SUBMERGE: a meditative experience into water – by Alex Côté

Pure or Plastic?

Did the water sources on Earth change because of our plastic weapons?

Are we already aimless droids, drowning in an exploitative lifestyle plaguing our own future? 

Can we free ourselves carelessly from our plastic armours and swim back to the light?

Will we reconnect with our organic consciousness?

Our Blue Planet?

I. Humanity is embarking on a new millennium as the focus of our society’s priorities keeps on shifting. The human being is in a radical ontological evolution, as we see globalization, technology and information quickly rising to the top of our concerns while other elements, such as spirituality and environment are pushed aside. The Anthropocene era on Earth is upon us and a critical ecologic crisis is happening where the ethical and biological boundaries have been over-passed. Today, the urgent situation of water pollution compels remarkable changes from humans all over the world. I am presenting to the public, in association with The Universal Sea, two humanoids characters layered in gold and silver plastic that try to resolve this question: Pure or Plastic? I am grateful to dedicate the creation of the photographic series and short-film SUBMERGE into this historical yet crucial mandate of uniting a global network of humans around their principal cause, the planet Earth.

Last year, our creative team from Canada and Portugal has been working on SUBMERGE during a stay at the Àgit Àgueda Art Residency. Inspiration to embody metallic creatures came from a gold and silver ribbon material and was all of a sudden the occasion to incarnate plastic characters while magnifying diverse water environments. After a transformation process that took almost two hours, our group of six artists literally plunged iintothe river to then explore the connection with water through improvisation, movement and dance.

By performing human actions and translating feelings in the water, these two characters aim to study a global question: can we find harmony between plastic and organic on Earth? We created this project to offer reflection and change our collective intention about plastic, bringing outward a harmony aesthetic from the singularities of the plastic, the water and the sun.



II. Born in 1992 in the Canadian cultural metropole of Montreal, Alex Côté finished art school as an actor and a performer at the Marie-Victorin College and the St-Hyacinthe Theatre School. He followed many art classes afterwards such as a “Commedia dell’arte” workshop in France, a “Performance in Public Spaces” workshop in Montreal and a “Site-specific Art” course at the Universität der Künste in Berlin Germany. The artist started a master degree at the Faculty of Fine Arts of UQÀM University in 2016, in addition of following multiple digital art classes at the Society for Arts and Technology of Montreal. Previous international residencies (Owenglin River – Ireland, 2015; Can Serrat art residency – Spain, 2016; Napoule Art Foundation – France, 2017; Àgit Lab Àgueda residency, Portugal, 2017) allowed him to experience various contexts of space and time, enriching his work in a receptive relationship with artists, activists and philosophers.

III. Alex Côté’s work deploys an interdisciplinary aesthetic quest where he seeks, using the movement of gesture, natural resources or pixels, an idyllic desire for a peaceful world, granted, free of any conflicts in which human fully experience the nature of being. Influenced by the international performance, the Earth-based contemporary art and the shamanism practices, he converges his work towards symbolic, mythical and cosmological senses, thus allowing a subversive look of our conscience. Today, the artist deploys a cross-disciplinary practice that travels between art and science, ontology and geology, technology and spirituality. With a constant focus on environment, his creative process has been evolving through performance, photography, video, installation and digital art. Furthermore, Alex Côté is in charge of the artistic direction of the Montreal collective Idyll | living arts, which promotes innovation in performative practices, integration of new technologies to art and sustainable experiences within the ecosystem and the community. 

IV. Alex Côté has been tackling the subject of plastic waste in the performance Sun.Sync and the photographic series Plastic.Organic, both of which have been shown in five countries in 2017 (ItalyUnited StatesCanadaFrancePortugal). Therefore, he could not be more thrilled to focus on THREE ACTIONS that could be implemented in the European public: a group collect of plastic pollutants, a new video installation made out of the recovered plastic and a series of site-specific performances. The photographic series and short-film SUBMERGE highlights well the question Pure or Plastic?, as its gold and silver characters aim to be dedicated symbols in fighting plastic pollution. Alex Côté wants to converge his actions on what can still be done and has to be done to ensure the conservation of the water, the planet and the spiritual connection within. 



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SUBMERGE rough-cut – Plastic.Organic reviewSun.Sync performance