Alain Paiement Le monde en chantier / Living Chaos
30 October 2004 – 2 January 2005

Oakville Galleries at Centennial Square

The central element in the exhibition Alain Paiement. Le monde en chantier / Living Chaos is a recent work titled Parages (2002). In this floor-by-floor photodocumentary of the building in which he lives, Paiement effectively reconstitutes within the gallery space his own apartment, sections of the building's basement and roof, the pastry shop on the ground floor, the street front and the tranquil rear courtyard.

Curator Anne-Marie Ninacs comments on the works in the exhibition: "The theme of habitation recurs throughout the vast artistic project Alain Paiement has been working on since the early 1980s. Forging an indissoluble link between the representation of built space and the architecture of the photographic image, he juxtaposes unconventional locations and perspectives that are infused with an insatiable curiosity about how we humans inhabit the Earth. Since 1996, Paiement has viewed the world through the lens of a camera held perfectly parallel to the façade or floor of each location he is examining. Although his rigorous mapping process borrows from the systematic techniques of both cartography and archaeology, it serves above all to reveal the inherent vanity of all scientific enterprise. By producing powerful layered images that confront the viewer with aspects of awareness and space that are normally as invisible as the passage of time, he reminds us essentially that the illusion/image captured by the camera is in fact merely the reflection of our own desires; that the hurly-burly of life invariably eludes any attempt to pin it down; and that in the end we must resign ourselves to the prospect of living in a perpetual construction site.

Curated by Anne-Marie Ninacs, organized and circulated by the Galerie de l'Université du Québec à Montréal (UQÀM)

The exhibition and its accompanying publication (the first major catalogue of the artist's work), Alain Paiement. Le monde en chantier / Living Chaos, are produced by the Galerie de l'UQÀM with the support of the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec and the Canada Council for the Arts.