Arts &
  Arts Culture Analysis  
Vol. 2, No.3, 2003

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Robert J. Lewis
  Contributing Editors
Bernard Dube
Phil Nixon
Mark Goldfarb
Robert Rotondo
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Emanuel Pordes
  Arts Editor
Marissa Consiglieri de Chackal
Mady Bourdage
Emanuel Pordes
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Robert Fisk
Pico Iyer
Mark Kingwell
Arundhati Roy
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Tariq Ali
Rochelle Gurstein






Reviewer, essayist, poet and polyglot, Maya Khankhoje has published in many journals including South Asian Women's Forum, Urban Mozaik, Canadian Theater Review, Sumach Press, and Indolink. She is presently the Assistant Editor at Montreal Serai.


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Eric Carlos BertrandEric Carlos Bertrand is a multidisciplinary artist. He has participated in one-man shows and collective exhibitions in Mexico, Canada, Finland, Slovakia, Lithuania and the United States. The artist is currently working on his doctoral dissertation at the Université de Québec, an anthology of Cuban critic and theoretician Gerardo Mosquera as well as preparing several one-man shows which will be held in Mexico and Canada.


Anyone who enters Espacio México, an art gallery run by the Mexican Consulate in Montreal, knows what to expect: a glimpse into the soul of Mexican art which is as broad and varied as the landscape of the country, as ancient and contemporary as its history and as tormented and deep as a people who sing to death rather than bewail it. In other words, anyone who ventures into this space can expect the unexpected.

Feu Follet

When I ventured into Eric Carlos Bertrand's space to view his exhibition titled Utopologies and Grotesques I was thrown into a whole universe ranging from tiny dots on tiny canvases to huge blobs of paint on huge canvases.


Each set of dots grew like an embryo until it became a living organism, then groups of organisms and finally a multitude. I did a quick walkabout following the series of canvases on the walls and then returned to view the paintings calmly once the crowds had cleared. But my experience was not a calm one, because the paintings assaulted my senses and stirred my emotions. And then I had an epiphany. It struck me that Bertrand's work was a coherent manifestation of the grotesque, associated with artists like Durer and


Goya, writers like Rabelais, the Grimm Brothers and Becket and cinema giants like Fellini or Polanski. The artist resorted to impressionist and post-impressionist techniques, such as pointillism and atmospheric perspective, to create his Utopologies, a word he coined from Utopia and topology, that branch of mathematics that deals with the concept of continuity.

Nef des Fous

When asked about the influences that have informed his work, Bertrand named Bosco and Seurat, but acknowledged that Ensor was his greatest inspiration. He was keen to explain that whereas his art is contemporary, he has not broken links with the past. He firmly believes that innovation within tradition is possible without rejecting the past, which is what has happened in many developed countries. If pushed to define his art, he would place himself within the Latin American current, or in any case, within a current which belongs to the margins rather than to the center.

I can only hope that Bertrand finishes his dissertation as quickly as possible so he can return to painting dots on canvases and letting them brew and proliferate.

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