untitled (five rubies)
five unmounted “pigeon-blood” rubies of .01 CT (apparently) hidden along a given course
In 2016, conceptual artist Steve Giasson hid (it seems) a real .01 CT unmounted diamond in the space of the Diagonale artist center.
untitled (five rubies) is a continuation of this work. But this time, the artist has concealed five unmounted “pigeon-blood” rubies of .01 CT along a given course: that of Art Souterrain 2019.
This work - specially created for the festival - raises different questions:
• Did Steve Giasson really hide these precious stones in the labyrinth of Montreal's underground city, at the risk of them being stolen or permanently lost?
• If so, are they at hand or are they unreachable?
• Are they stashed together or in different places?
• Will they remain camouflaged forever in Underground Montreal beyond the festival?
• And if someone found these rubies by chance, would this person keep the secret or show off her find?
• Unless all this is just a rumor?
• Does this invisible work really exist or is it only a concept, an idea (as crystalline, as elusive)?
In fact, because of the secrecy that surrounds it, untitled (five rubies) inevitably evokes cohorts of explorers leaving for expeditions to the most remote areas of the globe, in search of gold and jewels or the excavations of wrecks that still make headlines. Beyond, it also recalls the books and movies of adventures that made us dream as children. But it also repeats a more obscure world: that of mines and armed guards, lies, thefts, counterfeiters, piracy...
As such, this conceptual work lies somewhere between micro-intervention and storytelling. And it can be interpreted as a metaphor for what any art lover is looking for: a treasure.
Exhibition: Art Souterrain 2019, March 2-24 2019, Montreal.
Photo credit: Mike Patten