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© Raphaëlle de Groot, Collecte de poussière, 2001. Photo : Patrick Mailloux

Carl Bouchard, Raphaëlle de Groot, Rachel Echenberg, Martin Dufrasne, Massimo Guerrera, Devora Neumark
From October 7th 2001 to October 14th 2001
Gestes d'artistes

Curators: Marie Fraser, Marie-Josée Lafortune

From New York City... to Montréal

A series of street actions in various locations in New York City by six Québec artists is presented through a collaboration between Artists Space, The Lower Manhattan Cultural Council and OPTICA,in the context of "La Saison du Québec à New York". These urban interventions explore the precarious and complex thresholds between a "politics" and a "poetics" of daily gesture by calling up individual experience that mediates malleable boundaries of private and public domains.

Faced with the social and political constraints that have changed our relationship to the world in the past month, the ARTISTS’ GESTURES project which Optica planned to present in public spaces and streets in New York City, from October 7 to 14, had to be relocated in Montréal at a few hours notice. Participating artists Carl Bouchard, Raphaëlle de Groot, Rachel Echenberg, Martin Dufrasne, Massimo Guerrera and Devora Neumark have wished to transform and adapt their artistic interventions in response to the difficulty of interacting within New York City’s urban public space that has become increasingly occupied by security forces since September 11th.

The continuation and the presentation of the project in Montréal are also a form of resistance asserting the importance of ideas circulating, and a gesture of solidarity towards organisations and individuals who wished to accommodate us from the onset and who convinced us of the urgent need for action.

Go to publications catalogue.


Carl Bouchard, Martin Dufrasne
"Star Rats"

South-west corner of St. Urban and René-Lévesque Streets Near Complexe Guy-Favreau
October 12, between 3:45 p.m. and 5:45 p.m.

Marking points with rat traps snapping during a series of competitive games on green game tarps. Then sitting. Sitting for a long time. Sitting for a long time, holding and surrounded by set rat traps inscribed with "Regardez-vous" (Look at yourself!), and "Interrogez le ciel" (Ask the heavens).


Raphaëlle de Groot
"Collecte de poussières"

Cabot Square, St. Catherine Street W., surrounded by Atwater, Lambert-Closse and Tupper Streets Métro Atwater, St. Catherine exit
October 11, from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m., noon to 2:00 p.m., 4:00 p.m. to 6 p.m.
October 12, from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m., noon to 5:00 p.m.

From day to day and through chance meetings, Raphaëlle de Groot opens the private/public boundaries deliminating manoeuvering in a neighbourhood park by collecting specks of dust. Every day she counts and sorts out the collected bits, re-transcribing people’s reactions, responses and shared conversations. A curious and meticulous gesture. From the stories conveyed by the dust to those emerging from encounters, there appears a subtle sub-text revealing the hidden dimension of things.


Rachel Echenberg
"STILL (from within, to without)"

On appointment
OCTOBER 12 - OCTOBER 13, 2001 (9 a.m. and 6 p.m)
"STILL (from within, to without)" is an intimate meditation that takes place in public. Wearing a special stethoscope built for two listeners, the artist and a knowing participant will hear the sounds of the inner body while the outside world echoes through its vessels.”
I am inviting the public to take appointments with me at different places in Montréal on Friday October 12 or Saturday October 13 between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. When the meeting is scheduled we must agree on the “public” site (parks, street corners, bus stops, metro stations, libraries, cafes/restaurants, offices, etc.) and the length of the meeting (between 15 and 30 minutes). I am asking people to choose sites that fit into their daily schedules where I will be able to wait for them to begin this quiet action.


Massimo Guerrera
"Darboral"

Gérald-Godin Place, Métro Mont-Royal
October 11, 12 and 13, from 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
October 14, 7:00 p.m.

At the rate of four hours a day, Massimo Guerrera occupies a thirty-three square-foot space on the sidewalk in the square where he is ready to welcome passers-by and engage in conversation. His surprising presence and the strangeness of his territory interrupt the city’s public rhythm, reversing urban activities and frenzy. Pushing the notion of exchange to the point of gift, he entrusts portable sculptures to people who promise to return them after a pre-determined amount of time. "This work has to do with confidence. Small objects will then circulate in a different way in the urban space and in the citizens’ bodies."


