Vol. 6 DOMINIQUE PAUL in Conversation with Cleverson Oliveira, July 14, 2020

Enjoy this virtual visit to Dominique Paul's studio in Montreal where she is preparing mixed-media laser cut prints for her upcoming Sept/Oct exhibition "Silent Spring."

Interviewer and fellow gallery artist Cleverson Oliveira in Brazil walks her through her visuals, questioning the details of image-making and performance as well as her use of images of black men in her new series highlighting endangered birds.

DOMNIQUE PAUL (b. 1967, Canadian)

Dominique Paul is a multidisciplinary artist who works with photography, collage, drawing, and performance with wearable structures, often interactive, displaying data related to environmental issues and the increase in social inequality. She also explores the representation of the body and its transformations.

Almost 60 years ago, ecologist Rachel Carson (1907-1964) predicted a steep decline in the insect and bird populations in her prophetic essay Silent Spring (1962). Dominique began her series of surrealistic collages in response to this inexorable and seemingly irreversible human intrusion into nature. In this series, she juxtaposes human muscles from contemporary sources with early 18th-century botanical illustrations from “Insects of Surinam” by Maria. S. Merian (1647-1717). These illustrations are known for being the first such documentation of insect metamorphoses in their habitats. Once the collages are set, Paul then photographs the composite, forging the two different eras into a fascinating and somewhat unsettling hybrid.

Insects of Surinam 20, 2014, archival pigment print on Hahnem hle photo rag, 36 x 28.5 in. (91.4 x 72.4 cm), edition of 6 + 2 AP © Dominique Paul

In her upcoming solo exhibition (Sept/Oct. 2020) entitled "Silent Sprint" in praise of Carlson's legacy, Dominique uses laser-cut acrylic exoskeletons to emphasize the symbiotic relationship between humans and nature. In her work Insects of Surinam 35 (2019), images of trees appear to be rejecting and shedding superfluous luxury products such as handbags, jewelry and watches –symbolizing the little time we have left before our natural resources are exploited to extinction in the service of consumer greed.

Insects of Surinam 35, 2019, laser cut acrylic and archival pigment print on Hahnemühle, 55.9 x 63 x 1.75 in. (142 x 165 x 4.4 cm), edition of 6 + 2 AP © Dominique Paul

The upcoming exhibition also introduces her new series based on her original drawings of bumblebees and endangered birds. In this series, body parts and consumer products transform insects and birds into cyborgs, symbolizing both the hope and perhaps misguided efforts to alleviate the plight of threatened species of North America.

Haliaeetus leucocephalus, Bald Eagle, 2020, Epson metallic paper, edition of 6 + 2AP (size TBD) © Dominique Paul

For available works by Dominique Paul, please visit her Artsy page.