Concordia alumna and collage artist Amanda Durepos explores concepts behind the word ‘please’
It can be a solicitation, an appeal, a request or satisfaction. The word itself is a dichotomy between pleasure and pain. We’re taught from a young age to say “please,” but the politesse has taken on new connotations and is now utilized and interpreted in a multitude of ways. Amanda Durepos—a collage artist and Concordia alumna who graduated with a BFA—has drawn inspiration from this loaded letter arrangement and her exhibition is on display until April 23.
It is being exhibited at Ymuno, which is a gallery space that was recently opened by Ben Williamson and his girlfriend Madeline Richards in Studio 530 of the Belgo Building. To set out to observe PLEASE and step in off the bustling street of Ste. Catherine is to enter into a building that is crawling with creativity and artistic potential. Making your way through the Belgo Building’s halls is an experience in itself, where you can peer into studio spaces littered with products of artistic endeavours and projects of passion.
Studio 530 is simple, small and, behind one of the gallery walls, serves as a loft-style studio as well. PLEASE marks their first display as a gallery, and Durepos’ simplistic and enticing collage work proves an excellent channel to ignite their space’s personality.
PLEASE begins with the display of a collection of poems and short essays contributed by friends of the artist, all revolving around and delving into the concepts of the word ‘please.’ This facilitates the intellectual marination of the concepts attached to the word in question before the consumption of Durepos’ work. The diversified literary approach to what the word represents contextualizes her interpretations of it.
Her choices of imagery explore the very diverse facets of what the word can entail. Her interpretations range from sexual pleasure to desperate pleas or the dynamic of appeals within a relationship. However, Durepos said she prioritizes aesthetics and pleasing visual arrangements first and only projects narratives onto her pieces after.
Durepos gravitates towards a vintage, black-and-white aesthetic in her collected cutouts, and harnesses diverse tactics such as the rough ripping of material and clean cut strokes. Her style often involves the removal of facial elements, making the word “please” jump out of the piece because of the composition rather than a facial expression or entreaty.
It’s an exhibition that will ignite a desire in you to tear up old magazines in a passionate frenzy, eagerly collecting the ingredients of a visual composition and searching for the pieces of a potential creation.
Words or phrases from the publications or advertisements she has collected these images from are sometimes still visible, only adding to the concept that random and banal pieces of the world around us can come together to create beautiful art and work together to portray a message. Collage work has a distinct beauty rooted in the fact that its aesthetic is made up of pieces of other works’ simplicities, pieces of a whole marrying the details of another. This exhibition is the result of Durepos utilizing this medium for over 10 years now. “I love the physicality of paper and the colour palettes of old photographs. I think there’s something romantic about ephemera and discarded materials and magazines,” said Durepos.
PLEASE is on display in Studio 530 of the Belgo Building (372 Ste. Catherine W.) until April 23.