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Maryse Larivière, Under the Cave of Winds, 2017.
Film 16mm avec son, 4 minutes 3 secondes | 16mm film with sound, 4 minutes 3 secondes. Avec l'aimable permission de l'artiste | Courtesy of the artist

Maryse Larivière
From September 7th 2018 to October 20th 2018
Under the Cave of Winds

Opening, Friday, September 7, 2018 - 6PM

Family Saturdays: September 15 and October 20, 2018

In her poetry and in essays of an often fictionalized autobiographical nature, Maryse Larivière puts her own voice on the line by going beyond oppositions between affective lived experience and the symbolic construction of sexual difference. Under the guise of research in art history, Larivière also produces analyses of artistic practices of the 1970s-among them Joyce Wieland-that were contemporary with the emergence of women's writing in the literary field. The epistolary novel Orgazing, one component of her installation at OPTICA, Under the Cave of Winds, continues with her own practice of assembling referential fragments in a mix of stylistic modes (poetry, theory, autobiography). The action is set on Staffa Island, Scotland. From her cell at the top of Fingal’s Cave, the narrator writes letters to her lover, weaving an amorous discourse that places the auditory pleasures of language before recognition of one’s desire by the “other.” As readers, we adopt the role of the hypothetical—and apparently male—subject addressed by the author, while remaining a third party, outside the transference relationship. Yet the exhibition encourages transgressive gestures in the literary space by way of an intentionally inadequate “adaptation” of the book. Thus, a 16-mm film strings together narrative fragments drawn from a breakdown of this “source text.” The artist plays the figure of the captive author, though she avoids showing her face, while the craggy landscape and architecture of confinement make surreptitious appearances. Saturating the cinematic apparatus, the scene of the writing, and the space in which we are strolling, the sculptures act as hinges or pivots. Some have a dissimulative function, like the rock that hides the film projector and thus emits a single beam of light, while the back of the screen becomes a load-bearing structure for an absent parrot. Yet these apparently motionless markers also change shape during our visit. In the parallax, their configuration alludes at once to the translation process Larivière undertook in composing Orgazing (English not being her mother tongue) and to the fluid movements of the character’s psyche as she invents her own language, made up as much of words uttered as of air exhaled.

Author: Vincent Bonin

Vincent Bonin is a writer and curator. He lives in Montreal. He has recently published D’un discours qui ne serait pas du semblant/Actors, Networks, Theories, Dazibao, Leonard & Bina Ellen Art Gallery, Montreal.

Public reading of the book Orgazing at OPTICA, Friday, September 7 - 7PM

Maryse Larivière, Orgazing, Calgary, Untitled Art Society, 2017, 64p.
Epistolary novella, prose and poetry
Available at OPTICA, 20$.

PRESS RELEASE (pdf)




Maryse Larivière is a researcher, author, and artist. She lives in Montreal. She has exhibited at Walter Philips Gallery, The Banff Centre, AB, Oakville Galleries, and galerie Division, in Montreal.