Mutating bodies: Galerie de l’UQAM hosts the collective exhibition « Le septième pétale d’une tulipe-monstre »
Curator: Elise Anne LaPlante
Artists: Caroline Boileau, Mimi Haddam, Ikumagialiit, Daze Jefferies, Helena Martin Franco, Dominique Rey, Winnie Truong
Dates: November 3rd, 2023 – January 20th, 2024
Opening: Thursday November 2nd, 2023, 5:30 p.m.
October 31, 2023 — Le septième pétale d’une tulipe-monstre concludes its Canadian tour at Galerie de l’UQAM after being presented successively at Maison des artistes visuels francophones (Saint-Boniface, Manitoba) and Galerie d’art Louise-et-Reuben-Cohen (Université de Moncton, New Brunswick), each iteration including new articulations of the works and the relationships between them. Curated by UQAM graduate Elise Anne LaPlante, the exhibition focuses on the concept of the mutating body as an act of self-definition and emancipation as it unfolds in the practices of feminist and queer artists.
To perceive the different textures of the body is to open oneself to perspectives and experiences untainted by the mechanisms of domination and the primacy of reason, be it in an elephant-woman, or in the affect of body hair. This type of perception privileges somatic and sensory forms of knowledge. It stems, at least sometimes, from simply trusting oneself. Other times, it poses a challenge to our usual ways of thinking and of understanding reality. It is in this spirit that curator Elise Anne LaPlante invites us to partake in the works and words that come together in Le septième pétale d’une tulipe-monstre [the seventh petal of the tulip creature].
How does normativity and its many forms control our bodies? How might an exploration of the body’s imaginary uncover the potential contained in the tension between different transitional and circulatory states? Faced with these questions, we thus cannot deny ourselves women’s poetry, the fertile meanderings and connections of monstrous imaginaries far too long muffled. For they are essential to the free movement of breath between the skin and the organs, without and within, essential to the resolution of those tensions lodged deep in the archive of our bodies.
Concluding its journey in Montréal, this three-part exhibition project presents practices that make room for hybrid, ambiguous bodies, or that explore different possibilities through metamorphosis.
About the artists
Working from a feminist ethos, with a particular interest in health, be it private, public, social or political, Caroline Boileau creates often-hybrid artworks within a multidisciplinary practice encompassing installation, drawing, video, and performance. The hybrid body and the many representations of the body, particularly the female body, are recurrent themes in her research informed by art history, medical history, science and current events. Through a practice of dialogue with place, collections, objects, communities and people, her work seeks to uncover improbable cohabitations by catalyzing poetical and political transformation of shared spaces.
Mimi Haddam questions both the relationship between form and matter, and the porosity between the body and its environments. In her commitment to reclaiming one’s own legitimacy through body- and affect-informed writing, Mimi Haddam testifies to the power of action and transformation of sense-based experience on private and collective identities. Her projects seek out sensitive movements and invest in uncertain and porous spaces. Mimi Haddam is the author of Attendez de m’enterrer pour chanter (Le Noroît, 2023), Petite brindille de catastrophes (Éditions de la Tournure, 2017, expanded edition 2019), C’EST (Éditions Omri, 2018) and Il existe un palais de teintes et d’hyperboles (Édition Omri, 2018).
Ikumagialiit ᐃᑯᒪᒋᐊᓖᑦ (“those that need fire”) is a quartet performance art band with Laakkuluk Williamson Bathory, Cris Derksen, Jamie Griffiths and Christine Tootoo. A dynamic group of feminists, Ikumagialiit is femme, butch, shaved, braided, music, light, voice and action; a combination of unique talents and life perspectives that are enigmatic and provocative. Turning towards the question of how to hold space for fear when pressure is mounting, Ikumagialiit takes on the metaphor of the bowhead whale, learning how to breathe in the depths and exploring Inuit practices of meditation and spiritual skill-building to make this journey.
Daze Jefferies is a white settler artist, writer, and educator born and raised in the Bay of Exploits on the northeast coast of rural Ktaqmkuk (Newfoundland). Working with archives, beach wash-up, queer ephemera, oral histories, sound, poetry, sculpture, theory, performance, and illustration, her research-based creative practice engages with ocean as a body becoming to form washy, wayward, and withheld counter-histories of queer, trans, and sex worker worlds at the water’s edge. What emerges from this speculative assemblage is a story of touch, drift, and transition that finds hope in the changing North Atlantic.
In her transdisciplinary practice, Helena Martin Franco explores the hybridization of many artistic approaches, traditional techniques, and new technologies. Helena creates autofictions that examine the porous boundaries between cultural, national, and gendered identities. Her projects speak to dialogue around sexist violence, immigration, and artistic censorship. In a feminist perspective, she forms ties between collectives and cultural organizations with the goal of encouraging encounters and exchanges between artistic practices, notably between Canada and Colombia. Helena was born in Colombia and has lived and worked in Tiohtiá:ke/Montréal since 1998.
