Raymond Boisjoly: The Explanatory Void

Installation view featuring three inkjet prints on vinyl staggered on top of each other on the left and two prints staggered side by side on the right.

Clinamen (After Lucretius), 2021 (left), Parasite (After Michel Serres), 2021 (right). Installation view: Raymond Boisjoly: The Explanatory Void, MIT List Visual Arts Center, 2022. Courtesy the artist and Catriona Jeffries, Vancouver. Photo: Mel Taing

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Raymond Boisjoly
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In spring 2022, the MIT List Visual Arts Center will present the first US museum exhibition of Vancouver-based artist Raymond Boisjoly.

Raymond Boisjoly works with text, photography, and images to contemplate modes of transmission and consider how language, culture, and ideas can be mediated, framed, or received. A Vancouver-based artist of Haida and Quebecois descent, Boisjoly expands on the Vancouver School’s post-conceptual photographic practices while attending to complex negotiations of Indigeneity in the context of colonialism. Interested in the ways that both images and language can break, distort, falter, or fail, Boisjoly draws on, and bends, vernacular conventions in language, photography, and fabrication. His works often interrogate their own place in the realm of fine art through the use of unconventional or rudimentary printing mediums (nylon tarp, sign-maker’s vinyl, office paper, or beer cans) and openly draw from popular culture or academic texts as raw material.

For his first solo museum presentation in the United States, Boisjoly will present new works suggestive of 3-D imaging alongside recent related pieces that provoke an ambiguity and tension between text and image. In a large-scale mural executed on site, the artist will abrade a beer can on the wall to render wavy, distorted text with a graphite-like quality. In this work, Boisjoly refers to complex histories of ritual, and tenders the possibility that a beer can may a tool for production rather than consumption. The exhibition’s title, The Explanatory Void, alludes to spectral presences like shadows and echoes as well as the sometimes-gaping gulf between language and experience.

Boisjoly’s exhibition is organized by Natalie Bell, Curator, MIT List Visual Arts Center. 

Raymond Boisjoly (b. 1981, Langley, British Columbia) lives and works in Vancouver. He has had solo exhibitions at VOX, Montreal (2016); Carleton University (2015); Platform Centre for Photographic + Digital Arts, Winnipeg (2014); Simon Fraser University Gallery (2013). He has been featured internationally in biennials including Les Ateliers des Rennes—biennale d’art contemporain (2018), Biennale de Montréal (2014), and SITElines Santa Fe (2014); exhibitions at Triangle France, Marseille; Camera Austria, Vienna (2014), The Power Plant, Toronto (2012); and the Vancouver Art Gallery (2016 and 2012). Boisjoly received a BFA from Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design (2006) and an MFA from the University of British Columbia (2008). Boisjoly is currently Assistant Professor in the School for Contemporary Arts at Simon Fraser University.


Exhibitions at the List Center are made possible with the support of Fotene & Tom Coté, Audrey & James Foster, Idee German Schoenheimer, Joyce Linde, Cynthia & John Reed, and Sara-Ann & Robert Sanders,.  This exhibition is also supported by generous donors to the 2020 McDermott Award Gala, hosted by the Council for the Arts at MIT. 

General operating support is provided by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; the Council for the Arts at MIT; Philip S. Khoury, Associate Provost at MIT; the MIT School of Architecture + Planning; the Mass Cultural Council; and many generous individual donors. In-kind media sponsorship provided by 90.9 WBUR. The Advisory Committee Members of the List Visual Arts Center are gratefully acknowledged.