VOX — Centre de l’image contemporaine

View of the exhibition Diane Landry. Celestial Mechanics, VOX, 2023

Diane Landry
Celestial Mechanics

2023.03.25 - 06.23


This exhibition is available for touring.
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Geneviève Marcil


Diane Landry has a challenge for primary-school-age children: to question their relationship to time. The exhibition Celestial Mechanics leads them to ponder their place along three timescales, cosmic, geological and human, striving to look beyond the anthropocentric perspective and be mindful of ecological issues.

A tinkerer who loves recycling and assemblage, Landry here continues her musings on the life cycles of a variety of items. Photographic discs with quasi-abstract patterns, activated by gears, call to mind bizarre planets or perhaps malfunctioning clocks. Their surfaces are topped by transparent tubes from which flow diverse tiny parts, in this case evoking hourglasses. Also on display are wall sculptures, fashioned from various found objects including keys, bicycle wheel rims and plastic bags, underscoring their potential to be given new life.

The movements of these components–awhich are complemented by an enthralling motorized mandala made from a repurposed laundry basket and plastic water bottles–are informed by the cyclicity of natural rhythms as opposed to the idea of linear time dictated by Western tradition. The speeds and directions of rotation of these works spark children’s awareness of the various timescales specific to plants, animals, minerals and celestial objects. By contrast, Landry’s Heaters, luminous creatures shrouded in grocery-store cereal bags, seem frozen in their makeshift cocoons, waiting to liberate their energy.

The exhibition combines a new series of works for young audiences with earlier pieces by Diane Landry in a process that explores the passage of time within the artist’s practice itself. The accompanying mediation activities extend this thought-provoking approach with a media archeology workshop in which children can study the effects of temporal acceleration resulting from the evolution of image technologies.

This exhibition benefits from the financial support of the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec.

See all educational activities for children

Workshop in the exhibition _Diane Landry. Celestial Mechanics_, 2023. Photo: Prune Paycha.