Katherine Melançon lives and works in Montreal (Canada). She is a graduate of Central Saint-Martins College of Arts & Design in London and has a Bachelor’s degree in Communication/Interactive Media from UQAM. Her work has been exhibited in Canada, the United States and various European countries, notably in France at Galerie Charlot, in the United Kingdom at Arcadia Missa Gallery and in Switzerland at the Fotomuseum of Winterthur. Her works are part of private and public collections in Europe and North America, such as PADORAC and the Central Saint-Martins Museum Collection.
She is interested in the notion of process, non-traditional tools and materials, and the use of camera-free photography to reveal hidden aspects of the natural world. Through cycles of metamorphosis between the virtual and the material, she creates new “seeds” that she plants in different materials to discover what can emerge from them. The starting point of these cycles is often the scanogram of natural specimens from a specific territory.
About the artwork
This series of digital prints by Montreal artist Katherine Melançon consists of a selection from a body of works grown over the past few years. Between still life and abstract composition, we find ourselves in front of a work with a partially opaque technological affiliation in the creative proces. Plants, floral arrangements or mineral presence are given for us to see, but something escapes us: the impression of a movement, a flash of light, a quiet translucency… Usually linked to the place where the works are displayed, in an in-situ spirit, Melançon collects organic materials which are then manipulated with the digitizer – one could almost speak of a performative co-creation with the machine – which is completed by a final stage of composition. Altered states of the collected materials are thus preserved, rearranged and then fixed in a final image.
In L’état des matières (The State of Matters), time is embodied in its capacity to act on the objects of the world, to transform them through life cycles. Alteration becomes the condition of the visibility of time; it is through the transformation of matter that it becomes readable. But here time stops and is transposed: as Melançon mentions, we are in front of a symbolic process where organic materials become a form of digital seed, which is “replanted” in new materials: paper, textile or polymer. A new temporality is thus given to the materials through the regime of the image. The passage of time alters but similarly to the conservation of specimens, digital sampling fixes and preserves.