Montreal-based artist and cartoonist Billy Mavreas presents And Another Thing as the second installment of the Helen Pitt Gallery’s Workaday series, a three-exhibition experiment addressing issues of creative process, labour and the performative gesture. For each of these exhibitions, the artists involved will be spending three weeks working live within the gallery space to develop a new project or body of work in situ. Viewers are invited to drop in regularly to witness the evolution of these projects and see the artists at work.
Working largely with a photocopier, but also with sculptural elements and found objects, Mavreas will be creating an improvised, collaged installation that defies the divisions of writing and drawing; narrative and semiology; anthropology and science fiction.
At the Helen Pitt Gallery, Mavreas will, in his own words, undertake “a radical expansion of ideas. An accumulation and sloughing off. A shared play and a solo manic exercise. A turn or phrase, a rant, a monologue, a listening, an encouragement. The texture of things noticed or felt. An array of tenses, dislodged temporal streams. Layered noise. Hidden information. Buried text. Lost meanings. Worlds within worlds.”
Throughout the exhibition, audience members will be invited to participate in Mavreas’ exhibition by coming with photocopiable items (objects, original artwork, pocket or wallet contents) to be incorporated in Mavreas’ project.
Notoriously difficult to pin down, Mavreas’ process-based practice does nonetheless suggest a critical response to Modernism’s severity, reductionism and paradoxical dialectics, engaging instead with its less ordered, more expansive traditions of mysticism and transcendentalism developed by such diverse figured as Wassily Kandinsky, John Cage, René Daumal, and Aleister Crowley. And yet, Mavreas’ work is entirely his own. His distinctive creative universe—often populated with bunnies with keen knowledge of dimensional portals and time travel, gourd-like blobs that conflate the phallus/vagina dichotomy, talismans and runes—evokes a social urgency, a reconsideration of language and action, and ultimately seeks a metaphysical understanding to the hard edges of thought, reason and the structure of contemporary life.
Billy Maveras is a Greek-Canadian artist living in Montreal. For almost twenty years, Mavreas has produced rock posters, comics, artist books, visual poetry, installation, mail art, web art, performance, essay writing and guerilla consultancy. His artwork and various projects have been shown and published internationally. He is the author of The Overlords of Glee (conundrum press, 2001), Hell Passport Commentary (Perro Verlag, 2006) and the upcoming Inside Outside Overlap (Timeless Books, 2008) among many others. Mavreas is also the proprietor of his enduring project, Monastiraki, a Mile-End magickal curiosity shoppe and art gallery.