Creating a new world from found objects

Margot Klingender turns archived material into ethereal sculptures

It is not often that one walks into an art space and experiences a collective feeling as a result of a multiplicity of artworks. Staring at a single work may allow you to feel a certain sentiment, however it is rare for an entire exhibition to leave you feeling like you’ve entered a whole new world.

Montreal-based artist and Concordia graduate student Margot Klingender’s The Key to the Fields accomplishes this feat. 

On view at Projet Pangée, situated in downtown Montreal, the series exhibits the use of symbols, line work, and contrasting textures to explore multiple dualities. A polychromatic sculpture garden fills the room. The pieces, cast in tones of blue, silver, and bronze, and scattered at various heights throughout the gallery, are ethereal.

The space, as a whole, feels very much like stepping into a fantastical children’s novel, wherein the plot takes place in a secret garden.

Klingender, who is currently completing her MFA in Painting and Drawing at Concordia, uses the internet as a starting point for her works. The artist uses found images-collected through archived databases and online forums-and draws repeatedly, both by hand and digitally, to recontextualize the objects.

Composed of contrasting elements-such as opulent colourways and gritty textures, and bronze metal and leather-it uncovers a mysterious side of ubiquitous objects found within the everyday world.

While the objects may have been recognizable and held a particular meaning to the viewer in their original state, once recontextualized, they hold the space to create an individualized personal narrative; creating room for a relationship to form between the art and the observer.

The sculptures’ childlike naïveté, in contrast with the luxurious metallic hues, make for an enchanting encounter. Small tree-like objects in various hues of blue sit on the ground, while other larger objects in tones of white and silver hang from the walls. Bronze-toned sculptures of what appear to be mythological creatures, symbols, and hieroglyphs are scattered throughout the room.

At the furthest end of the space, a large window-shaped piece takes up much of the wall. While windows generally create a boundary between what is inside and what is outside, they also function as a place for the gaze and perception. Much like René Magritte’s 1936 work by the same name as the exhibition, the window piece feels like a portal. By simply looking through, the boundary is crossed, and the observer has the power to see what exists outside of themselves.

While each individual object is a work of art in and of itself, as a group the works allow the viewer to enter a surreal experience. The pieces’ autonomy, in contrast with their collectivity, leave the observer reflecting on these dualities and their omnipresence in everyday life.

The Key to the Fields is on display at Projet Pangee, at 372 Ste-Catherine St. W., Suite 412, until Oct. 19. The gallery is open Wednesday to Saturday, from 12 to 5 p.m.


Photos by Cecilia Piga.

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