Towards a thought-landscape
UQAM (Montreal, QC)
Raphaël Biscotti’s artistic practice is generated by the effects of the generalized anxiety he experiences on a daily. Through the practice of drawing, he tries to evoke the neurosis that the act of drawing allows him to evacuate. The time spent drawing becomes meditative and leads him to elaborate his reflections in the face of the rapid slide of his well-being towards distress. An inquiry into himself is built into a “thought-landscape”, a sensitive bridge between the poetics of introspective experience and the time spent drawing. Using metaphor, narrative, words, and landscape drawing, he attempts to bear witness to a rich and complex experience of disturbed interiority on the road to healing. Nature becomes an important agent in the search for a lull. He will sometimes present it as reassuring, sometimes as frightening; it is his mirror.
As part of his mastery, Raphaël Biscotti wishes to surround his subject with the narrative of what affects him. Interested in the possible dialogue between words and images, the writing is anchored in the artist’s practice. This method provokes a difficult reflection on a troubled childhood that he constantly puts back on the table of the present. An exploration of the territories of the home ensues and allows him to establish a discussion between the memories of a landscape thought, imagined and lived. This thought-landscape allows him to glimpse an inner universe forged by the imaginary landscapes of his place of origin, the Upper Laurentians, while suffering the consequences of anxiety and mental illness. Several series of drawings, most often executed in pencil and graphite powder, result in several forms and formats. His research also focuses on the specific context of the practice of drawing. For him, drawing operates in an interesting in-between to explore, between the work and the sketch. He sees in it the possibility of a dialogue, even a decompartmentalization. So, what is the place of the practice of drawing in the hierarchy of media in the visual arts? Can “study” act as a work in its own right? These types of questions arise in the very making of his drawings and will be the object of particular attention in the writing of the dissertation.
Raphaël Biscotti is originally from Val-David, in the Upper Laurentians. He studied at Concordia University in Studio Arts where he had the opportunity to do a one-year student exchange in Finland in the Arctic Arts and Design program. In 2018, he obtained his diploma and the following year began a master’s degree in visual and media arts at UQAM. He completes his second year of his master’s degree and starts writing this summer.