Andrée-Anne MercierMontreal, Canada
A graduate of the Université du Québec à Montréal and holder of a D.E.S.S diploma in Arts, Creation and Technology from the Université de Montréal, Andrée-Anne Mercier explores several modes of expression, moving between painting, video games, sculpture, installation art, 3D models and animation.
For close to 10 years now, she has been participating in various artistic events to exhibit her artworks, both in Quebec and internationally, most notably in Japan, where she completed two artist residencies.
The video selected for the 2020 edition of the Art Souterrain Festival is titled 郷愁/CITYLIFE or “kyoshou,” which means nostalgia in Japanese.
The video was made in collaboration with Hugo Engel and focuses on the well-defined concept of nostalgia.
While looking over today’s society, which they diagnose as melancholic, the artists quickly recognized the omnipresence of the past. According to them, this “retro” bend is particularly obvious in popular media, including the video games inspired by Japanese imagery that served as their models.
Their video, 郷愁CITYLIFE, is a kind of continuation of their reflection on the greyness of our lives, a sadness that they injected into the main character, Momo, a young adult lost in the new city she has just moved into whom the spectator follows during her travels.
Drawing on the visual vocabulary of horizontal-scrolling pixel art games, the videotape accompanies the heroine who, along the way, meets various people who share parts of their history with her. As the interactions between the protagonists are scrutinized, the viewer is invited to reflect upon their own life path’s blind spots to consider its possible transformation, restructuring or eventual reinitialization.
Curator: Lynn Bannon