(Click to enlarge)
Accompanying text by curator Paul Lussier for Faucheuse-conditionneuse in 2001.
“[…] Montreal artist Sofie Fékété’s proposal takes on its full meaning in its installation character, and that would be its predominant singularity.
By its occupation of space, the painting, at the time of its installation and realization, had become nothing less than the studio. Painting on the wall, the wall and the floor, the floor and even the models recruited for the cause, had to lie down on the canvas for the time of the break while the artist was animated by a fertile and energetic poetics.
Thus, the theatricality of the proposal by its qualities of presentation and that of its architecture, offers several plans as if it were an Italian-style theater: floor, wall, opening saturate the visual field of the spectator in a kind of polychrome sanctuary. One of the stakes of this painting is played out first on the floor. Two figures are engaged in a bucolic conversation while they ignore, like lovers, the outside world. It is the silent conversation of the heart.
Not far away. Mower-conditioner, it is also the title of the painting. This autumn tank today takes on a more than warlike meaning than it might have been expected, for it is indeed a tank reddened with the blood of the earth. In its sights, a tractor attached. Naive thing barely sketched out of the grayness of a third world. Like caryatids, two other characters share the courtyard and garden sides of the work. They seek to touch the other with a word, a gesture, at the crossroads of their gaze, in the troubled urgency of the end.
In the mythical and blue sky, moreover, the earthlings are reflected or is it the opposite? Narcissistic glances look for each other in the immateriality of the blue. One understands from then on the opening towards worlds like those of Venus and Vulcan, these blue worlds like those of the depths and distant landscapes.
Elsewhere, at the edge of this sanctuary, the landscape opens up, and through the cleft, we see a better world, a promised place. That of an embraced couple, bathed in a bright and frank saturation, an autumnal light that slices and cuts the landscape with its arm of fire. Torrid hugs and the last heat. Let’s not forget that Sofie Fékété’s intentions were to “increase the spectator’s stimulation”.