Daniel Corbeil’s artistic musings focus on the transformation of landscapes and the land under pressure from technology, industrial development and climate change. His work often consists of mock-ups in which the artist experiments with various fictional situations that respond to deep concerns about the future of our ecosystem. Recently acquired, Rolling Landscape attests to these concerns, using modelling to illustrate the captivating illusion of an entirely artificial nature that operates mechanically.
Two translucent plexiglass cylinders illuminated from inside by neon lights and mounted on aluminium supports turn slowly so that the ‟clouds” on the bigger cylinder seem to be moving toward the horizon of the smaller one. A simple glass lens is positioned in front of the terrestrial machine to complete the representation of the landscape. The lens rounds out the illusion that the machine has created the image of a miniature landscape containing a character with which the viewer can identify.
Corbeil makes use of an enactment that echoes a number of utopias, which, over the decades, have given rise to machines able to stand in for damaged nature. This ingenious instrument proposes an imaginary and artificial world, while revealing the artifice behind it.
Daniel Corbeil was born in Val d’Or in 1960 and lives and works in Montréal. He holds a master’s degree in visual arts from the Université du Québec à Montreal, teaches at the CEGEP du Vieux Montréal and has began exhibiting his work professionally in 1989. His work addresses the effects of climate change on the landscape and architecture and has been shown in numerous solo and group exhibitions in Québec, Ontario, Switzerland and Denmark. It can also be found in various public collections (Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec, Musée régional de Rimouski, Loto-Québec collection, National Gallery of Canada, Simon Fraser University). The Musée d’art contemporain des Laurentides mounted a solo show of his work, accompanied by a publication, in 2005. In 2007-8 he won the Graff Prize.