Martin Boisseau: "Inert Surfaces and Optical Thresholds"

It is with this series of installation paintings that I am exploring colour for the first time.  The works offer a phenomenological experience in which the shifting saturation of colour and the physiological limits of human vision are brought into play. With the curious triangulation of that which constitutes colour as we know it … matter, light, the eye … my proposal is that the experience of looking at the painting will be experienced as a disturbance, as a joyous disruption of the very capacity to look.

The interaction between the lighting device and the painted surface creates a context within which the base layers of the painting seem to rise to the surface causing coloured shapes to appear and disappear. The placement of each colour is undetermined. To consent to this experience is to accept that you no longer know where each colour is located and that you no longer know whether colour itself is a function of the eye, the painting or the lighting.

This evocation of psychic dispossession interests me for its potential to create a reversal in thought processes and a general reorientation toward other possibilities.  My hope is that these works will grasp the onlooker’s gaze and fascinate him/her to the point that the person is no longer able to be sure exactly what is being looked at.