A look back at Andrée-Anne Dupuis Bourret’s “Travaux pratiques”

The storefront as a moving landscape.

Andrée-Anne Dupuis Bourret is currently completing her project entitled Travaux pratiques (practical work), an installative interface, integrated to L’imprimerie’s storefront from July to September. Patiently, consistently, the artist took over the space, filling it with fragments of screen-printed paper, various objects, and odd elements of landscape. Rigorously invested in this exercise, she spent a whole day every week configuring, reconfiguring, filming and taking pictures of the space. Now that the project is reaching its conclusion, we asked her to share with us her impressions.

What was the work’s initial intent, and how did you manage to take possession of this space?

I wanted to use my presence in L’Écrin as an opportunity to engage in practical work, using objects present in the studio—artefacts, or commercial objects—, taking them out of their original context and into the storefront, as if L’Écrin was an open studio.

Whereas an exhibition tends to be a well-defined object, L’Écrin is more akin to the studio experience. It sheds light on the repetitive acts that are part of the artist’s everyday reality. When I open up my studio to the public it is usually through my blog; I found L’Écrin brought the same visual coherence to my way of working.

How did passersby react?

In an urban setting, people have a lot to look at: storefronts and shop windows have become commonplace. Many passersby do not even see this window as anything different. People in this neighbourhood have other things on their minds, like trying to make a living. This situation makes me wonder what it is I am doing here as an artist.


Another interesting element was the way visibility varies depending on the time of day and weather. When it is sunny, L’Écrin acts as a mirror for the street. The photos taken then show more about what is going on across the street than on L’imprimerie’s side. There is always a veil. I had not thought about this component when I first started the project. These pictures have become a sort of chronicle of everyday life.

In the afternoon, hordes of joggers take to the streets (L’imprimerie is right next to a gym). When I’m filming, runners generate motion on the video footage.

The planters outside of the studio also interact with certain elements in L’Écrin, creating confusion between interior and exterior. Add to that the construction signs and neighbouring architecture, and you now see that the storefront is part of a much larger environment.

The aftermath—What do you think will remain of your time in L’Écrin after the next artist takes your place?

Questions mostly. Filming L’Écrin and my every action within it has led me to rethink my approach to space. This context afforded me better understanding of my actions, and allowed me to consider my work not just as a collection of objects, but as a form of choreography.

Crédits photos : Andrée-Anne Dupuis Bourret
Link to Andrée-Anne’s blog : http://www.aadb.space/blog/

© L’imprimerie, centre d’artistes, 2024