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© Page couverture l Book cover, Souffle, 2003.

Heike Mutter, Sandra Sterle
From September 7th 2001 to October 13th 2001

Curator : Nicole Gingras

"Breathing" brings together photographic and video works by Heike Mutter (Germany) and Sandra Sterle (The Netherlands). This duo exhibition focuses on time and its suspension. It leads to various experiences grounded in the body: floating, being about to fall or drown, resurfacing, holding one's breath, breathing in and out. These actions reveal numerous bodily states fluctuating between convulsion and rest, movement and stasis.

The notion of time and its momentary suspension is dealt with here in a dreamlike manner. It implies a performative dimension based on borderline experiences, some of which are relived by each artist. One could say it is a passing from one state to another rather than exorcism.

In their own way, both Heike Mutter and Sandra Sterle invite us to witness moments when the status of the image is wavering. Sterle's and Mutter's works are destabilising. They introduce us to very small things which, as they arise, can transform a stability whose precariousness we do not readily accept. Both speak of a present renewing itself before us.

Go to publications catalogue.

September 5th 2001, 7hPM.
Heike Mutter: Artist's talk
Goethe Institute
Norman McLaren Hall

September 6th 2001, 7hPM.
Sandra Sterle: presentation
GIV, Groupe Intervention Vidéo

OPTICA thanks the Royal Netherlands Embassy in Ottawa and Mr. Bram Buijze, First Secretary and Cultural Attaché. For Heike Mutter's transportation and accomodation, OPTICA thanks the Goethe Institut and its Director, Mr. Norbert Spitz, and Ms. Caroline Gagnon, Coordinator of the Cultural Program, for their logistic support and hospitality.

Sandra Sterle is a multidisciplinary artist (video, installation, net art, performances). Born in Croatia, she lives in Amsterdam, Netherlands. The artist draws from daily life rituals and explores places connected to childhood. She deals with various forms of uprooting while questioning her own affective attachment to images in her memory. Her work is regularly exhibited in Europe. In 1999 she was guest artist in residence at the Wexner Art Center, in Columbus, Ohio. She is in residency at Artslink, New York, throughout this year's fall.

Heike Mutter works with photography and video. Born in Munich, she lives in Cologne, Germany. This artist sometimes borrows from performance to embody different personae. Her work often takes the form of complex installations where troubled spaces or places are recreated. She also recycles fragments of educational films, edited in loop form, then projected or shown on a monitor. She has had solo and group exhibitions in Germany, Italy and Hungary. This is her first exhibition in Canada and America.

Nicole Gingras is a Montréal based writer and curator. Since 1983 she has curated several solo exhibitions (Raymonde April, Donigan Cumming, Jacques Perron, Cathy Sisler, Michèle Waquant), group shows ("The Tenuous Image", "The Absence of Photography"), as well as numerous film and video programs which have circulated across Canada and Europe. She is currently preparing an exhibition of Mario Côté's work for the Musée d'art de Joliette in January 2002, and a publication on the work of Manon Labrecque, upcoming this fall.

- Crevier, Lyne, «Résistant poétique», Ici, 27 septembre – 4 octobre 2001, p.46.
- Rochefort, Jean-Claude, «Apercevoir l’au-delà de près», Le Devoir, 29–30 septembre 2001, p.D13.
- «Fast Forward», Canadian Art, automne 2001, p.20.