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Exibitions 2003

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Index of artists, authors and curators

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Przemyslaw Jasielski
From January 17th 2003 to February 22nd 2003
Earth Rotation Speed Control Unit

In traditional societies, power was related to the natural rhythm of the universe. A certain order could be observed in the continual changes in the skies for example, or in the yearly renewal of the life cycle. All human activity was very dependant on these patterns.

Earth Rotation Speed Control Unit is both an attempt to play with our unconscious feelings of stability within our environment, and on the human desire to have control over our surroundings. It explores the question ”Can the movement of a catfish’s tail be the cause of an earthquake?”, and tries to provoke feelings of responsibility for the general structure we exist in.

"Given a place to stand, Archimedes asserted, he could move the world. Przemyslaw Jasielski's ambition is far less conditional. Allied with Isaac Newton, he can alter the spin of the earth. He also allow his audience to engage the same physical laws and so spotilights the myriad intimacies of angular momentum."
- Dr. E.C. Krupp Astronomer and Director of the Griffith Observatory, Los Angeles.

Przemyslaw Jasielski was born in Poznan Poland in 1970. He completed his studies in sculpture and drawing at the Fine Arts Academy of Poznan in 1994. His work incorporates new medias and explores humanistic approaches to technology. He has shown in Poland , Slovakia and Germay including the Warsaw Gallery Laboratorium, the Potocka Gallery in Cracow, and the Edith Rugfl-Haus in Oldenburg. He lives and works in Poznan.

Valerie Kolakis
From January 17th 2003 to February 22nd 2003
Between T(here)

This installation is an exploration of that which cannot be fixed in time nor space, and suggestive of that which “there” exists as “here” through a kind of turning onto itself. Between the two (there/here) exists a void. To go from one to the other is to pass over emptiness. What unfolds has less to do with space, but rather with time, from a pleating of time itself.

This work is comprised of 50 000 pieces of individually etched glass. Physically and psychologically, this process is subtractive, repetitive and obsessive. The decontextualization of this material suggests an emptiness, a non-object, evoking a sense of disquieting strangeness.

Between each piece of glass and the floor is an emptiness, a shadow as dissolved light that regulates the sensation of the immaterial, non-space. A faint light traces all elements of the glass, binding the work together as a shimmering mass. The shadow created by the glass pieces exists in trangressive, continual dissolve, relating to the sequentiality of the fleeting and repetative qualities of time and space.

Vakérie Kolakis was born in Athens Greece. She obtained her Bachelor of Fine Arts from Concordia University in 1990. Her most recent exhibitions include "FIGURES of Absence" at Gallery Circa in 2001, and "Tension Mixte", at the Alternator Gallery in 2002. Upcoming events include an exhibition at Galerie la Centrale in 2003/2004, and a residency at La Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris made possible by the Canada Council for the Arts. Valérie lives and works in Montreal.

Aya Dorit Cypis
From March 7th 2003 to April 12th 2003
The Sound of Time

"The Sound of Time" is full in its silence. And where is this fullness? Carried within each of us, resonant in our bodies. History, myth, memory, fantasy, dream, family, desire. Stillness in movement.

The gallery is full yet bare. Two images, one still, the other in movement, and a mirror on the floor. The still image, a photograph transformed from newspaper copy, cutout more than two years ago. Palestinian men running upside down, a child crawling along a narrow path above them. A political image shifted to evoke a personal memory of mythological proportions. Whose memory? Whose history? The image in movement, a video projection of curtains caught in a fierce gale negotiating the containment of the window frame. Relentless in its physicality, body full in movement and motivation to be free. These curtains hang in a hotel room, Tel Aviv, Israel. The mirror, reflecting there where it is not, catches destabilized glances of everything present within the architectural space of the gallery. Glances seen only bythe present moving bodies. Moving bodies full with the sound of time.

Cypis' production is an ongoing investigation of the phenomenology of seeing, knowing and experiencing. She weaves representation through complexstrategies crossing photography, performance, installation, sculpture and social actions. The immersive environments created incorporate photographs, projected still and moving images, sound, video, raw materials and objects, mixing digital and analog technologies. Cypis employs these elements tocharge the given space into a place of active engagement where the viewer may experience their seeing, remembering, and knowing. A phenomenological "place" is excited, breaking through the surface of knowing, where one's interior experience mixes with one's direct experience of the social space. Here relationships can be recognized as simultaneously personal and social.

