From Paul Butler's Collage Party in Paris (CBC)
Winnipeg artist Paul Butler has been throwing collage parties for over 10 years now . And you don't have to be an artist to participate.
All kinds of people are invited to make collages using material from mass media publications.
What Paul is interested in is "blurring the line between who is an artist and who is not an artist. ...I wanted to interpret that term "social sculpture" literally."
Paul Butler is one of 73 Winnipeg artists with works in the exhibit My Winnipeg, currently showing in Paris. Paul worked with designer Craig Alun Smith to create a space for his collage party in the patio of La Maison Rouge contemporary art gallery
SCENE sent Paul a few questions to contemplate from Paris.
What was different about doing a collage event in Paris, compared to back home?
One thing I love about collage is that it crosses borders. regardless of what language you speak, everyone can communicate through images.
What have you learned about French culture through doing the collage event?
They don't take themselves as seriously as stereotype suggests. They love to joke around and take the piss out of each other.
Paul Butler's collage party in progress, Paris, June, 2001 (CBC)
What's one thing about the Paris art scene that you would love to bring back to Winnipeg?
What I love about the french is their strong sense of identity and pride. Culture runs deep and they respect it. Artists are happy at home and they don't have to look outside for validation.
What do you think the impact of the Paris show will be for Winnipeg artist?
It was surreal to step outside of winnipeg to look at ourselves as an arts community. I couldn't have been more proud to be from Winnipeg than I was at the opening.
I think it both closes and opens a new chapter for winnipeg. The thing about Winnipeg up until this recent acknowledgement was that we were just making art for each other as opposed to an international audience so things can only change from this point on.
But we have more confidence and people might ask "why Winnipeg?" less now. Winnipeg has proven itself to be a major force in contemporary art.
Collage in progress at Paul Butler's Paris Collage Party.