Quartier Éphémère presents an exhibition of recent works by Anthony Burnham. Although the title of the show recalls the programmatic, even utopic spirit which traditionnally fostered the conception of suburbs, the works do not actually invoke a straightforward socio-political critique. Nor do these narratives of banality correspond to traditional representations of suburbs in the media. Instead, the environment is captured in an intimate and experimental fashion, as through the lens of an old Super 8 camera. Appropriation of the site occurs at a reduced scale, delineating the scene of an outdoor playhouse where burlesque sketches are played out. They recall experiences such as the awakening of the senses, little accidents and exhibitionist comedies set up for obliging gazes. Fetish toys are summoned, along with models for future adult experiences. But paradoxically, the nonchalant, playful style of these works also engages us in a reflection on painting itself, as a series of clichés frequently encountered in its history are subjected to ridicule : the painter imitating nature, wielding the phallic brush, indulging in matter – and hence avoiding political responsibility . Supurbia, in short, offers the compelling sight of a playground dedicated to the memory of learning experiences and their disorderly short-circuits, reincarnated in the very dynamics of artistic process.
Born in Montreal in 1973, Anthony Burnham holds a Bachelor in Fine Arts from Concordia University