Dorit Cypis was born in Tel-Aviv, immigrated to Montreal as a youth and to the United States as a young adult. She holds degrees from the California Institute of the Arts; and the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design. Presently, she is studying towards a Masters in Conflict Resolution at Pepperdine University. She has taught and lectured on topics of aesthetics since 1983. Her work as an artist spans presentations at art centers and aesthetics applied to social contexts outside of arts instutions. Social actions have included interactions between artists and California Superior Courthouses to develop dialogues on the social and visual codes of the justice system, in The Visceral Viewer and the Court, (2000-02), and artists as models bridging survival and inspiration for homeless teenage youth in Kulture Klub, Minneapolis, (1992- present). Her work has been presented nationally and internationally including at the Whitney Museum of American Art; the Musée d'Art Contemporaine de Montreal; and the Musée des Beaux Arts in Brussels. This year she is developing projects for the Orange County Museum and Noga Galleryin Tel-Aviv.

Martin Désilets
From March 7th 2003 to April 12th 2003
Les agglomérations - cartes postales et petits formats

These “postcards and small formats” are taken from Les agglomérations, a body of work produced after recent visits to Lebanon. Its title conjures up the housing agglomerations that make up the cities and towns of the country; it also suggests the notion of a journey through these spaces and locations. At the same time, it describes the project in its form and substance — an accumulation of elements, disparate and eclectic fragments (photographic, painted, or assembled) that aggregate to form objects or heterogeneous “zones.” The whole is freely organized around a play of formal and semantic associations. One rule, however, is strictly observed, like a proscription: throughout the production of the project, and in its very construction, this agglomerative work categorically excludes the use of a particular formal element — the green line. This discreet restriction in the use of colour and form surreptitiously gives the work a political dimension.

Born in 1969, Martin Désilets holds a master's degree in visual arts from Université du Québec à Montréal. In his artistic practice, centred on the object and on the paint medium, various fragments coexist and accumulate in a play of exits and recontextualizations that recreate a syntax through which what is not said and not represented often takes at least as important a place as what seems given from the outset. He's been to Lebanon twice: in 2001, during an artist residence in Tripoli; and in 2002, when he presented a part of the Les agglomérations at Espace D in Beirut. His works have been shown in several solo exhibitions in Quebec: at Galerie des arts visuels de l'Université Laval (2002), at Occurrence gallery (2001), at the Centre d'exposition de Mont-Laurier (2000), and at Centre d'exposition CIRCA (1999). He has participated in various group exhibitions, mainly in Quebec, but also in Ontario and in Lebanon. He occasionally publishes in specialized journals.

March 25th 2003
Conférence «When Institutions Become Situations»

Vasif Kortun’s talk will pivot on the notion of place in regard to institutional and curatorial practice ; and the models of survival during times of populist politics.

12: 30pm– 1:30pm
Concordia University, Bourget Building, 1230 de Lamontagne(suite 107)

