Performance
Galerie Pierre-François Ouellette Art Contemporain
Montréal, dec09-fev10

"Please handle with care. Standing up, strapped to and holding on to a clear plexi-glass incubator, I invite visitors to shuffle the texts and watercolors housed inside. In order to see and read this extended book based on personal history, they must do so in my presence by inserting both hands through the circular openings at the front of the box, slipping their fingers into domestic kitchen gloves. We are now intimately close –facing each other, our hands through the transparent walls of the box seem to almost touch - and also at a great distance –the plexi-glass walls and rubber gloves prevent any skin to skin contact. I am standing here as myself, both author and subject of these texts and images. I am here to greet visitors, to engage in conversation if they wish or to stay perfectly still and silent if they prefer.

Each text housed inside the incubator is a short story, a thought based on my own life and memories. People, places and objects seem to return from story to story, building bridges over different periods of time and foregrounding relationships between things and beings. In parallel, after collecting other people’s memories for so long, some have stuck with me. I have grown attached to many of these stories and think about them often. I rework and rewrite each story until I am finally able to adopt it as my own. The body as a porous envelope is ubiquitous.

The watercolors are fairly new and have been accumulating since the summer of 2007. Somehow, watercolor as a medium has given physical form to the imagery developed in the writing: porous houses, dragonfly larvae and octopuses coexist and contaminate female bodies. All are symbols of metamorphosis. All resist well-organized bodies and are caught in the process of hybridization, undergoing some kind of physical transformation.

The incubator is heavy, almost fifteen pounds, and I must concentrate on standing still. I somehow resist the urge to sit down before an hour has passed. Everyday, I am able to stand and hold my thoughts and images a little longer. It is simply a question of practice. Training my body to stretch time, in public and in the presence of the things I made."

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