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Seripop culture 

Seripop’s Meant to not mean to mean to not mean to at the Anna Leonowens Gallery excites and twists how we interact with space.

Seripop’s inflatable art. courtesy of Anna Leonowens Gallery - ANFIA LIN
  • Seripop’s inflatable art. courtesy of Anna Leonowens Gallery
  • Anfia Lin

It's a partnership 12 years in the making---most marriages don't last that long, #realtalk---but what Chloe Lum and Yannick Desranleau of the Montreal-based artistic duo Seripop have is an evolving creative bond that has pushed their artistic boundaries, from musicians screenprinting concert posters in 2002 to installation work in 2007 and their current almost video-game sounding aesthetic philosophy.

"I don't know if we really think in inspiration of individual pieces," explains Lum, "rather we see all the pieces and inspiration as part of the continuum...a constant reflection on what we've done recently in the studio. Every time we do something new it unlocks different levels and you come up with dozens of different ways to potentially deploy stuff."

The most recent iteration of this creative redeployment unfolds in the Anna Leonowens Gallery this week in conjunction with the Khyber Centre for the Arts. The cryptically named exhibit Meant to not mean to mean to not mean to actually refers to a specific sculpture-like installation of inflatable objects that Lum says intends to stand in for actors, as the objects relate to each other and the space that they end up in. "We're riffing on that---how materiality and formal display can shift meanings and readings of a given work," she says.

Every Seripop show plays on that constant shift of meaning as the duo always displays its artwork in strange and unique ways---evolving, changing or outright obscuring the pieces' original intent. "One of the stars of the show is this foam [installation that] kinda looks like a couple of mountains in different bright pastel colours,"says Lum. "At a show we had in Toronto a year ago called Looming we had the foam objects on a wall covered in paper that was peeling off. It was over the paper, now it's going to be on a wall, but the paper will be hanging off of it. So, a support structure instead of the main show, but you'll see glimpses of it on the side where the gaps of the paper are---like a bulky coat rack or something, [which is] kinda ridiculous because it's this huge huge thing but almost hidden with these sheets of paper draped all over it. We really like these pointless gestures---[to create things] that are really material-intensive and then completely cover it up."

Material-intensive has always been Seripop's jam. Even as small-scale screenprinters, Lum and Desranleau worked with leftover paper from big factories which led them into the Candyland of Montreal's industrial zone---the nearly limitless options in the material suppliers of surrounding factories and businesses piqued their curiosity and took their art in this unexpected direction. Now, with each evolving exhibit they come bearing crates of extra pieces and endeavour to pass a taste of that manufactured and architectural passion on to you through their intuitive hanging and spontaneous organization of potential exhibit work.

"I guess the biggest hope that we could have is to spread around excitement about built environments and share that excitement with other people," says Lum. "Open up a discussion of the potentiality of built spaces, and how as humans the objects we make interact and build space. Our species spends the bulk of our time in built environments so I think it's something that, you know, is exciting to kinda exploit how we interact with."

Meant to not mean to mean to not mean to

Anna Leonowens Gallery, 1891 Granville Street

To August 9

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