Vasif Kortun is the director of Istanbul's first contemporary art museum, Proje4L Istanbul Museum of Contemporary Art, and the director of Platform Garanti Contemporary Art Center, Istanbul, Turkey. Kortun was the chief curator and director of the Third Istanbul Biennial in 1992. Between 1994 and 1997, he worked as the founding director of the Museum of the Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College.His writing and interviews over the last three years include Mars, NU, Flash Art, Art Asia Pacific, Art Journal, New Art Examiner, Contemporary, Art Fan and other magazines, and contributions to exhibition catalogs such as the 48. Sao Paolo Biennial, 2nd Johannesburg Biennial, "Manifesta 2", 1999, 48. Venice Biennial, 6. Istanbul Biennial, "Zeitwenden", "Echolot" and many other exhibition catalogs. He was one of the curators for Fresh Cream: 10 Curators 100 Artists published by the Phaidon Press. He has also participated in two recent publications: Curator's Vade Mecum" Independent Curators International, NY; and Foci: Interviews with ten international Curators (ed. Carolee Thea). Kortun is the editor of an annual contemporary art magazine RG published in Turkish. In the last two years Kortun gave talks, participated conferences and ran workshops in Egypt, Denmark, Finland, France, Sweden, the United Kingdom, USA, Canada, the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Spain, Italy, Rumania, Bulgaria, and Russia. He has been a guest lecturer at the Academy of Fine Arts, Helsinki and Konstfack, University of Fine and Applied Arts, Stockholm.Kortun's exhibitions in 2000-01 included "Young Art in Ankara-3" an annual of survey in Ankara, Turkey,"Confessions of a Voyeur" at the Dulcinea Gallery in Istanbul, "Short Stories, (La Fabbrica del Vapore, Milano", (co-curator), "Becoming a Place", (Proje 4L, Istanbul); "Unlimited#4", De Appel Foundation, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, Look Again, (Proje4L, Istanbul), Projects in 2002 include "Nothing: Haluk Akakçe", (Platform, Istanbul), "Gift of Gab: Gabriel Lester", (Platform, Istanbul), "Burt Barr" (Platform, Istanbul), "Women Who Wear Wigs", (Proje 4L, Istanbul). Projects in 2003 are The Biennial of Córdoba, Argentina (co-curator); 2. Biennial of Ceramics (Albissola, Italy (co-curator), and "Mine Team" (Apex Art, New York).Kortun is on the Bush Global Advisory Committee of the Walker Art Center, and the International Foundation Manifesta board member. He is a member of the International Association of Curators of Contemporary Art, and a 2002 jury member for The Querini Stampalia Foundation-Furla for Art Prize, Venice.

© Page couverture l Book cover, Gestes d'artistes / Artists's Gestures, 2003.

From March 26th 2003 to May 23rd 2003
Lancements de la publication Gestes d'artistes

Editors : Marie Fraser, Marie-Josée Lafortune

Artists : Carl Bouchard, Martin Dufrasne, Rachel Echenberg, Raphaëlle de Groot, Massimo Guerrera, Devora Neumark

This publication accompanies the "Artists’ Gestures" exhibition curated by Marie Fraser and Marie-Josée Lafortune and organized by OPTICA, a contemporary art center, which was presented in Montreal from October 7th to 14th 2001 in conjunction with the “Saison du Québec à New York”. With text by Moukhtar Kocache, Director of Visual and Media Arts at the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, and interviews with artists in the exhibition, this catalogue furthers a reflection on the nature of gesture, interrogating its mobility, fragility, transience and motion toward the world. From the self to the other, the gesture travels between two spaces, from the private to the social.

MARCH 26, 2003, 5pm-7pm
Olivieri,Musée d’art Contemporain
185 Ste-Catherine Street West, Montréal

May 16, 2003, 7pm-9pm
Lower Manhattan Cultural Council
1, Wall Street Court, 2nd floor, New York

May 23, 2003, 7pm-9pm
LE LOBE centre de recherche, de production et diffusion en art actuel
114 rue Bossé, Chicoutimi

Artists Gestures, Optica, Montréal, 2003, 88p. ill. colour
ISBN 2-922085-08-2

Go to publications catalogue.

Corine Lemieux
From April 18th 2003 to May 24th 2003
Et glisser en cours de route

To move in a continuous motion, voluntary or not, on a surface or along another body, both parts maintaining contact. To improvise as we go, and wander through existence, with no predetermined destination. To project oneself forward, at every step, then take another, not minding where it lands.To develop a quality of attention for listening to the word that slips into the ear, delighting in the smile that slips across the lips, penetrating beyond surfaces with one's gaze, letting oneself be led by events, without fear. To lay down arms, cease trying to gain ground. To let power slip through our fingers, but not let judgment slip between us.

Sideslip. Losing control. To let oneself go and slip away, hand in hand. The world's slippage toward other forms inevitably begins with individual transformation and finds its true effects in our interactions, as they are embodied in our gestures and dialogue. To look into the present and take a sixtieth of a second's fragment, reflected by my camera's mirror, to reflect on my objectives, my intentions, and my desires. To reflect what is there, wherever I am. Thus accounting for a certain reality that sometimes escapes us. To collect a series of traces, day after day, as in a journal, to give back what in itself belongs to everybody. To take life in photographs as one takes life in hand.
Arrange a space to give oneself time.
Slipping to go from one form to another.

