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Le Plan déplié

Ce dessin in situ réalisé au crayon bleu inactinique, une couleur invisible à la reproduction en noir et blanc, fait référence au roman de Jean Échenoz, L’Occupation des sols. Un coin de rue de Paris est l’objet d’un drame invisible, c.-à-d. que l’unique et ultime image, qui témoigne du personnage principal du roman, est obstruée progressivement sous la construction d’un édifice moderne qui vient remplacer le bâtiment centenaire. Le mari prend ainsi possession d’un appartement qu’il croit exactement situé à l’étage où se trouverait ensevelie l’effigie du visage de sa femme alors qu’elle avait posé pour une publicité installée à cet endroit. Le plan millimétrique au mur fait référence à ce moment de transition entre la déconstruction et la construction de l’ancien et du nouveau, entre le passé et l’avenir et l’effacement d’un sépulcre dont la reproduction ne pourrait qu’en montrer une page blanche.

Axenéo7 art contemporain, Gatineau, hiver 2014

Bourse du Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec

The Unfolding Plan

"In the spirit of open-ended experimentation and artistic research promoted at the gallery, Demers invited a number of artists to respond to Echenoz's text and to the site itself. Josée Dubeau is the first artist to participate in a project that, ultimately, stages the act of reading, implicating each reader, both artists and viewers, in a performance that gives body to the meaning of the text."

"The site of the installation is visible from the street outside: four large windowpanes open onto a gallery that, apart from a simple table and chair, appears empty. That impression is not changed greatly when you gain access to the inside, until you adjust to your surroundings and notice a web of faint blue lines that crisscross the walls and obliquely skew the structure of the room and its perspectival space. Resting on the table is a copy of Echenoz's text, published by Les Éditions de minuit, its short length inviting a reading in one sitting, in full view of passersby."

"Dubeau's intervention offers a sensitive and economical reading of the text, matching both its emotional weight and its slightness of form. In Echenoz's tale, the last remaining image of Sylvie Fabre, deceased, is on a mural advertising perfume on the side of a building. Her widower and her son habitually visit the site to see her, until a new building in the adjacent lot goes up and, as it is constructed floor by floor, gradually covers the mural on which she appears. Dubeau has drawn her design directly on the wall in non-photo blue pencil, evoking not only the colour of the dress that Sylvie was wearing, but also her disappearance. A further disappearance is effected by the displacement of Dubeau's customary practice of geometric wooden sculptures by a more Platonic schema that sketches in the space's potential, even as the faint lines break against the uneven surface of the walls."

Excerpt from Michael Davidge's article - Akimblog March 11, 2014

Axenéo7 art contemporain, Gatineau, Winter 2014

Grant from the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec

Michael Davidge is an artist, writer, and independent curator who lives in Ottawa, Ontario. His writing on art and culture has appeared in Border Crossings, BlackFlash, and C Magazine, among other publications.