Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth
by Kim Neudorf, Akimblog, January 21, 2014
Maryse Larivière's solo exhibition B.I.B.L.E.: Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth is already ending its brief run at Artlab Gallery early this week, but is soon to resurface at Galerie Maguire in Montreal during the last week of January. A temporary island within Larivière's larger practice, B.I.B.L.E. is a collection of found gestures, spare parts, chance meetings, and shrine-like assemblages that simultaneously resists the idea of a linear impetus and invites further accumulation beyond the life-span of its exhibition.
Placed in the very middle of the gallery's large, boxy space, the installation is minimal: an empty stage lit only by two small clusters of lights in otherwise complete darkness. A small cast of silent actors are grouped, hung, piled, and propped upon a patchwork carpet of whipped pink, cheap silver, and metallic green amidst a family of dots and stripes. A chair is fitted with extra half-lengths of leg. Lamp-like cylindrical blocks of wood are strung like macramé. A tower of fingery shapes is topped by a balancing sausage curve. A decorative swan leans into the path of a glowing corner like a plant towards the sun. A tube of light hangs from a hanger in the shape of a cross. Anchoring and emerging from the quilted floor, these and other materials offer an alternate, mobile composition that gestures towards actions made in the studio as well as those to be made in the future.
An accompanying spiral-bound book of drawings, collages and text – meant as a smirking reference to the kind of cheaply-made guides provided by sprawling museum exhibitions – can be consulted for glimpses into the surrounding context of B.I.B.L.E. The exhibition's title is vaguely post-apocalyptic and easily linked to Rapture lore or the dry humor of iconic sci-fi scenarios such as Douglas Adams' Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy, but such references are fleeting and restless. Next to sparse, note-like drawings of various objects from B.I.B.L.E. are short lists of events and sightings from dreams, such as a tooth which is "triangular" and "a bit dirty", or a space once inhabited and now on its "side facing away". Images of parrots with blissful stares and chuckling smiles populate the pages like stand-ins for a nameless "passenger" of a dream of the installation itself. These words, drawings, and images briefly come together as a way to think through the work from several different angles, in turn asking visitors to shift, remove, and add their own associations to a space they might occupy intimately for a brief time.