Residency of Rober Racine
(Chicoutimi, Quebec, Canada)
Since it was founded in 1983 to promote photography in Quebec's Saguenay-Lac Saint-Jean region, Galerie Séquence has striven to keep pace with new artistic practices that combine several mediums, including new technologies. In this vein, the gallery has shown the work of Hank Bull from Vancouver and Toronto's Michael Snow. Séquence's basic mission is to develop photographic and media arts in the Saguenay-Lac Saint Jean region, particularly in Chicoutimi, to support sustained thinking in these fields, and to measure their social and cultural impact. In order to encourage creation, production and distribution, the gallery's activities include organizing travelling exhibitions and publication projects, commissioning work, and promoting national and international exchanges. With their acquisition of a 12,000-square-foot building (spread over four floors) in downtown Chicoutimi, Séquence is currently working to launch the Centre multidisciplinaire en technologie de l'image (CMTI - Multidisciplinary Centre for Image Technology), equipped with tools for research and the development of new projects in the visual and media arts.
Jacques Perron © 2000 FDL
Born in 1956 in Montreal, where he still lives and works, Rober Racine is a musician, composer, dramatist, art critic, essayist, radio producer, performer, video maker, visual artist and novelist. The author of two novels, Le Mal de Vienne (L'Hexagone, 1992) and Là-bas, tous près (L'Hexagone, 1997), he has been at work for several years on a spatial rendering of the French dictionary (Le Petit Robert) and has used it as a point of departure for many of his works shown in museums, such as Le terrain du dictionnaire A/Z (1980); Les Pages-Miroirs (1980-1994); Les Phrases harmoniques (1980-1994). He participated in the Aperto section of the 1990 Venice Biennale, in the 1990 Sydney Biennale and in Documenta IX in 1992. The exhibition Les Pages-Miroirs, 1980-1995 was shown in 1995 at the Centre international d'art contemporain in Montreal and in 1996 at P3 Art & Environment in Tokyo. Among the publications on his work are Le dictionnaire, Éditions Parachute and Galerie René Blouin, Montreal, 1988, and Rober Racine, Les Pages-Miroirs, 1980-1995, CIAC - Centre international d'art contemporain de Montréal, Montreal, 1996 (texts by Louise Déry and Raymond Gervais).
Project funded by the FDL
It's not surprising that Rober Racine is pursuing this protean work of the "spatialization of writing" by creating a CD-ROM. With its browsing possibilities, the CD-ROM is an ideal form for playful exploration, wandering and dreaming. The artist speaks of this new piece, which has the working title Atlas des nouvelles constellations: des insectes aux étoiles (Atlas of New Constellations: From Insects to Stars), in his project notes: "Use image and sound in motion to show the work Les voiles de la lune (The Veils of the Moon), (1997-1999). Create a map of the 46 cities in 12 countries that possess moon rocks brought back by Apollo astronauts. On this new CD-ROM, each of the 46 lunar cities will emerge as a fictional character with its own dreams, language, speech, words, and with its own movements, identity and history. Each city will be a short chapter, a 'launching pad' for images, sounds, movements, voices, textures, and animal and plant life, interspersed with photographs, drawings, close-ups of manuscripts of my own works, video theatre and sound compositions."
This new creation will tie together all Racine's interests, combining his experiments with the dictionary, his work as a novelist and his fascination for voyages in space which, "along with insects," he says, "are my first source of inspiration as an artist and writer."