Celia Perrin Sidarous’ arrangements of inanimate objects and archival materials in her Flotsam series are fluid and associative. Whether a page from a book, a photograph, a piece of coral, a mirror or glass sphere, these still life assemblages play with the viewer’s sense of perception. Perrin Sidarous uses medium and large format cameras to create photographs that contemplate ways of looking and remembering. Each photograph becomes a montage that links to antiquity, art history, still life, and methods of display.
Over the past decade Perrin Sidarous has built an archive of images created outside of the studio without artistic intent. Her work combines this archive with images she takes in the world, and those she shoots in the studio. Regardless of the source, what she collects outside of and arranges within the studio becomes the building blocks of each image. This process of gathering, positioning and combining to create something new alludes to the ways cultures have influenced each other across time and distance.
Unlike the fast readability of advertising, these ambiguous images, mounted at monumental scale, ask the viewer to look slower, to look again, to look more intently. Consider the life cycle of these particular objects; how do they exist outside their commonplace use, what are the connections they hold with time and the psychological space they occupy? Within the frame, time is compressed, space is condensed, a fragment of a narrative reproduced. Is there more to the image? How much of it do we – the viewer – imagine?
Celia Perrin Sidarous (b. 1982, Montréal, QC) is an image-based artist. Her works have been featured in numerous solo and group exhibitions in Canada and abroad: McCord Museum and Centre CLARK, Montréal (2019), Embassy of Canada Prince Takamado Gallery, Tokyo and Norsk Billedhoggerforening, Oslo (2019), Arsenal Contemporary, New York (2018), CONTACT Photography Festival, Toronto, FOCUS Photography Festival, Mumbai and 8-11, Toronto (2017), Esker Foundation, Calgary (2015), Banff Centre, Banff (2013), WWTWO, Montréal (2012), VU, Québec (2011) and Gallery 44, Toronto (2008). Perrin Sidarous’ work was included in the Biennale de Montréal 2016 – Le Grand Balcon / The Grand Balcony, at the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal. She was longlisted for the Sobey Art Award in 2019, and is the recipient of the Prix Pierre-Ayot in 2017, as well as the Barbara Spohr Memorial Award in 2011. Her works are present in public and private collections, most notably at the Art Gallery of Ontario and the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal.