June 27 to September 9, 2018
Of Czech origin, born in 1956, emigrated in Canada at the age of 14 with his parents in the next days of the Prague Spring, living today in Montreal, Jana Sterbak is one of the foremost Canadian artists on the international scene.
Early in her career, she draws the attention, and quite particularly with Vanitas, robe de chair pour anorexique albinos, who aroused a whole debate during the important exhibition presented in 1991 to the Museum of the Fine arts of Canada under Diana Nemiroff's police station. Recipient of the Price of the Governor of Canada in 2012, she represented Canada to the Biennial event of Venice in 2003.
In 2017, she received the Prize Paul-Émile-Borduas, application supported by MA for this distinction which rewards the exceptional contribution of an artist from Quebec in visual art. In spring, 2018, she is named Partner of the arts and the letters of Quebec, badge underlining the contribution of a person to the brilliance or to the evolution of Quebec.
Especially present on the international scene during the last ten years, Jana Sterbak makes a strong comeback in Canada with this exhibition to Rouyn-Noranda. With more than around thirty works, Jana Sterbak to Rouyn-Noranda is the most important exhibition never presented in Quebec by this artist of exception.
Major works will take a seat among which Planetarium, eleven glass spheres were never presented in America; the set of three of the attributes of power that are Spare Spine, a backbone bronze as a scepter, Hot Crown, a crown connected in 200 volts and Pomodoro, a golden tomato. If symbolic works find there also such as Generic Man, the man in the nape of the neck tattooed of a bar code, Handball with cones, a hand in fingers surrounded with ribbons to be measured, or still Artist has cumbustion, works archive of a performance of 30 seconds during which a flame rises over the hair of the naked artist.
Strongly influenced by the artists and the intellectuals Marcel Duchamp, Joseph Beuys, Milan Kundera, Franz Kafka or closer of us Yves Gaucher, the work of Jana Sterbak appears to the end of the 70s and on the heels of the advances of the performance on the artistic scene from Quebec then in full emergence. Working just as much with the English-speaking environment(middle) and the French-speaking environment Canadian and from Quebec, the Montreal artist builds her work at first around a strong concern for the human condition where the body, the garment and the prosthesis underline the imperfectibility of the human leading him of the invention, in the experiment and in the mutilation as underlines it for example Tricholomania, a whip of hair in the glass handle.
Waiting for high water (WFHW), a movie shot by three cameras at the dog Stanley in Venice, which approaches the environmental concerns and on whom joins exactly Planetarium, real ode in the firmament. Mask, a strange picked burqa, takes up these last years with the first concerns of the artist, but from where emanates a subtle and acute reflection about our user-friendliness in the space public. Reflection in which resounds quite recent Sleep, work who is inspired by the god Hypnos and who decorates Jana Sterbak's poster to Rouyn-Noranda.