The artist transforms the work on a weekly basis. Each time, the surface of the black puddle increases.
The puddle was almost invisible at the beginning of the process. By the end, it nearly encompasses the gallery’s entire floor space. The dancer occupies the gallery space in the same way as the static works that surround her.
Out of Grace
Born of a close collaboration between choreographer Lynda Gaudreau and the Leonard & Bina Ellen Art Gallery, Out of Grace is an experimental hybrid project at the boundaries of choreography and art exhibition that was presented over a nearly five-week period in the fall of 2010. Lynda Gaudreau brought together artists from the realms of dance and the visual arts to question the nature and relationships of performance and of curating exhibitions: What might an exhibition beginning with dance and ending in visual arts be? How does the exhibition space integrate the presence of the body over the course of a given day and throughout the duration of the project?
Five performers — Karina Iraola, Marilyne St-Sauveur, Émilie Morin, Amélie Bédard-Gagnon, and Anne Thériault — and an ensemble of apprentice performers infused each of the spaces of the Leonard & Bina Ellen Art Gallery of Montreal with a singular presence, while visual artists Yann Pocreau, Aude Moreau, Alexandre David, Chih-Chien Wang, and Jérôme Fortin reflected on the presentation of their works in the exhibition space over the five weeks of the project.
In November 2012, Lynda Gaudreau created an adaptation of Out of Grace for the permanent collection of the M Museum Leuven in Belgium. The project was elaborated within the context of an experimental laboratory together with arts students from the Académie royale des beaux-arts de Bruxelles. Le musée imaginaire (The Imaginary Museum) by André Malraux, published in 1947, served as point of departure for their critical reflection on history, contemporaneousness, and the idea of reproduction.
Out of Grace is first and foremost a collaborative work: lighting designers Alexandre Pilon-Guay in Montreal and Jan Maertens in Leuven, sound artist Alexandre St-Onge, composer Matteo Fargion, guest choreographer Marc Vanrunxt, and creative assistant Anne Thériault were the driving forces behind the project, allowing it to evolve in such a way that all of the collaborators could, in a sense, each “interpret” the work in their own individual manner.
[Translated from the French by Louise Ashcroft]
The project explores how one discipline “shifts” into another. Over a 28-day period, the exhibition’s (wall) space is gradually laid bare, while the dance (floor) space is given new life by means of the dancer’s movements.
The work, an immense screen that looks like a suspended tapestry, was made by assembling thousands of pierced food can lids by means of metal rings. The dancer’s and spectators’ spontaneous movements breathe life into the work.
This monumental object, which is partly a painting and partly a bench, blurs the boundaries between the subject and the object. The dancer plays both the role of the onlooker and that which is looked at.
Installation composed of spinning objects that create repetitive movements, as well as a programmed record-and-playback video system to document the installation in real time, at certain intervals. Visitors and dancers are invited to walk through the installation and twirl the objects. The space is cut and whipped by the objects, while the video projection presents live movements or footage recorded a few minutes earlier. Repetition blurs the notion of present and past.
Serving as reference points were the imaginary museum of André Malraux, as well as his discourse in homage to the French Resistance. The Leuven project highlighted the rapport between humanity and history, and, in broader terms, the role that art plays in world events. Both artist and spectator can change the course of history.
In Leuven, all of the performers created their individual imaginary museum, inserting it into the very process of creation in dialogue with the works of the collection.