Maryse Goudreau

Aseman Sabet
  • Maryse Goudreau, Pour ceux qui ne les voient pas, 2015. Photo: courtesy of the artist
  • Maryse Goudreau, Rejouer la pouponnière (étude numéro 4528), 2018. Photo: courtesy of the artist
  • Maryse Goudreau, Pour ceux qui ne les voient pas, video still, 2015-2106. Photo: courtesy of the artist
  • Maryse Goudreau, Pour ceux qui ne les voient pas, video still, 2015-2106. Photo: courtesy of the artist
  • Maryse Goudreau, Pour ceux qui ne les voient pas, video still, 2015-2106. Photo: courtesy of the artist
  • Maryse Goudreau, Pour ceux qui ne les voient pas, installation view 2015-2106. Photo: courtesy of the artist
  • Maryse Goudreau, Pour ceux qui ne les voient pas, video still, 2015-2106. Photo: courtesy of the artist
  • Maryse Goudreau, Pour ceux qui ne les voient pas, installation view, 2015-2106. Photo: courtesy of the artist
  • Maryse Goudreau, Mise au monde, video still, 2016-2017. Photo: courtesy of the artist
  • Maryse Goudreau, Mise au monde, video still, 2016-2017. Photo: courtesy of the artist
  • Maryse Goudreau, Mise au monde, video still, 2016-2017. Photo: courtesy of the artist
  • Maryse Goudreau, Mise au monde, video still, 2016-2017. Photo: courtesy of the artist
  • Maryse Goudreau, Mise au monde, video still, 2016-2017. Photo: courtesy of the artist
  • Maryse Goudreau, Mise au monde, video still, 2016-2017. Photo: courtesy of the artist

Maryse Goudreau’s body of multidisciplinary work unfolds in the form of thematic archives, comprising works produced over several years. In this vein, since 2012, the artist has been developing Beluga Studies, a vast array of visual, textual, and performative documents dedicated to the social history of this marine mammal, whose echoes in the socio-political landscape reinforce its symbolic potential while awakening collective memory.

Installed in Baie-Comeau’s river terminal, For those who do not see them (2015–17) is a series of five marble sculptures — scale models of beluga dorsal fins based on photographs taken by researchers active in the St. Lawrence River. Completing the installation is a photograph of two people wearing what appears to be a beluga costume. The work was produced in the context of environmental grievances against exploratory drilling permits in the river near Cacouna, a known birthing site for beluga whales. The installation evokes the physical presence of this increasingly rare and vulnerable species, which, in public debate, has become a symbol of environmental struggle.

Among the numerous strands of Beluga Studies, the video essay Carrying One (2017) evinces the increasing significance of cinema in Goudreau’s practice. Beyond the key reference to the film Pour la suite du monde (1963), the artist’s hybrid approach is evident in the skilfully fragmented narrative that offers various perspectives on the birth of the beluga. Archival images succeed video footage from Anticosti Island to Russia, where the sale of beluga to aquariums — involving lengthy transportation in gruelling conditions for the animal — is still viable, although captive breeding is not. The marble dorsal fin, which also features in the film simulating the presence of the beluga, reveals in parallel how Goudreau arranges and recombines works on a single theme to generate new documentary configurations, which, without imposing specific viewpoints, project us into the animal’s experience.

Translated from the French by Louise Ashcroft

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