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Rachel Echenberg
From September 10th 1998 to October 17th 1998
Dérouler : elle perd le fil

It was easy to forget her small size because of the extent to which she managed to spread herself. In fact her 5' build had come to appear rather huge. She left traces wherever she went.In merging performance into sculpture, activity begins to take over static form, objects tell stories and presence is felt where it may not normally exist. It is through this practice that Rachel Echenberg explores ideas of invisibility in socially constructed spaces. Specifically the difficulties of crossing urban thresholds and questions of public and private transformations that are raised in this liminal passage. The exaggerated body Echenberg creates in her work can expand, retain, blend into itself or its surroundings. Through this body a social body emerges that we relate to in its constantly shifting and contradictory roles.

The installation "Dérouler: elle perd le fil" is in a constant state of becoming unravelled; by the end of the exhibition it will no longer exist as the same form from which it started, but as a trace of its collapse from structure. Rolls of material fall from the ceiling and pile up over the floor. The work attempts to attach itself directly into the room as a site (or sight?) of solidity, but, while in a continual state of transformation, it is simultaneously undoing its own form.

She was is an accompanying book that tells a short story of a woman who seems to leave innocent, and seemingly mundane, traces of herself everywhere. The extent of this spreading has caused the disappearance of her outer form and, in turn, the creation of a very minor legend. Much like the unraveling room, the story speaks of the vulnerability of bodies searching for solidity within a social structure while ignoring their own inherent fluidity.

Rachel Echenberg is a multidisciplinary artist who studied at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design. Her work, based in object and text, ranges from performance, video, sculpture and costume. She has performed and exhibited in both solo and group exhibitions since 1992 in Quebec and Eastern Canada. Her solo performances have been included in several series: "See through performances" (1993), OO gallery, Halifax , 'J'y suis, J'y reste", La Centrale, Montréal (1994), "symposium ofperformance art" (1997), Struts Gallery, Calgary and "Counter Poses: re-imagining tableaux vivants" (1998), Oboro, Montréal. She has also taken part in sculpture residencies in Québec and the United States.