w/ the artist in attendance
Gallery hours: Wed. – Sat, 12:00 – 5:00 pm
Admission and reception: ALWAYS FREEArtcite Inc., Windsor’s Artist-Run Centre for the Contemporary Arts is pleased to present Seraphs / The Burning Ones, a solo photographic exhibition by Montréal based artist Alain Lefort.
The Burning Ones (Seraphs) is part of a long-running photographic suite that exploits the mythological figure of Pan, who was said to possess an island kingdom–a perfect metaphor for the dense and luxuriant nature that the photographer Alain has been exploring for the last few years.
The Seraphim suite brings to an appropriate end this fine-spun metaphor of the fauna and flora cycle: moths and Bombyx embody the last remaining inhabitants of Pan’s realm. In Hebrew ‘seraphim’ means ‘burning ones’ or ‘burning angels’. As if emerged from Hell to die on Earth, Lefort’s butterflies have come from different collections and private conservatories as well from personal sources. In keeping with the concept of a collection, most of the specimens have been digitalized in order to illuminate them from all angles.
Moths are more or less invisible, seeking shadows and food shunned by other species, and in his project, Alain Lefort has attempted to illustrate this singularity that is at once spectacular, monstrous and majestic.” — Annie Lafleur
Continuing in his interest in “bending the formal and conceptual delineations of traditional photography” to create disquieting and engrossing landscapes and nature studies, Alain Lefort’s latest photographic series, Seraph / The Burning Ones, features large-format colour, digital scans of moths. The artist describes his works as “improbable identity portraits” that formally reveal and contrast the creature’s inherent, evolved relationship to light and appearance. The species’ natural inclination to conceal themselves and blend in with their environment—whether as larvae, pupae or mature moths—signifies the natural vibrancy of transformative coexistence between diverse species. As Virginia Woolf writes in The Death of the Moth (1942), moths are “hybrid creatures”—highly adaptive, delicately balanced and allegorically positioned between physical and ephemeral space. The individual works in Lefort’s Seraphs / The Burning Ones are as much about the visual lepidopteral study of the species as they are about the evolutionary unfolding of their inscribed, mythological and spiritual connotations: seraph—or seraphim—means ‘burning ones’ or ‘burning angels’ in Hebrew. Symbolic of dualism, the moth is a natural “opportunist” with countless transformative properties.
Having obtained a degree in photography at Concordia University, Lefort has successfully created a niche of his own in the art world. He is represented in Montreal and in Quebec City by Lacerte Art Contemporain. His exhibition history, both individual and group, extends to cities all over Canada and abroad. Furthermore, his artwork can be found in the Musée du Quebec collection, the Cirque du Soleil collection, the Loto-Quebec collection and several private collections. He currently lives and works in Montreal.