Marko Tonich

Bio / CV

Solo Shows/

    Ça va être Beau!
    Bien à vous,
    Natural Fun!
    Ou! Et?
    Expérience de la nature
    Nature humaine: nuée

À la pièce




Ou! Et?

    The notion of intrigue and surprise has always been central to my creation. I do not only wish to open the possibilities of the objet I modify, but also to cause uncertainty in the viewer mind. The Greeks call this uncertainty aporia, and many puts it as the trigger of philosophical reflection. The aporia or, literally translated, the impossibility of passage, is similar to puzzlement. It is often caused by the possibility of equally valid but yet contradictory  solution to a problem. One might be inclined to think of the concept as a wall blocking the way, a cul-de-sac, a dead end, but that is not how I understand it or how the ancient Greeks seemed to imagine it. While the wall leaves nothing to glimpse and gives no track, it is rather the exploration of different avenues that is fertile and relevant. It is this complex, illogical and contradictory multiplicity that pushes the subject towards an examination of oneself, of reality and, above all, of one's understanding of reality. When it is necessary to choose between several equally valid, but contradictory, incompatible, irreconcilable answers, I have to look at myself, evaluate my knowledge and especially reevaluate my cognitive process. What is the system that structures my choices and how can I apply or modify it to suit this situation? To do this, I open doors, visit new places and revisit those I already know. It is an introspection that requires a certain humility towards oneself and thus causes the greatest openness.

  The owl is the symbol of wisdom and philosophy. One of the reasons for this association is certainly his ability to see in the dark. But we must not forget that it is a bird of prey; it feeds on other birds, mammals and insects to survive. Looking at it from this angle, one could say of him that he is violent, if violence is a concept applicable to the animal kingdom and not only to humans. But the owl is a particular animal, in that it is given precisely this rational aspect. Rationality and violence go hand in hand? If I were asked to choose an animal emblem for rationality, I do not think I would take a predator. So how do you reconcile the two?


    While studying philosophy at UQAM, I had the chance to take courses from Christian Saint-Germain. Excellent pedagogue, philosopher and speaker. An unparalleled analytical power. One of the courses he gave was "criticism of rationality". I did not understand. Rationality is the ultimate tool of the philosopher, the human. We study in philosophy. What criticism could be made against it? Moreover, which program is self-critical? Certainly not police technique for example, because even after graduation, a police does not even know the origin of its own profession (if you are also clueless about it, a simple research will be enough to surprise you and make you understand the role they occupy in society ). Anyway, the philosopher criticizes his own tool, the one before which he has always marveled. Western philosophy begins precisely with the birth of rationality among the Greeks. From reason to unreason. I think the owl makes all sense from the perspective of great power that is not by any means intrinsically good. That's why we chose a predator. The reason is not all mighty and ultimate, but it still reigns above all.

The Greeks had surely seen the destructive potential of reason that was observed nearly two millennia later at its peak in the Second World War. Owl, an animal with a double face.


  Have you ever seen them in nature? I only saw one, once, in the wild. I was able to notice it only because it flew away and by doing so, caught my eye. It was autumn and as the leaves had fallen, I was able to observe it as he was moving away from me. It was so smooth and quiet. I have never seen anything like it.

What would be the human without this tool that defines him?

Ou! Et?
Or! And?  Faced with these choices, are we one, or do we remain divided by an irreconcilable impossibility?



    I thank my parents who supported me in my studies and my life path. These works that I present were almost entirely made in my new workshop at the family cottage in the Laurentians. The fresh air of the forest, animals surrounding me and swimming in the lake have certainly inspired the creation of this corpus.

    I thank Téhu and Jérôme Dupuis Cloutier who came to  jam during the opening. The idea was that through Tehu's matrix loop (similar to my sampling of shape), Jerome could give a guideline, like the jam of glazes and various finishes that I use on my pieces.

    I thank Sarah Nolin, who helped me install everything.
    I thank Martin Nadeau and the magazine Inter who will publish in their October 2019 issue an article on this installation.
    I also warmly thank Jean-Michael Seminaro for the photographic archiving of the exhibition. All photos of this exhibition on the site, as well as all the ones you see on this page are credited to him.

    I thank Kaspar Nolov for helping me tremendously for the lighting of this exhibition. We shared the same dramatic and dynamic vision "old school german schule" expressionist and he really knew how to create the right lighting to highlight the particular works and the installation as a whole.

I certainly also thank Sébastien Vachon, the casting technician from Laval University and my mentor.
 I also thank all those who came to see my exhibition, shared it, invited friends and relatives and obviously those who bought me more works.