BcmA and curator Claudia Emde are proud to present the solo exhibition of the Canadian artist VALÉRIE POTVIN : The Mirror

Valérie Potvin transcribes the complexity of the human being and his interactions with his peers and the environment. For this exhibition at BcmA, she has created an installation that brings together objects, space and light. She has transformed the gallery space to completely engulf the body and to propose a singular experience of discovery. Her work presents us with mysterious and shifted bodies. An action seems frozen in time, and the links between the characters are enigmatic. Evocations of power relationships, distress, and even a certain amount of violence blend into the dreamlike, soft and enveloping universe. The sculptures can just as easily imply a process of transformation.

The current pandemic has exacerbated social problems and plunged humanity into the heart of its vulnerability. For the artist, this ordeal, coupled with an impending ecological crisis and now another war, are part of an unprecedented mental overload. Valérie Potvin’s work is therefore not only an allegorical reflection of this challenging period, but also of the capacity to move forward in spite of the uncertainty.

Between indecision and a sense of urgency, the artist produced sculptural works combining casting, assembly and 3D printing techniques. Over weeks of intensive labor, she took risks and accepted the mutations that appeared. The result is a plurivocal work, vacillating between doubt and affirmation, detail and erasure, the beautiful and the ugly, realism and implausibility. In the end, she builds a complex and enigmatic symbolism.

The title, The Mirror, evokes the power to reflect on truth, self-knowledge, as well as illusion and appearance, dreams and the unconscious, shame or vanity. The understanding of what a mirror is is ambiguous and multiple. These qualities underline the concept of undecidability in Valérie Potvin’s work. This notion brings out poetry and increases the capacity of hospitality of sensitive subjects. It also enables the viewer to appreciate the artwork according to his or her knowledge of the world.


We acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts.


Nous remercions le Conseil des arts du Canada et le gouvernement du Canada de son soutien.