Josée Dubeau

Public art
Opening reception

On the occasion of AXENÉO7 summer opening on July, 6, 2022, the public will be able to climb the Mirador.

Josée Dubeau's Mirador is presented for by AXENÉO7 artist-run centre for the second year in a row as a continuity of its Public Art Summer Programming and the 2021 edition of City of Gatineau's Sentier culturel and is produced with the financial support of the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec and the Fonds de soutien à l'animation du centre-ville de Gatineau.

Josée Dubeau would like to thank F.O.L. Art Public Inc. for its generous contribution to the project.

As its name suggests, the work Mirador by the artist Josée Dubeau is a watchtower or observation post located in a place that multiplies openings. It is intentionally designed to be placed on the banks of Ruisseau de la Brasserie that contours Hull Island. The chosen site is not neutral: the history of this canalized fork of the Outaouais river goes back to the beginnings of the tumultuous relationship between Upper and Lower Canada. In the current context and in this place, the raised structure can trigger a sense of strangeness through the unusual presence of such a building: surveillance in military surroundings or in border regions.

In a subversive gesture, the tower is here welcomed on a vacation spot surrounding the backyard of La Filature, the building that houses AXENÉO7. Through its geographical position and its advantageous viewpoint, Mirador principally questions the relationship between us, citizens and the geo-historical-political context in which we live. It incites us to adopt a prospective vision regarding the development of the creek, the neighbourhood and its environment.

The question of how we divide our time and space according to patterns of technical compartmentalizations, leads Josée Dubeau's work to an interpretation of the notion of world-building. The utopia claimed by the progress of organizational structures stemming from it is thus distorted and transfigured through an appropriation of various forms of architectural nomenclatures. These then suggest the conception of a detached and aerial world, if not of a pragmatism liberated from its functions or from reality as a fantasized gesture. The latter becomes the substratum of a de-re-construction work that uses the language of architecture in a site-specific conceptualization process that brings to light this invisible relationship between symbolic linear forces and space. The installations thus offer a completely open immersion framework.

For its part, the work's golden ladder proposes an ascent that seeks to attain a state of suspension, of floating or detachment: a passage between two worlds, a space in and of itself, an uncertain border that subsists as an unexplained element where–let's hope so—we can calm conflicts and reconcile dualities.

Josée Dubeau, Mirador (2021). Simon Guibord

Josée Dubeau lives and works between Gatineau and Quebec City. The artist develops her practice in the context of residencies and exhibitions both in Quebec and abroad. International residencies include the Studio du Québec in Berlin at the Künstlerhaus Bethanien (Germany, 2004-2005), the Studio du Québec in Tokyo (Japan, 2009), the Finnish Artists Studio Foundation residency (Finland, 2018) and the Canada Council for the Arts London Studio at SPACE (England, 2011). She has taught drawing and sculpture at the University of Ottawa and the Université du Québec en Outaouais ( UQO, 2000-2010). For the past twenty years, she has been working on projects integrating art and architecture. Her work can be found in public collections in Switzerland, in Germany and in Canada, including at Ottawa Art Gallery (OAG), Ville de Montréal, Collection Prêt d'œuvres d'art (CPOA), and the art bank of the Musée national des Beaux-Arts du Québec (MNBAQ).