Devora Neumark
"she loves me not, she loves me"

10 Ontario Street W., apt. 706
October 12, from noon to 6:00 p.m.
Collective gestures in various locations across the city:
-"Cloche de la paix," Japanese Garden, Montréal Botanical Garden
- Jarry Park, near Linda Covit’s sculpture Caesura
- Jean-Drapeau Park, near the oak planted by the city to commemorate the victims of September 11, 2001
Commemorative monument, La réparation, in Marcellin-Wilson Park on Henri-Bourassa Boulevard north
October 13, throughout the day.

"she loves me not, she loves me" is a repetition of the familiar gesture consulting the "oracle" of the daisy by pulling out one petal at a time. The wistfulness of the gesture is heightened by the overwhelming abundance of daisies and the duration of this live-art relational practice.


For the Montreal presentation, we would like sincerely to thanks the Bureau de l’art public du Service de la culture de la Ville de Montréal for their support.

Artists’ Gestures is an initiative of Québec New York 2001, a major event presented in New York City and made possible with the support of the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec, Commission Québec New York 2001, the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade of Canada, the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council (www.lmcc.net), Artists Space (www.artistsspace.org) and the City of New York / Parks and Recreation.

Partners :
Moukhtar Kocache assisted by Jennifer Charron, Director of Visual Arts Programs and Services of the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council
Barbara Hunt, Executive Director of Artists Space, New York
Adrian Sas, Officer Special Event from the City of New York / Parks & Recreation
Andrée Daigle, Chargée des projets culturels of the Québec-New York 2001 project
M. Yves Pépin, Chef, Visual and Media Arts at the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade of Canada
Regine Basha, Agent of Public Cultural Affairs at the General Consulat of Canada
Anne Girard, Cultural service consultant of the Délégation générale du Québec à New York

Carl Bouchard and Martin Dufrasne live and work together in Chicoutimi. In addition to their individual productions, they have been working together since 1998. Their individual practice has drawn attention in Québec in over forty individual and collective exhibitions.

A young artist, Raphaëlle de Groot has been actively exhibiting since 1996. Her interventions point to hidden, omitted and intimate elements that compose the latent and underground dimension of public space. Both archeologist and detective, she gathers the clues to a story which escapes our attention and acts incontexts outside art.

Rachel Echenberg’s performance-based work (staged performance, public intervention and installation-performance) focuses on situation – specific actions that set out to explore a shared live presence. Since 1992 her work has been presented in exhibitions, symposiums and art festivals in Canada and Europe, including participation in the "Performance Index Festival" in Switzerland, "Public Art as Social Intervention" in Montréal, the "3rd International Art Meeting" in Poland, and "Time/Space/Presence" in Toronto.

Massimo Guerrera has been working in the visual arts and performance since 1992 when he began a series of works in progress on food incorporation and circulation, including his famed movable canteen. Among others, he participated this October at the Festival international de nouvelle danse de Montréal, 2001, in the Biennale de Montréal in 2000 and exhibited at the Passage de Retz in Paris in 1998.

Devora Neumark’s interdisciplinary practice includes interventions and performances, as well as public installations and events. She has participated in numerous exhibitions, including "Sur l’expérience de la ville", organised by Optica in 1997. Last November, she presented "Dutch Woman at Larg"e at New York’s Metropolitain Museum of Art with the contribution of the General Consulate of Canada and The Franklin Furnace Performance Art Fund.


Bibliographie
- Bérubé, Stéphanie, «L’automne du Québec à New York : premiers artistes choisis», La Presse, 9 février 2001, p.C7.
- Crévier, Lyne, «Des Québecois à New York», Elle Québec, octobre 2001, p.46.
- Lamarche, Bernard, «La Matière et l’éphemère, confrontation avec la capitale internationale de l’art» , Le Devoir, 8-9 septembre 2001, p.G7.
- Sparkes, Colette, «L’intelligence extraite du chaos quotidien – gestes d’artistes», Esse, printemps-été 2002, pp.66-75.
- «Fastforward», Canadian Art, vol. 18, no 3, automne 2001, p.29.
- Fraser, Marie et Marie-Josée Lafortune (eds.), Gestes D'Artistes, Montréal : OPTICA, un centre d'art contemporain, 2003.