Two-city art collective comments on society's 'imminent collapse'

Marc Losier


Thatís It, Thatís All (left to right): Adrian DiLena, Joshua Barndt, Jannick Deslauriers, Louis-Pierre Lachapelle and Philippe Chabot.

photo by Marc Losier

The Concordia Fine Arts collective That’s It That’s All kicked off its first official exhibition on Oct. 16 at the VAV gallery.

Inspired by social and environmental concerns, the jury-selected exhibition Collapse argues that in the face of issues such as poverty and pollution, there is no time for finesse.

“[Our collective] is socially conscious and deals with real issues,” said leader Joshua Barndt, a Torontonian. Barndt, in his third year of painting in Studio Arts, formed the collective in 2004 with Concordia painting alumnus Louis-Pierre Lachapelle and third-year painting and fibres student Jannick Deslauriers, both of whom grew up in Quebec.

Great friends, they often work together on the same canvas at the same time, but still maintain individuality throughout their work. Their show’s title piece, an enormous mural of a society in freefall, exemplifies this method.

“This show represents the freefall that our society is in regarding the social, political and environmental state of our world. We’re all in this process of freefalling,” Barndt said.

A show of the group’s work at Toronto’s Whippersnapper Gallery in August added third-year sculpture student Philippe Chabot and third-year painting and drawing student Adrian DiLena to the mix. DiLena grew up painting with Barndt in Toronto.

Chabot’s impact was also keenly observed. His battered and corroded creations Pay Phone, ATM and Water Fountain suited Collapse perfectly. “I wasn’t originally part of the collective, but we share a lot of the same ideas, so it’s a good fit,” said the artist.

Collapse is on display until Oct. 28 at the VAV, on René Lévesque Blvd. Check their website, www.feedmyeyes.net, for information about future presentations.