eXcentrer - Espaces identitaires

Randa Maddah, Emilie Serri, Guillermo Trejo, Kim Waldron

8 September
18 October 2020


Curators : Marthe Carrier, Stéphanie Chabot, Emmanuelle Choquette et Émilie Granjon

Citizens of the world, who exactly are we? Are the mirages of globalization levelling, or even erasing, our cultural, social and political affiliations for the benefit of a planetary economy that has no regard for borders and states? What are our territories? What are the underground sources? For this exhibition, Espaces identitaires, the artists have drawn on these registers. They propose works that address, in an intimate way, these filiations.

Randa Maddah's video takes us to the Golan Heights, her native land (the artist now lives in France), which borders Israel, Syria, Jordan and Lebanon. In a slow ritual of everyday gestures - she sweeps and cleans the place, furnishes the space, adorns it - the artist reappropriates a ruined house, destroyed during the Israeli bombings that took place in 1967. By occupying this abandoned house, the artist stages mechanisms of resistance and reappropriation.

Born in Montreal to a Belgian mother and a Syrian father, Émilie Serri examines her filiation with Syria, a country she has known very little. The video installation Green Screen (R0G255B0) consists of a luminous screen, a suspended green screen. On one side of the screen, we hear the voice of her father recounting fragments of his native Syria, interspersed with a synthetic voice referring to tourist guides. On the other side, projected, we can read sentences gathered on the web, extracted from the daily life of Syrians living there. No images: only words and writings remain, examining a real or fantasized experience of a country that is hardly accessible today.

Guillermo Trejo, a Mexican artist living in Ottawa, offers us a work in which he draws the official line of his double identity: he brings together, in a single image, photographs taken from his two passports, the fronts of which he also reproduces, along with their serial numbers. For the series Protesta, of which he proposes here a new iteration, the artist extracts sentences from public and social media that he reinjects in the space of the gallery. In this way, he takes up the techniques of covering graffiti used by the Mexican government to mask the untimely display of flagrant dissent.

Kim Waldron's series Made in Québec, produced in China, presents the artist in a variety of work situations. She offers her time in recognition of the important Chinese contribution to the accessibility of consumer goods, from which the West largely benefits. Dressed in a gray lab coat, the artist can be seen cooking in a restaurant, delivering bottled water, making clothes and cleaning floors: these different performative contexts lead to reflections of a social or political nature.