Activity Sans titre (Cinq rubis)



Steve Giasson is a conceptual artist. In his work, ideation is put forward and is coupled with a strong rejection of the decorative and the spectacular. He uses a wide variety of disciplines (conceptual writing, performance art, micro-intervention…) in order to question their limits. The notions of authenticity and originality are undermined in his committed practice, which spares neither borrowing from everyday life nor references to art history to demystify the artist’s figure.


Sans titre (Cinq rubis)

Installation, 2019

In 2016, conceptual artist Steve Giasson (apparently) hid a real .01 CT unmounted diamond in the space of the Diagonale artist centre.

Sans titre (Cinq rubis) is a continuation of this work. But this time, the artist has concealed five unmounted “pigeon-blood” rubies of .01 CT along a given course: that of Art Souterrain 2019.

This work—specially created for the festival—raises a number of questions :

  • Did Steve Giasson really hide these precious stones in the labyrinth of Montréal’s underground city, at the risk of them being stolen or permanently lost?
  • If so, are they at hand or are they unreachable?
  • Are they stashed together or in different places?
  • Will they remain camouflaged forever in underground Montréal after the festival?
  • And if someone found these rubies by chance, would they keep the secret or show off their find?
  • Unless all this is just a rumour?
  • Does this invisible work really exist or is it only a concept, an idea (as crystalline, as elusive)?

In fact, because of the secrecy that surrounds it, Sans titre (Cinq rubis) inevitably evokes cohorts of explorers leaving for expeditions to the most remote areas of the globe, in search of gold and jewels or the excavations of wrecks that still occasionally make headlines. Further, it also recalls the adventure books and movies that made us dream as children. But it also reflects a more obscure world: that of mines and armed guards, lies, thefts, counterfeiters, piracy…

Curator : Art Souterrain


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