The Breeder is pleased to announce the first solo exhibition of Canadian born, Paris based artist Scott Treleaven in Athens.
The work of an artist is an act of creation. Transforming the mundane material world into vital, dynamic content, art is in a sense, the act of giving a soul to that which would otherwise never live, the re-animation of charcoal dust and paper into sentient beings, flickering lights and shadows into faces of the divine.
A fusion of watercolor, cut paper montage, engraving, photography and illustration, Scott Treleaven’s intimate visual works have rightfully been called the art of incision, seamlessly incorporating film frames and photocopies with deep ink washed expanses and graphite fields. The demure palette of neutral tones represented in this carefully considered collection of Treleaven’s work, exposes us to his current investigation on establishing time, place and content through compositional and representational design. It is an exercise in re-constructing the natural or constructing the naturalistic, through technical methods of framing and de-framing, merging and unifying vastly different source media through the flexibility of collage.
Floating in dark urban expanses or charnel corners, the elegant form of the slender, stony figures inhabiting these works allude both to the devotional sculpture of sepulchers and the ecstatic moments of youthful play. This combination of sacred dedicational and erotic passion for the male body, well developed in Symbolist iconography, appears to question and subvert traditional religious dogma. It is an examination of the often obscured intersection of art, sex, and spirituality. The subtle, near gothic eroticism running through the subtext of the works, calls to mind the similarly ground breaking styles of cinematic legends such as Val Del Omar, Sergei Parajanov, or Kenneth Anger, who like Treleaven himself, have made their own uncanny observances explicit vis a vis their art. With this near beatific aspect also comes a dissolute melancholy, incarnated here through the postures of brutally beautiful anti-heros, frozen in desperate passion or lost in solitude.
Inspired by the 1898 self-portraits of photographer F. Holland Day, Treleaven’s basement level film installation, Last 7 Words, features the giant benign image of art iconoclast Genesis P-Orridge, as captured in the warm glow of super8. The slow rotation of her remarkable self-sculpted personage is punctuated by periodic white outs. As explained by the artist, “my own personal ‘last seven words’ are both a governing mystic principle and the cornerstone of all perception and our connection to all things. They are: ‘without you I would not be here.’ These could also be the first words, for that same reason. The obliteration/return of the image into whiteness underscores this idea.”
The film, like the exhibition in its entirety, is a meditation on art and its ability to lend form to the boundaries and fragilities of perception.
Scott Treleaven’s work has recently been exhibited in The Boys Of Summer at the Fireplace Project, East Hampton, in Male-works from the collection of Vince Aletti in White Columns, New York, in Only The Paranoid Survive in Hudson Valley Centre for Contemporary Art and in the Montreal Biennial. His films have been screened in the Museum of Modern Art, New York.