Corine Lemieux lives and works in Montreal. She has participated in several group events, including “Salon de l'Agglomérat,” presented at Clark gallery (Monreal) in 1999, and “Americas Remixed,” in Milan in 2002. Exhibitions include: “Le centre de la retouche,” at Skol (Monreal) in 1998; “Y fait rouge dans mon foyer,” at Clark gallery (Montreal) and at l'Œil de Poisson (Québec City) in 1999; and “Rencontre du troisième type,” at Espace Virtuel (Chicoutimi) in 2001, and at Galerie 101 (Ottawa) in 2002.

Adrienne Spier
From April 18th 2003 to May 24th 2003
Distribution Services

"Distribution Services" is the result of a year-long investigation into the refuse of a particular institution. The collection site, located in a former underground parking lot, consists of dumpsters grouped in a corner that are constantly filled and emptied of waste: mainlyinstitutional furniture and obsolete equipment. The resulting installation Consists of video, photographic and sculptural elements all derived from these unwanted objects.

Our understanding of institutional space comes easily. Citizens have spent many hours in schools and in the work place forming ideas about the order of the world. This order is reflected in the decor of institutions whose patterns have become as ingrained in societal consciousness as other less visible systems. Due to wear and changes in style,institutional furniture eventually becomes a storage problem and requires re-organization. In "Distribution Services", an attempt has been made to take part in the process of delaying and re-directing the storage concerns of the institution.

Adrienne Spier has exhibited in both group and solo exhibitions in Toronto, Guelph and Montreal. She currently lives in Montreal and is completing her Masters in Fine Art at Concordia University.

Johan Grimonprez
From September 6th 2003 to October 11th 2003
Dial H-I-S-T-O-R-Y

Mois de la photo à Montréal
"NOW. Images of present time"

General curator : Vincent Lavoie

Using an immense repertoire of images from television archives as well as his own videocassettes, which were shot in airports or aboard airplanes, Johan Grimonprez tells the story of a century of hijackings in a film that is simultaneously informed, sensational and humorous. With as much derision as lucidity, Grimonprez reminds us, and rightly so, that the media—which Margaret Thatcher described as the terrorist organisation’s “oxygen of publicity”—are the contemporary historiographers of historical oppressions.

Born in 1962 in Roeselare, Belgium. Lives and works in Ghent and New York. Johan Grimonprez is a graduate of the Academy of Fine Arts in Ghent, Belgium, and completed studies at the School of Visual Arts in New York, in the Whitney Museum Independent Study Program and at the Van Eyck Academy in Maastricht. Since the mid-1980s he has received numerous international grants and awards, and has been offered faculty positions in Paris and New York. He has completed a number of video projects such as Kobarweng, or Where is Your Helicopter? (1992), Dial H-I-S-T-O-R-Y (1997) and Lost Nation (1999), all presented at international film festivals, galleries, academies and museums. Dial H-I-S-T-O-R-Y was awarded the Golden Spire at the San Francisco Film Festival and the Director’s Choice Award at the Images Film Festival in Toronto. It has been broadcast on all major European television channels.

Mathieu Beauséjour
From September 6th 2003 to October 11th 2003
Flight Out of Time

Le mois de la photo à Montréal
"NOW. Images of present time"

General curator: Vincent Lavoie

Mathieu Beauséjour’s “semiotic terrorism,” in the tradition of Dada and Situationism, proceeds from a scholarly and subversive reading of the century’s cult movements and extreme ideals. It is in this sense a history lesson. Images put to unintended uses, adulterated sounds and found objects—whatever the materials used—always carry within them a historical tension and symbolic charge, as well as violence. Here a slow-motion sequence from Stanley Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange meets a remixed version of the Internationale.

Born in 1970 in Montreal, Quebec. A self-taught artist, Mathieu Beauséjour has been exhibiting his installations regularly since the mid-1990s. His projects Survival Virus de Survie (1991-1999) and Internationale Virologie Numismatique (ongoing since 1999) have been shown in various places throughout Canada and France. Beauséjour also does interventions and manoeuvres, and recently published a visual essay in Parachute (“Empire,” no. 110, 2003). He has received grants from the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec and from the Canada Council for the Arts. In addition to being a cultural worker with the Clark Gallery and the Regroupement des centres d’artistes autogérés du Québec, he is a utopian anarchist and a zoo keeper. He is represented by Galerie Joyce Yahouda in Montreal. He lives and works in Montréal.

