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© Julie Lequin, Confabulatory Chronicles, 2012 -. Impression numérique| Digital print. 76,2 x 101,6 cm. Avec l’aimable permission de l’artiste | Courtesy of the artist. Photo: Paul Litherland

Julie Lequin
From November 15th 2014 to December 20th 2014

*Opening Saturday November 15 at 3 PM*
Julie Lequin brings a multitude of media into her practice, especially prominent are drawing, performance, video, sculpture, and installation. At once patched together and conceptual, her works incorporate the life experiences that have moulded her identity. Reproducing characters from scratch that inhabit her existence, Lequin uses humour and satire, but also draws on nostalgia to broach questions of identity and to look back at the places that have shaped her life. As a DIY (Do It Yourself) aficionado with kick for pop culture, she recreates her immediate environment by hand, documenting, archiving, altering, and enhancing it with each artistic intervention.

Hers is an intercultural practice articulated around interaction and exchange, a laboratory in which the artist negotiates her relationship with the world from a first-person point of view. Underlying the use of a foreign language that engages new identities, her works highlight the complexity of relationships between individuals in a globalized world. In the video installation Top 30 (2012), which alternates between French and English, augmenting the duality, Lequin films a backward journey through her birthdays in the various places she has lived. Excerpted for this presentation, the video is divided into yearly “chapters,” each featuring a different actress playing the artist. Sharing aspects of Lequin’s private life, each actress hums a tune that had marked the artist that year, the very dissimilarity of the women embodying the evolution of an identity.

For its part, the installation Confabulatory Chronicles (2012 – ) stages or, rather, boxes up the men—teachers, lovers—who’ve had an impact on her life. The platform, like a life-size diorama, allows her to accentuate and caricature certain of their traits. During a residency in Mexico City, Lequin learned local artisanal techniques based on papier-mâché, evinced in the piñatas used in the project. This methodology broadly expresses a process in her practice of absorbing and representing both various cultural codes and her daily observations. More universally, it testifies to the hybrid, porous, and constantly changing nature of identity as it makes contact with others and their universe.

Julie Alary Lavallée

Julie Alary Lavallée is communications and archives coordinator at OPTICA. She is also an author and is preparing her doctoral thesis on contemporary art from India.

Traduction : Ron Ross

Press release (pdf)

*School Workshop*
As part of OPTICA’s young audiences mediation program, Julie Lequin met up with 5th and 6th graders at Saint-Enfant-Jésus elementary school in the Mile End. Schoolchildren participating in the project visited the exhibition with the artist in attendance and explored the creative process through a workshop given at their school. The video works the students produced during the workshop will be projected at centre OPTICA’s new AGORA space.

*Schoolchildren Opening *
The students will exhibit their masterpieces at centre OPTICA's new AGORA space from December 10 to 20. The opening will take place on December 9 from 5 PM to 7 PM.

For more information on the Young audiences mediation program, please contact Marie-Laure Robitaille à mediation@optica.ca

The young audiences mediation program is supported by the ministère de la Culture et des Communications and the City of Montreal (as part of the Entente sur le développement culturel de Montréal), and the Caisse Desjardins du Mont-Royal, Caisse Desjardins de l'Est du Plateau, and Caisse Desjardins des Versants du mont Royal.

Entente sur le développement art3

A graduate from Concordia University and from the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California, Julie Lequin was awarded the 2014 FONCA studio-residency in Mexico City, in partnership with the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec. Her works have been shown at Centre Clark, Art in General in New York, and at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.