Using paper cut outs to explore the recent past of pop culture Monique Motut-Firth recombines familiar images into playful reconstructions of visual understanding. Born into a distinctly mixed cultural heritage of French Roman Catholic and Russian Doukhobor, she developed a sense of critical curiosity surrounding pop-culture’s influence on cultural identity. She holds a Master of Fine Arts, 2015 from Emily Carr University of Art + Design; a BFA, 2010 from ECUAD; and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, 2003 from UBC. She has been awarded residencies at the Banff Centre for the Performing Arts and at Void Gallery in Saskatoon. In 2016, she was a finalist for the Vancouver Arts Society Emerging Artist Award. In 2019, she was a finalist for the Georgia Straight & Capture Photography Festival Canada Line Competition.
About the Works
Considering the artistic movement of Dadaism and the infinite manifestations that are Baudrillard’s simulacra, information graphics, design manuals, architectural drawings and advertisements have been carefully cut out and reimagined.
These two large scale collaged rhizomatic compositions have been ripped and carefully cut from thousands of different sources, disciplines, subjects and eras in an almost frantic avalanche of mechanically reproduced imagery. The shear pervasiveness of printed source material is inexhaustible, suffocating. The original intention of the imagery has been removed and reconstructed into new maps of confusion. These scrap-systems running from one image to the next, one colour or line into another have no centre, beginning or end. They unfold, unravel mirroring the international pace of information flow and centreless internet scrolling.
What results is a complex web of reintegrated imagery or scrap systems echoing other moments, places and vocabularies of product sales, design know how, architectural blueprints, historical and contemporary paintings, infographics and diagrams all broken apart rebalanced and reformatted as a reflection of clunky movement and confusion; beauty in chaos.
As I write this, I think about how my own body currently moves through space- or not- as Covid restrictions and physical precautions corral our bodies into tighter isolated spaces. Modernist symbols of efficiency direct our physical bodies around the smooth concrete box store architectures, we follow the arrows, stand on the circle awaiting our turn while we stare into the tiny offerings of simulacrums on our cell phone screens surfing a multitude of realties other than our own.