channel video installation. Alex Beriault has developed a practice where the objects and circumstances that she creates manifest as purgatorial experiences for herself and for the viewer. She functions as a catalyst within her installation practice.
In September of 2016, Alex Beriault presented Paralleled, an art installation that intersected performance with sculpture. Commissioned for the eleven-day in/Future exhibition that occurred at the Ontario Place grounds in Toronto, it acted as a manufactured island: at once an object, a fragment of architecture, and a platform that hosted two performers, Alex and Andrew Beriault. The installation floated on Lake Ontario within the middle of a canal, isolating the performers from the surrounding viewers. On the platform, a single wall divided the pair, inhibiting their opportunity to see or speak to one another. The only dialogue they could share was through the action of a strike. One at a time, back and forth, each partner pushed his or her body into the boundary wall between them. Both partners engaged in this continuum of action & reaction, colliding into the dividing wall that prevented (yet suggested) an impact between him and her.
Alex Beriault with Spellerberg Projects presents documentation of the original work that transpired at in/Future. In the gallery, two projections at either end of the space re-play the actions performed on either side of the wall. By slowing down the pacing of time and manipulating the framing of the screens, Beriault augments the footage taken from the live performance to re-contextualize it into a looped two-channel video installation.
Alex Beriault holds a BFA in Sculpture/Installation from OCAD University, graduating as the recipient of the 2014 Sculpture/Installation Medal. She has developed a practice where the objects and circumstances that she creates manifest as purgatorial experiences for herself and for the viewer.
Beriault functions as a catalyst within her installation practice. The sculptures she constructs often affiliate her body. This develops into a physical dynamic between body and object where the object made governs and/or overtakes the object maker. For the viewer who encounters these situations, this tension disrupts the etiquette that dictates how one-person responds to the other. Her work interrupts (and reconsiders) the unspoken rules and boundaries that quietly delegate our positions relative to one another. A question remains in suspension; how do I understand myself in relation to You?
Beriault’s work has been featured in various publications including C Magazine, The Senses and Society, and The Varsity (University of Toronto). She has performed solo and collaborative projects at The Art Gallery of Ontario, Art Toronto International, The Ontario Science Centre and The Artist Project, as well as participated in performance festivals in Italy, Newfoundland and Toronto. Her work has been the subject of a presentation at the annual Museums and the Web Conference in Chicago in 2015. Beriault has given presentations about her practice at OCAD University, University of Toronto, and the Athens School of Fine Art in Greece. She currently lives and works in Toronto.
The artist would like to gratefully acknowledge the support for this project from the Ontario Arts Council.