I have the pleasure of once again being back in residence at Centre SAGAMIE, an artist-run centre specializing in supporting artists’ experimentation in digital print production.
The occasion that brings me there is Ghost Stories/ Histoires de fantômes/ Historias de Fantasmas, the second stage of a research & creation project that took place almost five years ago.
The brief capsule: In 2012, I visited Mexico for the first time. I was stationed in Real del Monte, a former mining community in the mountains, being one of a small group of participants in an interdisciplinary arts residence. My project saw me carrying out performative research, engaging principally in social transaction: spending time and taking time – to wander, listen, and discover. Personal exchanges and shared experiential encounters between people and a local landscape were the focal point of an extended and reflective investigation into the process of acclimatization: of how we come to understand a place, and feel some sense of “belonging” – of how “place” is indeed constructed. Through geopoetic meanderings, one-on-one encounters and performative collaborations, these explorations considered the many and varied ways of embodying transitional, liminal, “in-between” spaces (physical, emotional, and psychological).
While in residence, I studiously documented all aspects of my visit with the intention of developing an eventual series of images. I thought I would be depicting what I saw. But then I began capturing things that weren’t quite there. How to depict the imperceptible? Wishing to not name it specifically but instead to invoke via the residue of these encounters, these images will be the trace of a trace – the documentation of performative encounters now being mined to reveal this space between space, where what we see in front of our eyes might not tell the entire story, and where what we feel (beyond our five senses) might contain valuable information that our body imperceptibly receives.
…And so, with all this floating in the ether, working alongside technician extraordinaire Etienne Fortier (quite honestly, another collaborator in the creation process), over the next week I will play with fabrics, textures, and layers in an attempt to bring this vision to life as it moves toward the next manifestation: an exhibition of this performative work.