Richard Ibghy and Marilou Lemmens
The Prophets
Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal
22.10.14 – 04.01.15

“As people who address the destiny and moral character of a nation, economists are modern-day prophets, and the graphs and diagrams they produce are their prophesies.”

Richard Ibghy and Marilou Lemmens’ long-standing interest in economy, narrative and labour manifests itself in The Prophets (2013) a thirteen-metre-long table displaying makeshift graphs, diagrams and models crafted from ordinary household materials (string, bamboo sticks, wire, acetates and so on). Not without humour or irony, the hundreds of small sculptures, inspired by knowledge culled from academic and scholarly journals, aim to predict human behaviour by analysing the interactions between labour, consumption, production, savings, investments, credit and more. The fragility of the sculptures, combined with the handwritten, often tongue-in-cheek or play-on-words tone of their individual labels, conveys scepticism with regards to the accuracy of the sources and a comprehension of scientific or economic models as fleeting and transitory.
– LJ

Richard Ibghy and Marilou Lemmens, The Prophets, 2013, mixed media, 125 x 1300 x 81 cm (courtesy of the artists; installation views Henie Onstad Kunstsenter, Norway, 2013)
The Golden USB
Vox, centre de l'image contemporaine
11.09.14 – 08.11.14

Their second project, The Golden USB (2014) gives form to the idea of an interstellar trade capsule and is inspired by The Golden Record that was placed on the Voyager 1 and 2 spacecrafts. A solid gold USB memory stick, displayed under glass, contains a trade catalogue of earthly goods and services available that may be offered in exchange for goods and services from outer space. The logic behind the organization of the catalogue is made visible through a wall mural, while the contents of the stick are revealed through a proliferation of spoken words and projected images. This wide-ranging research project explores contemporary concerns regarding the commodification of the earth and the economization of life.
– LJ

The Golden USB is produced by La Biennale de Montréal for BNLMTL 2014 L’avenir (looking forward) and presented in partnership with VOX, centre de l’image contemporaine.

Richard Ibghy and Marilou Lemmens, The Golden USB, 2014, installation: multi-channel video with sound, sculpture, dimensions variable (courtesy of the artists; produced by La Biennale de Montréal for BNLMTL 2014)

Richard Ibghy was born in 1964 in Montréal; Marilou Lemmens was born in 1976 in Ascot Corner, QC. They live and work in Montréal and Durham-Sud, QC. Working collaboratively since 2002, Ibghy and Lemmens have developed a research-based practice that combines a minimalist approach to the form and construction of the art object with a desire to make ideas visible. Spanning multiple media, including drawing, installation, video and performance, their work demonstrates an ongoing concern with bringing abstract ideas to materiality, particularly as they are confronted with the human body. Over the last few years, they have explored the rationale upon which economic actions are described and represented, and how the logic of economy has come to infiltrate the most intimate aspects of life.

Recent projects explore the material, affective and sensory dimensions of experience that cannot be fully translated into signs or systems. Their work has been presented in numerous events and exhibitions internationally, including the 27th Images Festival, Toronto (2014); Manif d’art 7: Québec City Biennial, Québec City (2014); La Filature, Scène Nationale, Mulhouse, France (2013-2014); Henie Onstad Kunstsenter, Høvikodden, Norway (2013); Centre for Contemporary Arts, Glasgow (2012); and the 10th Sharjah Biennial, Sharjah, UAE (2011). Recent solo exhibitions were held at Trinity Square Video, Toronto (2014), G Gallery, Toronto (2012), and Monte Vista Projects, Los Angeles (2012).

La Fabrique Culturelle - BNLMTL 2014 artists
Online interview at Henie Onstad Kunstsenter

Norway, Jun 29, 2013 concerning The Prophets