Archiving the artist
Previously in showcase; February to June 2021
From February to June 2021, L’imprimerie hosted in its showcase “Archiving the artist” by the artist-curator Frederic Bigras-Burrogano. The project initiated a reflection about the process of artmaking in such a way so as to draw attention to the often hidden labor behind the creation of artworks.
Guest artists My-Van Dam, Manoushka Larouche and Michaelle Sergile took turns occupying the space by displaying personal artifacts from their practice. The passage from one to the other brought out new connections between objects, images and texts from past, present and future projects. This created a negotiation between them through the establishment of a living archive, in addition to activating a meta-narrative on the role of archives in their respective approaches.
By presenting a web of artefacts, the artist-curator wished to prompt people to think about the artist’s work and its socio-cultural role. As the current COVID-19 crisis in Quebec has deemed the cultural sector unessential, it is of the utmost importance to value artistic practices and how they allow us to imagine a new kind of belonging to the world around us.
View the recorded presentation of «Archiver l’artiste» (June 16, 2021).
Frederic Bigras Burrogano’s work is broadly concerned with national identities and the role landscape and rural communities play in their formation. His approach is anchored in the creation of artworks combining a deconstruction of the documentary photographic system with an exploration of materialities from his field of research. By incorporating materialities and techniques from photography with those from fieldwork, He investigates how art inscribes itself in the understanding and experience of space. His practice takes shape in installations where certain institutional codes are critiqued through individual pieces and texts, allowing a kind of visual memory play to activate the viewer. Recent exhibitions include Der Greif, a process 2.0 at the Krakow Photography Festival, Black water at the Chinese European Art Centre (Xiamen) and Milan NM at The New Gallery +15 (Calgary). He is currently pursuing a research-creation MA at l’UQAM and his work has been funded by the Quebec Council of Arts and the Canadian Arts Council.
My-Van Dam is a multidisciplinary artist based in Tiohtiá: ke / Montreal. She graduated from the University of Quebec in Montreal (UQAM) in visual and media arts. In her artistic practice, she is interested in the transmission of intergenerational traumas, memory, vulnerability, resilience and the healing process. She is, particularly, interested in the consequences of traumatic events on our collective and individual memory as well as the impact of traumas on our physical and psychological health, our interpersonal relationships and our identity. Dam explores materiality through a variety of mediums and techniques ranging from painting, photography, installation, sculptural and video. Her intention is to expose the vulnerability that inhabits each individual and to demonstrate human complexity through artistic experiences. Her goal is, also, to challenge the spectator on his own condition so that they can question themselves and have a basis of reflection on these themes in order to seek for courage and inner peace. I have participated in several group exhibitions, notably at the Patrick Mikhail gallery, at the Place-des-Arts in Montreal and at the ArtHelix gallery in New York.
Michaëlle Sergile is an artist and curator working mainly on texts and books from the postcolonial period from 1950 to the present. Her artistic work aims to understand and rewrite the history of Black communities, and more specifically of women, through weaving. Often perceived as a medium of craftsmanship and categorized as feminine, the artist uses the lexicon of weaving to question the relationships of gender and race. She has exhibited at the ArtHelix gallery in New York, at the Miami Art Fair and has participated in several group exhibitions in Montreal including Place des Arts, Art Mûr gallery and the Conseil des Arts de Montréal. She has also received several prizes and scholarships during her academic career, including a grant from the Fonds de recherche Société et Culture du Québec (FRQSC). She is currently project manager and curator for the Nigra Iuventa platform where she co-curated the exhibition Subalternes created by and for black women in Quebec, as well as the exhibition Je sais pourquoi chante l’oiseau en cage at the Darling Foundry, the Centre culturel Georges-Vanier and the CDEx last February.
Manoushka Larouche was born in 1990 and lives in Montreal. Her work intersects with photography, writing and the performativity intrinsic to identity. She develops her projects around questions related to the artist’s living conditions, leading her to reflect on the notion of image and liminality. In recent years, she has focused her research on the possibilities of making appear without representing. She reflects on the subject’s existence through the photographic image. It is through a contextual and post-conceptual practice of photography that this search for non-representation is combined with a critique of the subject’s existence value, which itself is based on its visibility and the recognition of its subjectivity. Her work has been presented at Galerie UQO (Gatineau), at Circa art actuel (Montréal), in alternative spaces such as local E6-21 (Montreal) for Double Take’s exhibition. She will soon be presented at L’Escalier Gallery as well as Dazibao. Larouche holds a technique in photography and is completing a master’s degree in visual and media arts at the Université du Québec à Montréal.
Photo: Frederic Bigras Burrogano