Edith Brunette: Faut-il se couper la langue?

Words, debates & videos

January 11 – February 9, 2013
Opening on Friday January 11, 5:30pm
Public conversation on February 8 at 6pm

Project Description

In Jacques Giraldeau’s 1970 documentary Faut-il se couper l’oreille? (Must we cut off our ears ?) there were artists, an architect, a designer, a woman who did not speak, and many cigarettes. There were Marxist references and radical discourse. Around Faut-il se couper l’oreille?, there was the political effervescence of 1968: nationalist impulses, linguistic debate, disobedience raised as principle. Artists invited themselves everywhere, spoke loudly, organised themselves, occupied and were pre-occupied.

At Skol in 2013 there will be artists, women who speak, men too, and tea of course. References to a printemps érable from which all the leaves have not yet fallen…radical discourse? Around Faut-il se couper la langue? (Must we cut out our tongues?), there will be the comfort of the institutionalized artworld: the sense of struggles won, the promise of possible careers, and the standardizing effect of grants. There will be artists betrayed by their own words, but above all, who will ask the question: How does our discourse define our rapport to the political – the way that we become engaged…or remain withdrawn.

In the gallery there will be an itineray: beginning with the research documents produced by Edith Brunette during a residency at the artist-run centre La Chambre Blanche, continuing with Giraldeau’s documentary and finishing with conversations with the artists Sophie Castonguay, Michelle Lacombe, Clément de Gaulejac, Hugo Nadeau, Mathieu Jacques, Steve Giasson et Andrée-Anne Dupuis-Bourret – to be seen live in the gallery or on video. At the end of this collective research, on February 8th these same artists will participate in a public conversation in the gallery, letting us find out if, in fact, they let their tongues be cut out.

Video documentation of the conversation on February 8th evening, by 99% Média: www.99media.org

Interpretive resources provided by the artist

1. Faut-il se couper l’oreille?. Documentary film by Jacques Giraldeau (NFB, 1970). On-line screening: www.onf.ca/film/faut_il_se_couper_loreille

2. Actions that Speak, edited by Michèle Thériault, with essays by Michèle Thériault, Sean Mills, Felicity Tayler, and Jean-Philippe Warren. Montreal, Leonard & Bina Ellen Gallery, 2012.

3. “Their strength doesn’t reside in their organization, but in their capacity for disorganization.” Richard Cloward and Frances Piven, Poor People’s Movements.

4. “When asked if she considers herself an activist artist, the young woman immediately said no, outright: ‘I would have liked to be, but no.’