In this project, entitled Surtout ne prends pas froid, Montreal-based artist Maude Lonard-Contant has erased parts of our natural world. Constructed out of styrofoam, paper, and watercolors, the site-specific installation mimics nature as it might look when set within the four walls of a gallery space. According to her bio, the artist’s sculptural and installation work “questions the difficult relationship we have with the representation of nature, and shows an acute interest for the western neurosis of framing.”
Upon entering the space, viewers are immediately confronted with a nonsensical situation. A variety of trees, scattered around the room, continue to maintain an upright position, regardless of the fact that each tree is missing part of its middle section. In the corner sits a small pile of the missing parts, separated from the rest but still present in the room. The very simple structures grow through the ceiling and the floor with a demanding presence, challenging viewers to question the intentions of the artist–perhaps the project is a statement on the depleting resources in our environment or perhaps it is simply a playful interpretation of the natural world, brought indoors.