Reminiscent of the tableau vivant, Jacynthe Carrier’s work depicts performers in various situations planned out in pictorial terms, with a particular focus on composition, tonality, light, and texture. Documented through video and photography, these scenarios produce visual and sound elements that are used to create open-ended narratives, a kind of metaphorical epic, where fiction melds with the reality of the captured moment: in this case, wandering and forming the land.
PAYSAGE : faire le jour [LANDSCAPE: shaping the day] portrays an expedition through various kinds of terrain (glade, underbrush, rock quarry, lake) where, over the course of a day, a series of primary actions are performed prior to its occupation: surveying, clearing, gathering, planting, and drinking from the naturally available water. A certain solemnity transpires from the work, recalling earlier founding eras when these same tasks were carried out. Taken as they are, isolated from any concrete purpose, they gain poetic value and are thus similar to other gestures – tying, spinning, embroidering, twisting, sprinkling, piling – that seek to shape the environment, to recreate it by giving it new form. Developed in harmony with pre-existing elements –insects, colours, substances – these gestures come together in a respectful choreography, in symbiosis with the rhythms of nature.
The vastness of the land, impossible to grasp all at once, is addressed in PAYSAGE [LANDSCAPE], a four-screen panorama that reconstructs the experience of walking in the forest through the accumulation of video fragments gleaned during this excursion. To build the image of a place, to consider it as landscape, involves revealing it as a construction. Any attempt at representation will necessarily give only a partial perspective, underpinned by its opposite – its off-camera view – which remains invisible, but no less important. Here, sound provides presence; highly textured, it wakes the senses, sharpens our memory, and makes the images more tangible. By drawing our attention to what lies outside of the frame, sound creates links between each scene and restores the unity of the experience.
The idea of a journey across time and space is at the heart of this project, and is reflected here in the continuation of the exhibition in transitional areas designated for the circulation of visitors, who will discover photographs from this body of work as they move throughout the Museum. These images highlight the expedition’s milestones and the incessant quest to prepare for an unknown event: the coming of a new day, a potential metaphor for any beginning or renewal.
Through photography and video, Jacynthe Carrier explores the different relationships the body has with the environment and ways of conceptualizing and appropriating the land. She produces different types of interventions in the landscape, where bodies and objects are assembled and staged in performative situations. She holds an MA in Visual Arts from Concordia University, and she has taken part in several solo and group exhibitions (Fresnoy, La Manif d’art 2017, Centre CLARK, Galerie de l’UQAM, Gallery 44). Her work has also been presented at the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal and the Montréal Museum of Fine Arts, as well as in exhibitions in France, Canada, Mexico and the United States. She was selected in 2013 for Quebec’s preliminary list for the Sobey Prize, and was a recipient of the Prix Pierre-Ayot in 2012 and the Prix Videre Création in 2015. She lives and works in Québec City and is represented by Galerie Antoine Ertaskiran in Montréal.