Montreal-based Karine Giboulo is a multi-disciplinary artist who creates work in two- and three-dimensional form. A large portion of her oeuvre is made up of dioramas populated by doll-like figures. Many of these microcosms, some developed over elaborate and interconnected sculptural installations, represent distinct nations and parts of the world including Canada, Africa, India, China and the Caribbean. Giboulo explores complex social issues such as environmentalism, urbanization, globalization in the information age, and the pursuit of consumer goods and material wealth. Through these topics, she comments on modern society’s quest for quick fixes and superficial fulfillment. Plagued by the struggle for survival and a desperate search for purpose, humanity seems burdened by social angst in the face of a rapidly changing and unpredictable world.
Giboulo’s work delivers critical commentary subtly and slowly. On the surface, her work is full of childlike fun and whimsy, but upon more careful consideration, it carries powerful messages. Giboulo’s oeuvre finds its strength in its ability to simultaneously entertain and educate. Combining fact with fiction, reality with imagination, and comedy with tragedy, she embraces life’s contradictions through a distinct visual vocabulary all her own.
Karine Giboulo’s Small Strange World(s) was the first survey exhibition of the artist’s work to consider her creative development over the course of approximately a decade. It included over fifty artworks in a variety of media from paintings and drawings to prints, photographs, and sculptures. Small Strange World(s) also included new work created specifically for this exhibition, dealing with themes of Canadian history and identity connected with the mandate of the McMichael.
Curated by Sharona Adamowicz-Clements