When she approaches a newsstand, Montreal-based artist Myriam Dion often buys 20 copies of that day’s paper — at times, even more than that. She then takes the stack to her studio, where she uses an X-Acto knife to cut away at the flimsy sheets, creating a mosaic of chopped-up texts and patterns centered on a photograph of the day she finds especially arresting. After two years of cutting, she has amassed a news archive of sorts that records through delicate designs some of the largest stories to make headlines around the world. Recently exhibited by Division Gallery at last month’s Art Toronto fair, her series of cutouts largely remain devoid of any legible text, honoring the original story through her patient handiwork. Created in the context of a media-saturated era with content built on fast-paced publishing and shareability, her works suggest approaching the news with patience and comprehensiveness.
“I am creating a new newspaper that can be interpreted, that encourages people to think more deeply about the news that we consume too easily,” Dion told Hyperallergic. “My intention is to slow down the look of the viewer. I worry that we are absent-mindedly skimming the surface of the things, and that we are getting lost in the rush.”
Literal everyday objects, rather than getting thrown away, thus transform into lace-like works depicting individual stories, and photographs, originally visual aids, become the main focus and the starting point to explore a news item. Dion’s painstaking treatment, however, separates works from the rapidly digestable, Instagram-style photo-as-story, with her elaborate geometric designs and novel arrangements instead capturing and arresting the eye.
One work commemorating the April 2014 South Korean ferry disaster, for instance, scales down a small, red lifeboat, surrounding it with wild swirls of blue and white, all bordered by ornate embellishments that evoke not only the chaos of the event but also the convoluted debates and conflicts that ensued about the government’s culpability in the incident. Another tells the story of refugees from Myanmar and Bangladesh in Malaysia simply through a pair of hands clutching a chain-linked fence; the anonymous fists occupy a small, lower corner of the page, with the fence dissolving into dense black-and-white lines punctured by small holes, transformed into a web that recalls an overwhelming but fragmented network of the displaced. Most of Dion’s cut-outs center on such heavy-hitting topics; her recreations, evocative of mandalas and stained glass windows, encourage prolonged meditation on these events rather than a quick read of a story followed by the turn of a page.
What would it look like if museums turned their billions toward positive good instead of questionable investments simply for profit?
Patricio Guzmán combines reflection on the past, observation of the present, and hope for the future into an expansive vision of all the ideas he’s explored in his work.
Artists reflect on histories of oppressive power structures in Brazil in this exhibition at the Visual Arts Center at the University of Texas at Austin.
So closely do Disney’s animators assimilate the sensibility of French design that on occasion their source material appears almost more Disney than Disney itself.
The Grand Avenue Billboard Project enables artists like Karen Fiorito to publicly express their political views.
The museum opens to the public on October 8 with a 24-hour kickoff and a rebooted California Biennial.
The report estimates that 6.7 million Indigenous objects and human remains continue to be held in Canadian institutions, most of which do not have formal repatriation policies.
Funding options at UB include full-tuition scholarships for MFA students, the Arthur A. Schomburg Fellowship Program, and additional opportunities for MA students.
The Association of Art Museum Directors announced a shift in its longstanding policy, which restricted the use of funds from sales of art to new acquisitions only.
Martín Mobarak may have broken Mexican law, but he burned the proof.
Your list of must-see, fun, insightful, and very Los Angeles art events this month, including the Maya Codex of Mexico at the Getty, Beatrice Wood, Trenton Doyle Hancock, and more.