Detachment in black & white

The message portrayed in Sophie Jodoin’s minimalist exhibit evokes uneasiness and intrigue

Sophie Jodoin’s exhibit Small Dramas & Little Nothings in the Main Space of Union Gallery highlights themes synonymous with war, such as torture, violence and mutilation.
Sophie Jodoin’s exhibit Small Dramas & Little Nothings in the Main Space of Union Gallery highlights themes synonymous with war, such as torture, violence and mutilation.
Photo: 
Photo: 
Jodoin’s exhibit includes over 60 different paintings. This is only a small part of her war series.
Jodoin’s exhibit includes over 60 different paintings. This is only a small part of her war series.
Photo: 

It was as if my own limbs had been removed.

With incessant cringe in tow, I felt queasy when I visited Sophie Jodoin’s exhibit Small Dramas & Little Nothings.

The painting series has a graphic nature that’s appropriate given Halloween’s imminent arrival. With a firm stylistic commitment to black and white, Jodoin’s paintings are visually chilling bitonal images which prove to be striking, yet overwhelming at times.

Set against a snow-white background are images of precious childhood toys being mutilated and stark profiles of little girls carrying 0.44 magnum guns.

As the steady, rhythmic droning of the music being played in the room began to sync with my heartbeat, a dark nervousness urged my departure from the gallery.

Jodoin’s minimalist style is executed with great skill, which makes the images she crafts all the more disconcerting.

Her exhibit, part of a series of paintings on the characteristics of war, features a set of different and relative themes, such as torture, violence and mutilation.

An image depicting a little girl holding up an empty birdcage with a dead bird on the ground behind her is just one gruesome example of what made this particular trip to Union an uncomfortable one.

There’s something about the separation of children from their harmless nature which enables Jodoin to execute such alarming artwork so well.

Though her art is dark, it’s created expertly and gives a refreshingly honest viewpoint on life, unfiltered in the modern era of censorship.

The silhouettes and featureless faces seemed, to me, to reflect the anonymity that is found on the Internet or in the media.

This made the actions of the figures more tangible, rather than having the qualities of 2-D black and white paint figures on mylar canvases.

As I made my way from the gallery, I felt relieved to be gone from it, but pleased to have been there.

Small Dramas & Little Nothings is in the Main Space of Union Gallery until Nov. 1.

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