Who would’ve thought two self-described “paper lovers” could grab the cardboard contents of their recycling bins, mix it with shredded newspaper, and expose it as art in a gallery?
Kyla Chevrier and JP King did just that in an attempt to subvert the use of paper as a vessel, and turn it into the object of attention. The end result entitled No Paper Harmed is quite successful.
Architect design sheets cover the VAV gallery’s floor, as if it were tiles, and red paper acts as the red carpet, while sculptures made of wooden readymades, draped and stuffed with shredded newspaper, take important positions in the room.
The windows are covered in newsprint, and carefully positioned flattened cardboard boxes and containers are tacked on the wall, seemingly creating valued portraits out of waste.
Enormous black and white silkscreened prints on handmade paper are also featured, although it is definitely the support that is more interesting in this case than the actual content.
All these elements help create the idea that paper can be the sculpture, the building and the artwork in and of itself.
Obviously very process heavy and more about “the paper cuts, blood and sore fingers” used to create this space – rather than the product itself – it is still surprising to see the inspiring environment that’s been created.
“We’re interested in commenting on the hyper production of the industry and giving discarded things a new meaning,” explained King on the context of the show.
Chevrier, in shredding all the paper for the show, stated how “shredding is a privatizing of information – we feel safe in this discarding of documents that our secrets will remain forever hidden.”
As examples, King added the envelopes we use for cheques and the cardboard boxes enclosing objects.
Will Chevrier and King continue using this medium? “I’m never going to leave it – it’s a lifelong love!”
Make up your own mind on paper. Check out the VA building’s VAV gallery at 1395 Rene Levesque before October 12th.