The work Broken illustrates the violence within a couple who only meet through the projection of their respective images on the same wall and becomes the pretext for a ballet between destruction and creation.
In this video diptych, Niederstrass gives a new twist to a subject she has already tackled previously, namely the feminine fury in cinema. Here she gives voice to the male tendency, which picks up the pieces, so to speak. In a video that touches on such crucial notions as repetition and the limitations of the medium to capture abrupt movement, the artist directs the visual and sound theatre of a couple. She shows, on the one hand, a female character breaking plates on the ground and then trampling them, and on the other, a male character sweeping away the shards and classifying them to reconstruct the objects. These two actions take place simultaneously, which helps to break the logic that the man picks up the plates previously broken by the woman, since the actions no longer take place one after the other. The concordance of the tenses overturns any narrative that is too simple. As a result, rather than simply thinking that the man repairs what has been broken, this diptych shows that the cycle of destruction/reconstruction is more complex than we imagine.
– Bernard Lamarche
This work was presented at the Art Gallery of Guelph in 2008 in the exhibition Spectacle + Artifice, curated by Dawn Owen. It was also shown in 2009 as part of the exhibition Confluences at the Musée Régional de Rimouski and the Maison de la culture Frontenac, curated by Bernard Lamarche.
Photo credit : Dawn Owen