Alexandre Ber (1975, Toronto, Canada) makes paintings, paintings, photos and drawings. By exploring the concept of landscape in a nostalgic way, Ber creates with daily, recognizable elements, an unprecedented situation in which the viewer is confronted with the conditioning of his own perception and has to reconsider his biased position.
His paintings are often classified as part of the new romantic movement because of the desire for the local in the unfolding globalized world. However, this reference is not intentional, as this kind of art is part of the collective memory. By rejecting an objective truth and global cultural narratives, he creates work through labour-intensive processes which can be seen explicitly as a personal exorcism ritual. They are inspired by a nineteenth-century tradition of works, in which an ideal of ‘Fulfilled Absence’ was seen as the pinnacle.
His works establish a link between the landscape’s reality and that imagined by its conceiver. These works focus on concrete questions that determine our existence. By referencing romanticism, grand-guignolesque black humour and symbolism, he investigates the dynamics of landscape, including the manipulation of its effects and the limits of spectacle based on our assumptions of what landscape means to us. Rather than presenting a factual reality, an illusion is fabricated to conjure the realms of our imagination.
His work urge us to renegotiate painting as being part of a reactive or – at times – autistic medium, commenting on oppressing themes in our contemporary society.