Quand faire, c’est dire
August 30 to October 6
articule (262 Fairmount, O)
Artists: Brad Butler and Karen Mirza (GBR), Steven Cohen (ZAF), Chelsea Knight (USA)
Curator: Julie Tremble (QC)
Reflecting on notions of body, discourse and power, Quand faire, c’est dire brings together video works that develop each in its own way a gestural language in order to examine, question and denounce the domination of one body by another.
“Hold Your Ground” (2012) by Karen Mirza and Brad Butler proposes a semantics of demonstration. The video is part of the corpus The Museum of Non Participation which highlights the – often unconscious –participation of individuals and cultural institutions in systems of exploitation upon which the neo-liberal regime is based and sustained.
Steven Cohen’s performance work generally deals with issues surrounding Judaism, homosexuality, racism and ethnic identity. The videos “Chandelier” (2001) and “Maid in South Africa” (2005) address in complex ways the inequitable social organization in place in South Africa, and while denouncing it, the works also acknowledge the artist’s role within these systems.
Merging dance, theatre and film with certain social and political institutions, Chelsea Knight’s videos and installations are concerned with the performativity of language and the role it plays in the power dynamics of relationships. “The End of All Resistance” (2010) illustrates how our most intimate relationships and those deployed in military interrogations present parallel exercises of manipulation and domination.
Taking as its base the position that languages are tools used within personal and cultural contexts, Quand faire, c’est dire underlines certain fundamental principles of communication. These considerations seem particularly relevant in our political environment where mobility of bodies and information paradoxically leads to increased supervision and control over individuals by societal authorities.
Presented by articule