© Programme l Program, 2003.

Mathieu Beauséjour, Rebecca Belmore, Daniel Olson
From September 30th 2003 to October 1st 2003
Art Forum Berlin : Illuminations

Curators: Marie Fraser, Marie-Josée Lafortune

These artists all work in tandem with reality using objects and situations whose banal appearance harbours momentous potentiality. In their way, they testify to a failing of the image and propose actions that correspond to precise cultural contexts, imbued with violence and poetry. In an international art fair, their critical sense becomes a real antidote to marketplace values.

September 30, 2003(4:00pm – 9:00pm)
Opening and action by Rebecca Belmore

For the eighth edition of the Berlin Art Forum, contemporary art centre OPTICA is hosting a program consisting of three curated exhibitions broaching experiences and images connected to specific cultural contexts. In a world where borders are fading away, local identities are gaining momentum. Each of the present exhibitions, held in the presence of the artists and curators, is testimony to that fact.

Mathieu Beauséjour develops his work from the point of view of “semiotic terrorism.” Systematically questioning the place and mode of dissemination, he subverts the materials and the concepts of power, alienation, and oppression, intervening as much in daily life as in the art system. Mathieu Beauséjour is represented by Joyce Yahouda Gallery in Montréal.

For the past ten years, in installations, site-specific works, and performance art pieces, Rebecca Belmore has been exploring issues of identity and place. Belmore's performances refer to her First Nations heritage — she is of Ojibwe origin — and show a desire to address current issues and immediate contexts. Rebecca Belmore is represented by Pari Nadimi Gallery in Toronto.

Daniel Olson is a multidisciplinary artist interested inbasic household objects that he playfully and audibly transforms, either for presentation in exhibitions or for use in performances. The domestic universe, the immediate environment, and the private and public dimension of people's lives are likely the most important aspects of his artistic practice in recent years.

Marie Fraser is an art historian and independent curator. Mostly realized for specific contexts, her curatorial projects have addressed notions of public and private places, urban and domestic lives.

Marie-Josée Lafortune is an artist and curator. She is the director of Optica, where she has been active since 1993 in disseminating and promoting the critical and publishing activities of the centre.

Karma Clarke Davis, Benny Nemerofsky Ramsay, Barbara Prokop
From October 2nd 2003 to October 3rd 2003
Art Forum Berlin : Exhilaration and Dysphoria

Curator : Annie Martin

A selection of videos by young Canadian artists currently living and working in Berlin. The artists share an engagement with the business of determining identities, false or “real,” and locate themselves at the convergence of high and low in new media culture.

For the eighth edition of the Berlin Art Forum, contemporary art centre OPTICA is hosting a program consisting of three curated exhibitions broaching experiences and images connected to specific cultural contexts. In a world where borders are fading away, local identities are gaining momentum. Each of the present exhibitions, held in the presence of the artists and curators, is testimony to that fact.

Karma Clarke-Davis was born in Trinidad and moved to Canada with her family at a young age. After attending Claude Watson School for the Arts, where she studied visual art, dance, drama and music, she completed a B.F.A. in studio art at Concordia University. Her work has been featured in numerous exhibitions in Canada, and in video festivals and biennials in Paris, London, Berlin and The Netherlands.

Benny Nemerofsky Ramsay is a Montreal-born media and visual artist based in Berlin, Germany and Toronto, Canada. His single-channel video works have been exhibited in festival and gallery settings across Canada, Europe and East Asia. His work has been awarded prizes at the WRO Media Art Biennale (Poland), the Oberhausen Kurzfilmtage and the Hamburg Short Film Festival.

Born in Austria, Barbara Prokop grew up in Vancouver and received her BFA in Studio Arts from Concordia University in Montréal, in 1998. She is now living and working in Berlin. Since 1997 her work has been presented in various group exhibitions in Canada and abroad. Prokop's recent work upturns documentary expectations and places the audience on the spot for their complicity in stereotyping contemporary culture.

