Caroline MonnetMontréal, Canada
Caroline Monnet is a multidisciplinary artist from Gatineau who lives and works in Montreal. Having finished her studies at the University of Ottawa and the University of Grenada (Spain), she is pursuing a career in the visual arts and in film. Her pieces have been shown in Canada and internationally in Europe and the United States, notably during the 2019 Whitney Biennial and the Toronto Biennale as well as being collected and shown at the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal and at the National Gallery of Canada. Caroline Monnet is represented by Galerie Division.
In the Name of Progress is inspired by traditional Anishinabe motifs that have passed on generation to generation through the maternal line. The artist here underscores the ancestral legacy of this visual vocabulary. At the same time, she pays tribute to Indigenous culture and its perseverance in the face of adversity.
The idea of progress is made manifest by the methods Monnet used to produce the original works. The technique of pyrography, where the image in burned into a native wood species such as white cedar, is a metaphor for the treatment First Nations have been given. Entirely machine embroidered, the original In the Name of Progress artwork calls back to the first automatic looms that were central to the Industrial Revolution and the advent of computer technology. The prints shown here utilize related techniques.
The motifs point to how microchips are arranged in electric circuits, an allusion to technology’s dominance. The whole testifies to the disastrous consequences of colonization while at the same time acting as a reminder to be vigilant regarding our era’s path to progress.