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Archi-féministes! : The Virtual Exhibition

Archi-féministes! : Archiver le corps

Archi-féministes! : Performer l’archives

Olivia Boudreau

Sorel Cohen

Raphaëlle de Groot

Suzy Lake

Claire Savoie

Jana Sterbak

Sophie Bélair Clément

Vera Frenkel

Clara Gutsche

Emmanuelle Léonard

Raphaëlle de Groot
Born in Montreal in 1974, lives and works in Montreal

Exercice filmé I, 2002

raphaelle de Groot
Raphaëlle de Groot, Exercice filmé I (détail), 2002
Colour video, no dialogue
20 min
Courtesy of the artist
Photo : Raphaëlle de Groot

In the stark emptiness of a studio, the artist engages in a process in which she confronts her limits and risks her identity. Giving the rough semblance of a visage to a second skin of paper, she brings her vulnerability as an artist into the open. The exercise rests, first, on blotting out her face and depriving herself of sight—that critical sense for a painter, of whom she gives such a crude caricature here. She also encumbers herself by grafting the tools required for the action to her body. She has carried out the action on several occasions while varying elements of the execution each time, as by calling on the audience’s participation, accentuating her dependence on the other and hence the critique of her authority within a device that had already posited the relationship with the other as constitutive of self. The action’s second occurrence took place with OPTICA in 2003, during the New York launch of “Artists’ Gestures”.


Porter, 2011

Raphaëlle de Groot
Raphaëlle de Groot, Porter, 2011
Colour video (edition of 5)
12 min 10 sec
Various objects, rope, cellophane, ruban, adhesif tape, label
Courtesy of the artist
Photo : Richard-Max tremblay
This performance video by Raphaëlle de Groot combines the work of collecting, indexing and archiving the real that she has undertaken the last few years while soliciting public participation in various communities. Her experience of working life in a textile factory in Biella, Italy, between 2002 and 2004, for instance, shows how her practice is closely tied to the process, which is itself a bearer of change, something she accentuates in relation to exhibition contexts. De Groot questions this ontological relationship with the creative process, and hence one’s relationship with the other, by confronting our perceptual assumptions. Exercise filmé, no 1 (2002), one of several exercises in which she explored the experience of blindness, was presented in the first part of “Archi-féministes!”. In Porter—“to carry” or “to bear”—she encumbers herself with the task of carrying various objects, ready-mades that people may have left behind, or gifted. She gives them life (again) by performing them in her peculiar journey through Canada and Europe.

Accompanying this, a set of collecting cards documents the objects transported in the video. Contained in 70 objets emportés avec moi (2009-2011), they now form a photographic inventory. De Groot distributes these numbered cards at the gallery entrance to those who accept to disseminate them “wherever it makes most sense.” In return, participants must email the artist to say what the card had signified for them.


Le poids des objets - Porter, cartes à collectionner, 2012

De groot
Raphaëlle de Groot
Le poids des objets - Porter, cartes à collectionner, 2012
Sixty-eight collector's cards
Courtesy of the artist

Raphaëlle de Groot
Raphaëlle de Groot / Lucie D.
Retour, Carte à collectionner n. 6 : Couvercle d'une boîte décorative, 2012
Sixty-eight collector's cards
Courtesy of the artist
The objects Raphaëlle de Groot transported in her video Porter (2011) were captured on sixty-eight collector’s cards to form a photographic inventory that is now contained in 70 objets emportés avec moi (2009-2011). The objects themselves were donations the artist collected in 2009 following her invitation to members of various communities (in Alberta, Quebec, Italy) to donate personal objects they no longer needed or wanted.

De Groot first photographed each object with a colour string, then tied them together in bundles that she literally carried around on her travels. Wrapped in plastic sheets at the airport, they became invisible, and, as they would remain unopened, their reproduction on the cards constitutes the only surviving trace of their identity.

The artist invites you to choose, and to appropriate, one of the sixty-eight unique and numbered cards. In exchange, she asks that you send her a few words or a picture describing what you do with it and the meaning it has for you by messaging your reflections to the email address on the back of the card.

The artist may use your email to get in touch with you as your message resurfaces in new form—website, publication, public utterance, etc.—in the continuation of her work.