(Alexandre D’Astous) – The Rimouski Regional Museum presents its new exhibition, awakening, signed by Andreas Rutkauskas. The exhibition is open to the public until February 4, 2024 and will open on Friday, October 6, at 5 p.m. in the presence of the artist.
The exhibition Éveil, curated by Franck Michel, presents the work Andreas Rutkauskas has been carrying out since 2017 around the fire-adapted forest ecosystems of Western Canada. Through photography, the artist attempts to observe the reactions and regeneration of these ecosystems after their destruction by fires.
Large-format photographs, sound recordings and immersive technology make up the exhibition, which brings together the series Après le feu/After the Fire and Témoins Silent/Silent Witnesses. Rutkauskas follows the paths of the burned forests of the Okanagan region (British Columbia) in various stages of regeneration, documenting among the remnants of charred vegetation the fragile awakening of biodiversity as it adapts to a changing environment.
Ecosystem in transition
In a contemplative attitude, the artist takes an attentive look at this changing ecosystem, immerses himself in it, confronts it. His photographs contain the emotional and sensual charge of the experience. The cheerful atmosphere that emanates from it contrasts with the severity of the fires, the traces of which still shape the landscape.
Andreas Rutkauskas’ images reveal the enormous resilience of nature, expand our understanding of the restorative function of forest fires and draw our attention to the dramatic consequences of climate change and our social decisions.
About the artist
Andreas Rutkauskas was born in Winnipeg in 1980 and holds a Master of Fine Arts from Concordia University (2007). His works have been presented in various solo and group exhibitions and reproduced in several magazines. He has also received several grants from the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec (2013, 2011 and 2010) and the Canada Council for the Arts (2012 and 2011).
As a supporter of a phenomenological approach to the world, Andreas Rutkauskas is participating in the creation of an extensive photographic encyclopedia about landscapes in transition; His work over the past fifteen years reflects the effects of the exploitation of natural resources and the strategies and technologies humans use to control their environment. Although his approach clearly has an environmentalist bent, it is not necessarily vindictive or provocative. Rather, it is the interface between an engaged practice and the exploration of the landscape experience punctuated by walking. The strength of the work obviously lies in this subtle balance.
Photo: The Rimouski Regional Museum. (Photo Alexandre D’Astous)