After obtaining a bachelor’s degree in visual arts at the Université du Québec à Montréal in 1982, Alain Paiement undertook graduate studies in Europe. In 1987, he returned to Montreal to complete a master’s degree in visual arts at UQAM, where he has taught since 2004. The first Québec artist to be invited to show work at the Whitney Museum in New York in 1992, he has been known since the late 1980s for his sculptural, or “plastic” photographic work. Having had works in numerous international exhibitions, he is considered a mainstay of Canadian contemporary photography.
Made from macrophotographies of soap bubbles, the work shows a blue field that can evoke both water and the cosmos. It shows a continuous flow of bubbles, from small to very large. This play of scales integrates the passerby, as the bubbles grow to up to a half meters in diameter, becoming more sculptural than photographic. The multiple assemblies of bubbles evoke as many unknown molecules. The glass walls installed over the image produce a mirror effect, in addition to different sets of reflections on the surface of the bubbles. The work is to be thought of in relation to Mosaïque fluide, another photographic mural by the artist located at the ground level of the same pavilion. These two works are in dialogue with the research in biological sciences that takes place in this pavilion, pointing at the same time to molecular microcosms and constellations.