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New GNO exhibit a comment on 'dizzying self-voyeurism'

A new interactive installation called La Fugue by young Toronto-based Franco-Ontarian visual artist Geneviève Thauvett runs March 11 to April 16.
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Check out Toronto-based franco-ontarian visual artist Geneviève Thauvett's installation La Fugue March 11 to April 16. Supplied photo.
A new interactive installation called La Fugue by young Toronto-based Franco-Ontarian visual artist Geneviève Thauvett runs March 11 to April 16.

Entering the gallery, the viewer is invited to enter a mirrored tunnel where they are confronted with flashing lights and a plethora of special effects. As a comment on the dizzying self-voyeurism of our era, La Fugue amicably teases each of us for our narcissistic tendencies, GNO said in a news release about the exhibit.

In fact, Thauvette’s interactive installation casts the viewer in a leading role, as their reaction to the work becomes an essential part of the project. As they approach the exit, the size of the tunnel shrinks and the viewer must get down on all fours to find the way out.

The fugue referred to in the title is the “Amen Fugue” from Mozart’s famous Requiem. According to the legend, the composer had written the Requiem for his own funeral, a detail seized upon by Thauvette.

An altered version of the “Amen Fugue” will play in the gallery space, outside the interactive tunnel, further accentuating the narcissism theme targeted by the artist.

Probing the limits of excess, the artist has created a perfume for the work: floral odours mixed with incense as well as the smell of soil and pollen will hang in the air.

Given the exhibition’s perfume, its soundtrack and its videos, Thauvette’s La Fugue promises to be a truly multisensory experience. According to the artist, “La Fugue isolates the individual in an environment that’s at once joyful and anxiety-provoking.”

An opening reception takes place March 11 at the GNO from 5-7 p.m. Audience members are invited to ask questions about the work during a friendly and informal artist talk. As always, entry to the GNO is free.


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