Not this Image: Reflections on Jean-François Côté’s work

Lau, Yam (Montréal: Espace, #83, Printemps 2008, p.39.)

While Jean-Françoise Côté’s practice can be easily classified according to his mediums, as either photography or video installation, it is not so evident that his installations are in fact mechanisms to intimate a different kind of image. The “image” that Côté’ made palpable does not in fact belong to any particular medium or dimension, it is neither photographic nor videographic. Hence, I propose that it is best conceived as a “virtual” image, one that perpetually passes through, and does not lodge in determined modes of representation and dimensionalities. What I mean by virtual is that the image in question has yet to be materialized as a phenomenon, that it has yet to be made available to vision, as something already constituted as an artwork. In essence, the virtual image necessarily escapes circumscription within the visual field, even while it transpires to express itself through Côté’s installations in novel ways.

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