White walls are thought of as neutral supports. They represent permanence, stability, cleanliness and control, nothing of the life-world remaining visible on their pristine surfaces. Karilee Fuglem's wall-based installations call attention to these presumptions and indifferences. They come to life and disappear within the spatial and temporal limits of the exhibition, while drawing us into intimate relationships with the architectural periphery in which we live.

At first, Untitled (le mur qui respire appears to be a large colour field painting, its surface covered in layers of gestural brush strokes which form an off-white translucent skin. The piece is lit from both the front and back, filling the surface with a warm, tumescent glow, a ghostly reflection of the wall opposite. Its surface swells out and then recedes, with the slow, continuous rhythm of heavy breathing made audible by the sound of electric fans blowing air into the enclosed membrane. While scanning the surface I also find myself trying to look into it and feel compelled to reach into this space. In walking forward the room feels thicker around my body; the luminosity and corporeal sense become more intense. Dwarfed by the work, I feel like a child resting against my mother's belly. This sensuous volumetric surface " part of a living body, enlarged an framed " parodies the room's hard, opaque, geometric forms.

Between the visual and tactile experiences of being with this installation, habitual ways of perceiving art are suspended. It provides a more open and deep sense of being enveloped in a whole environment, one which moves out beyond the spatial and temporal boundaries of the institution's walls. By constructing situations which are explicitly relational and interactive Fuglem calls attention to bodily ways of knowing.

Jack Stanley

This text is an extract from the text published in the catalogue from La Chambre blanche, exact credits may be obtained from Lysane Nadeau (the catalogue has not been published yet)


resume of the artist


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