Archipelago was built from rocks gathered over a stay of sixty-four days in the Magdalen Islands. Simple rocks, collected on a beach or a shore, strolling day after day. Quite naturally, the project slid into the programming of Songlines. The artist, Proulx, will take advantage of her presence on the Islands during the residency event to continue her collection. In preparation for an upcoming text, she will collect the impressions of the work of artists at work, writing material, like so many rocks slipped into the pocket.
AdMare’s exhibition space, “Colis suspect,” at the Islands’ airport
Rocks of different shapes, textures and sizes comprise Archipelago, a kind of mineralogical collection presented in photographic form. Giving the impression of geological specimens or celestial objects, the images cause a loss of scale and pose a complex relationship between proximity and distance. From the object devoid of context, one may be so close so as to not understand the size, or so far that one could picture it only in the imagination.
I believe in what I call the “archipélique” thought. Because it does not impose itself, it may be fragile, threatened, evasive, but it’s still a thought of wandering, a thought of movement and not a thought of imposition. It says the place is not contradictory with elsewhere, that our nature is not opposed to the relationship, as the poetic is not opposed to the political.
Archipelago suggests an individual reading of every specimen, even as it remains forever connected to the others and to the whole—a group of islands or ideas where one can be alone or travel from one to another. A metaphor for the territory and the community, the project evokes a universe in which individuals are inseparable from the collective, as the whole is inseparable from its components.
Giving the impression of appearing and disappearing, the specimens seem solid, but photography makes them elusive, almost vaporous. The stones, isolated and magnified, allow us to see their details, textures, marks, scars, or transparencies, which tell of the stories and natural forces that remain, however, imperceptible, at the surface of things.
The artist thanks the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec for their support.