Robert Morouney Jr

Otter Creek, NB Canada

Silence

I live in Otter Creek, NB. At present, I use watercolour, and other drawing media; for several years my artistic focus has been the female figure and, to a somewhat lesser extent, landscape.

Artist's Statement

In September and October of 1989, I spent three weeks in Montreal, doing camera work every day. One focus of my work at the time was photographing poetic and provoking images arising from the coming-together and layering of art that occurs on the city’s walls. The plywood walls around construction sites, the blank wallspace beside the entrance to a depanneur, any wood surface that accepts staples or can hold a sheet of paper with glue gets covered with posters, handbills, messages of every description. Such planes

accumulate layer upon layer of images and text and over time these layers get ripped, eroded, collided with – randomly revealing images from different strata and allowing them to interact. Images combine at the verge of meaning, approach seeming significance, through the agency of chance.

During these weeks, I noticed a number of posters which seemed purposefully defaced: posters bearing images of women. These posters, and one poster in particular – the image I present here – were almost impossible to find with the features of the woman portrayed intact. It disturbed me at the time; I did not believe then that the defacement was anything more than mindless. But, like the random and strange juxtaposed images I photographed every day, I felt there was meaning, even the barest scent of meaning, inherent there, rising to the surface as if by some natural principle. I took this photograph then not because there was a significant juxtaposition of images, but because of the purposeful and methodical manner of it’s defacement.

A few weeks later, the Montreal Massacre occurred. In my mind this image is strongly connected to, and has become representative of, that event. To me, it is expressive of the mind that harbors violence against women. The mind that reached, pierced, tore away the face.

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