Laure Bourgault

Exhibition resulting from the program Autorésidences

Autorésidences is a remote residency program created by the AXENÉO7 artist-run centre in the exceptional context of the COVID-19 pandemic to continue to support research and development of current art practices. offers an authentic[!] image of the Canadian scene to Canadians and inhabitants of foreign countries...

In 1970, the Federal Bureau of Statistics published the book Canada 1970, the thirty-ninth official review of the social, economic, and cultural situation and progress of the Canadian state.

The country, the people, the economy... the story tells of a great harmonious space, open to the world, where the promises of industry are helping to shape the land and bodies in their image; a country where the shelves of the supermarkets reach as of yet unequalled latitudes.

Recounted through aerial views and statistical tables, the country is depicted as an optimistic synthesis, the unified portrait of a territory where the diversity of life forms and the complexity of cultural expressions are simultaneously praised, highlighted, flattened, and denied.

Rooted in the glossy pages of the official publication, the exhibition canadas examines the images and texts used to put forward this modern vision of canadianness. In the exhibition, photographs and words are excerpted and then transformed through the medium of painting and poetic writing, in the hope that this repurposing might enable us to see them more clearly. That we may better understand the workings of this imperialist narrative and, perhaps, thwart them by replaying and reinterpreting them.

If this is about staging, can one speak of a theatre of the nation, fuelled by a federal rhetoric with aspirations of authenticity? Fifty years later, how can we interact with this complex heritage, of what remains of it and is still active today?

— Laure Bourgault

Laure Bourgault lives and works in Tiohtià:ke/Mooniyang/Montreal. Interested in the nodes linking the imaginary and the political, her artistic projects reactivate archival documents through performances, documentary films, installations and drawings. She holds a master's degree in art history from the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM) and has presented her work at L'Œil de poisson (Quebec City), Regart (Lévis), Arxiu Comarcal d'Urgell (Catalonia) and Justina M. Barnicke Gallery (Toronto). Since 2018, she co-edits Cigale, a bilingual publication of contemporary artists' writings.