Dominique Rey is a multidisciplinary artist whose recent work explores the ambiguous relationship between mother and child. She is specifically interested in unraveling the myriad transformations of early motherhood and the relentless balance/imbalance that is at stake. These performative images explore notions of presence and absence, attachment and desire, blurring the corporeal and psychic edges that link mother and child.
Winnie Truong is a Toronto artist working with drawing and collage to explore ideas of identity, feminism, and fantasy along with a digital art and animation practice that includes public art and community engagement. Her work provides the imaginary viewpoint of a feminist naturalist from another realm, one who undertakes their labour with great detail and care to depict the part- flora, part-creature figures by observing them in their natural environments devoid of the male presence or familiar social or biological guidelines. As these unashamed subjects shun the viewer’s gaze; they are given their own notions of agency, beauty, sensuality and purpose. These figures are seen contorted, frolicking, consuming, nurturing, conquering, and entangled in environments where you are unsure where limb ends and leaf begins.
About the curator
Elise Anne LaPlante is an independent curator, author, and cultural worker. She flourishes in the grey areas, intrigued and driven by the political possibilities of the poetic. Elise Anne explores affect and imaginaries while remaining acutely attentive to the dehierarchization of knowledge. Some of her recent exhibitions include Le murmure d’une empreinte (Arprim, Montréal, 2022, with Caroline Mauxion and Céline Huyghebaert), and Cultiver l’humilité | M8jagen piwihozw8gan (7th ORANGE triennial, Saint-Hyacinthe, 2022, with co-curator Véronique Leblanc). Her words have appeared in various publications and gallery texts, and in the magazines esse arts + opinions, Espace art actuel, and Vie des arts. Elise Anne holds an MA in art history and feminist studies from UQAM, and strives to develop and shape her thinking through writing and curating in a spirit of careful reconciliation between theory and practice. As an Acadienne currently based in Tiohtià:ke/Mooniyang/Montréal, her thought often travels between different spaces and times.
Meeting with the artists and curator
Friday, November 3, 2023, 5:30 – 7 p.m.
Participants: Caroline Boileau, Daze Jefferies, Helena Martin Franco, Elise Anne LaPlante, Dominique Rey, Winnie Truong
Galerie de l’UQAM
Plain and simple! Come take part in a series of encounters during which each artist will give a 5-minute presentation on their work. A question period and discussion, moderated by the curator, will follow the presentations.
Oath of malleability: Simultaneous Performances
Wednesday, November 8, 2023, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m.
Artists: Caroline Boileau, Mimi Haddam, Helena Martin Franco
With the illustrator Julie Delporte
Galerie de l’UQAM
The exhibition Le septième pétale d’une tulipe-monstre will be set in motion with two simultaneous performances, by artists Caroline Boileau and Helena Martin Franco, and a continuous poetry reading by Mimi Haddam. Unfolding over time both lengthy and alive, the artists will take on their monstrous forms, between gestation and inhabitation of their borrowed limbs. The public will be invited to live with and among them – elephant woman, frog woman, word woman – the states of hybrid bodies in perpetual weaving.
Finissage of the exhibition and publication launch
With La librairie L’Euguélionne
Saturday, January 20, 2024, 2 – 4 p.m.
To celebrate the finissage, Galerie de l’UQAM will launch a brand-new publication created in the wake of the exhibition Le septième pétale d’une tulipe-monstre. Adopting a hybrid form between exhibition catalog and poetry book, the publication brings together a poetic text co-written by curator Elise Anne LaPlante and artist and author Mimi Haddam, illustrated documentation of the performances by Julie Delporte, Chase Martin and Natalie Morin, as well as works and texts by the artists from each of the exhibition cycles.
The cultural mediators of Galerie de l’UQAM will be offering guided tours of the exhibition Le septième pétale d’une tulipe-monstre to groups and faculty members. Flexible and open to all school and community groups, the tours can be adapted to meet particular needs and to complement material covered in the classroom, if needed. These activities are offered free of charge, in French or English.
+ More information: galerie.uqam.ca/en/educational-program/on-site/
Cultural Mediation and Communications Coordinator, Galerie de l’UQAM
514 987-3000 ext. 20595
Address and Opening Hours
Galerie de l’UQAM
Judith-Jasmin Pavilion, Room J-R120
1400 Berri, corner of Sainte-Catherine East, Montréal
Tuesday – Saturday, noon – 6 p.m.
– 30 –
Press Relations and Special Events Division
Tel.: 514 987-3000, ext. 1707
Cell.: 514 895-0134