Sophie Jodoin
il faut qu’elle sache

Dominic Hardy
Arprim, Centre d’essai en art imprimé, Montréal, March 17 — April 22, 2017
jodoin_il faut qu'elle sache
Sophie Jodoin il faut qu’elle sache, detail, 2017.
Photo : © Éliane Excoffier, courtesy of the artist
Arprim, Centre d’essai en art imprimé, Montréal, March 17 — April 22, 2017
It would be insufficient to describe il faut qu’elle sache as a bookwork. On a long tabletop surface covered in paper, Sophie Jodoin presents eighty-four pages that she has carefully removed from a long-discarded French-language illustrated medical textbook. She has sanded the printed matter of the book, working away at the ink until all that remains of the text are excised phrases, placed at fleeting coordinates in each page’s surface area.

These sanded pages project a faint but insistent sculptural presence: worked at like marble, as matte tiles of absorbed light bearing glossy traces of the original paper coating, they remind us that Jodoin has shown a constant preoccupation with the surface properties of her materials. She leads us to apprehend even more closely our own effort in knowing: sound of breath, aching of step, halting again at each page (on foot, or in a wheelchair… there is no uniform or normative body presumed as Jodoin’s reader or viewer). Working away at the very experience of the book, she invites us to recognize and question the limits of its conventions.

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This article also appears in the issue 90 - Feminisms

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