Press Release


The PHI Foundation for Contemporary Art is pleased to present Rajni Perera and Marigold Santos: Efflorescence/The Way We Wake.


In 2020, the PHI Foundation presented a major group show called RELATIONS: Diaspora and Painting, which included the work of Rajni Perera and Marigold Santos. When Perera visited the exhibition and encountered Santos’ paintings for the first time, she felt an instant, deeply resonant connection. This moment of mutual recognition sparked the beginning of a relationship that would manifest itself in Perera’ invitation to Santos to collaborate on a duo presentation at The Armory Show in New York, in September of 2023. As one of the very best offerings at this thirty-year-old art fair, it was the spark that ignited the organization of this exhibition.



































 




















 





























International exhibitions

International ongoing exhibitions


Rajini Perera et Marigold Santos, Efflorescence

PHI Foundation for Contemporary Art, Montreal (Canada)

03.05 - 08.09.2024


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Born in 1985 in Sri Lanka, Rajni Perera was raised between Colombo, Sydney and then Scarborough and North York, Ontario. Her work explores hybridity, futurity, ancestorship, migrant and marginalized identities/cultures, monsters, and dream worlds. These areas of inquiry are embraced through a multi-disciplinary practice that includes painting, drawing, and sculpture, and incorporates materials such as clay, wood, textile, and most recently, synthetic taxidermy. Subverting oppressive discourses related to the idea of the “ther,”the beings and objects she creates are invested with power, dignity, and heroism.


Marigold Santos was born in the Philippines and immigrated to Canada in 1988. Her early childhood experience of immigration provides a starting point for her work that investigates the interrelated notions of “ome”and the multiplicity of an identity in constant evolution, to ultimately explore the potentialities of transformation. Through an interdisciplinary practice that includes drawn, painted, and printed works, sculpture, tattooing, and sound, Santos creates a personal mythology. In her otherworldly environments that transcend time and place, hybrid creatures are capable of thriving in the precarious realm of the “n between.”


Inhabiting the 451 Saint-Jean Street building, this duo exhibition showcases recent painting and sculpture produced by each artist from 2021 to 2024 and begins with the collaborative piece after which the show is named. Efflorescence/The Way We Wake speaks to the artist’ diasporic experiences, research into their respective cultural heritages, art making, and motherhood. This large-scale sculpture consists of a masked humanoid, with a larger-than-life body whose legs are detached and splayed out in an impossible position, while the arms prop up the torso with the help of elongated breasts. On and around the body are small, flourishing outgrowths of fabricated plants and flowers. The mask, hands, and breast points are richly ornamented, and the eyes gaze out with purpose and fierce calm. Fashioned from a large variety of materials, including polymer clay and styrofoam, as well as metallic powder, synthetic hair, pearls, and floral foam, this work was produced over the course of a mere six, albeit marathon work sessions in Montréal during the summer of 2023. This major work welcomes us in, to contemplate and marvel at their distinct and shared cosmologies.


Presenting over thirty works, this exhibition is organized for us to appreciate each artist’ individual practices and to revel in their formal and conceptual affinities. What emanates throughout are vibrations of female power, that reverberate with instincts towards constant care, protection and the honouring of each of their personal stories and heritages. Through many entry points, Efflorescence/The Way We Wake invites us into a pantheon of kindred spirits.


PHI Foundation for Contemporary Art

Established in 2007 by Phoebe Greenberg, the PHI Foundation for Contemporary Art is a non-profit organization dedicated to bringing impactful contemporary art experiences to the public. Its programming is international in scope, responsive to the local context, and free of charge to reinforce PHI’ commitment to accessibility and inclusion. The Foundation is driven by a desire to break down entrenched perceptions of what contemporary art is and who it is for, with the fundamental belief that art is for us all. The Foundation endeavours to make a home for art, artists and the public we serve, devoted to nurturing convivial exchanges that celebrate art as part of our everyday lives.

Rajni Perera and Marigold Santos, Efflorescence/The Way We Wake (detail), 2023. Polymer clay, styrofoam, paint, metallic powder, synthetic hair, pearls, steel, aluminum, floral foam, paper, plastic, 152.4 x 243.8 x 121.9 cm. Photo: Mikhail Mishin. Courtesy of the artists and Patel Brown Gallery

Rajni Perera and Marigold Santos, Efflorescence/The Way We Wake (detail), 2023. Polymer clay, styrofoam, paint, metallic powder, synthetic hair, pearls, steel, aluminum, floral foam, paper, plastic, 152.4 x 243.8 x 121.9 cm. Photo: Mikhail Mishin. Courtesy of the artists and Patel Brown Gallery Rajini Perera et Marigold Santos, Efflorescence, PHI Foundation, Montreal (Canada)

© ArtCatalyse International / Marika Prévosto 2024 All Rights Reserved

Exhibition 03 May - 08 September 2024. PHI Foundation for Contemporary Art, 451 & 465 Saint-Jean Street - Montréal Quebec H2Y 2R5 (Canada). T +1 514 849 3742. Hours: Wednesday–Friday 12–7pm, Saturday–Sunday 11am–6pm.