Annie Martin is an artist whose work traverses installation, sound, textiles, and video. She has engaged in several curatorial projects in Canada, and her writing on art has been published in Parachute, Women and Performance and Mix Magazine, and in numerous artist's monographs.

David Altmejd, Pitseoslak Ashoona, Mindy Yan Miller
From October 4th 2003 to October 5th 2003
Art Forum Berlin : Licht

Curator : François Dion

This exhibition situates itself in the current international context of war-time conflict, understood in its darkest reality. The three works deal in contrasting manner with a “vital force” indissociable from the human spirit, a vitality perceived through a hyper-matter, the source of fascination. One's gaze and attention give over to light, the exacerbated revelation of a resurgence that generates a peaceful counter-event, a symptomatic “illumination,” a healthy intoxication.

For the eighth edition of the Berlin Art Forum, contemporary art centre OPTICA is hosting a program consisting of three curated exhibitions broaching experiences and images connected to specific cultural contexts. In a world where borders are fading away, local identities are gaining momentum. Each of the present exhibitions, held in the presence of the artists and curators, is testimony to that fact.

David Altmejd was born in Montreal and now lives in New York. His work is essentially of a sculptural nature, and demonstrates a fascination for setting humanity adrift in hyper-material fictional constructs. He has been invited to participate in the 8th Istanbul Biennial, in 2003.

Pitseolak Ashoona (1904-1983) was a renowned visual artist and an active member of the Cape Dorset community, the Mecca of Inuit printmaking. Bearing witness to life in the Great North, her works are part of important public and private collections.

Mindy Yan Miller lives in Montreal. A graduate from the Nova Scotia College of Art & Design, Halifax, she has exhibited widely in Canada. Her multidisciplinary work and her installations evoke the human desire to reach beyond one's physical and social constraints.

François Dion is a graduate in art history and works in Montreal. From 1998 to 2001, he was director of Gallery 101, in Ottawa. He is an independent curator and now heads the Artexte Information Centre. Currently, he is preparing an exhibition of photography for the Ottawa Art Gallery.

Ingrid Bachmann
From October 31st 2003 to December 13th 2003
Le sublime portatif (ou le sublime des unitaires)

This very material and somewhat practical exhibition explores the possibilities of containing the sublime in a more manageableform. The sublime often invokes the grand, the ethereal and generally involves leaving the cares of the material world behind. Certainly, you rarely think of laundry and the sublime at the same time.

This exhibition offers sublime experiences (and a few nasty ones),as well as practical and handy hints on encountering the sublime.

Ingrid Bachmann is an artist whose work spans a range of practices and media. She is interested in the complicated relationship between the material and virtual realms. This interest is expressed through a studio practice, writing, lecturing, and organizing events and exhibitions. She uses redundant, as well as new technologies, to create generative and interactive artworks, many of which are site-specific. She is presently Associate Professor in Studio Arts at Concordia University in Montreal, Quebec and is the co-editor of Material Matters, a critical anthology of essays that examines the relations of material to culture.

David Altmejd
From October 31st 2003 to December 13th 2003
Exposition solo

"...then I did the simplest thing in the world, I leaned down...and kissed him. And the world cracked open."
- Agnes de Mille, b. 1905-

David Altmejd was born in Montreal and now lives in New York.His work is essentially of a sculptural nature, and demonstrates a fascination for setting humanity adrift in hyper-material fictional constructs. His has recently participated in the 8th Istanbul Biennial.

© Page couverture l Book cover, Souffle, 2003.

December 13th 2003
Lancement de la publication Souffle


Artists : Rachel Echenberg, Mary Kunuk, Manon Labrecque, Heike Mutter, Cathy Sisler, Sandra Sterle

Breath, vertigo, and falling define distinguishing aesthetics of contemporary video. Showing the body in performance, telling of its vulnerability, imperilling it in an effort to reach irreconcilable thresholds accentuates the problems of balance evinced by slow motion, fast motion, and freeze-frames. Can we speak of strategies or convergences? The author muddles such tracks by dealing with performance and video not in terms of disciplines, but as an affinity between stories, fields of knowledge, and images — whether one lives in Amsterdam, Cologne, Montreal, or Igloolik.

Souffle, Optica, Montréal, 2003, 72p., ill. colour. Bilingual
ISBN 2- 922085-09-0

Go to publications catalogue.