Derrière les portes with Laurent Vaillancourt

We wanted to know : how are the artists doing ?
During the worldwide pandemic, forced to stay home for everyone’s good, we wanted to check out on the artists and visit them – virtually – for a small chat about their practice, their current or past work, and their creativity during those times.
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First stop, we invite you in Laurent Vaillancourt‘s workshop in Hearst to talk about his practice, projects and inspiration these days. Discussion hosted by the GNO’s director Danielle Tremblay, streamed on FB live on Tuesday, May 19, 2020, at 4pm.
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Longtime friend of the GNO and flagship Franco-Ontarian artist, Laurent Vaillancourt has a mixed practice he showcases around the province and beyond, with projects such as “Cent bornes” and “World Tour in Ontario“.

He has exposed multiple times at the GNO, recently in “Mission Site” and during past editions of the FAAS – Fair of Alternative Arts of Sudbury.

 


May 10, 2020

i acknowledge that

  • i am still carrying the SHOCK experienced on March 10 when i learnt that i would have to vacate my unit
  • i am ANGRY at the Toronto Fire Chief and Chief Building
  • i feel a more specific and higher dosage of systemic and political oppression at the moment and it is hard to find the right line of holding individuals ACCOUNTABLE without blaming them
  • i am BURNING OUT
  • it is increasingly more difficulty to access joy or let it manifest
  • i am near unable to sit down with the wheels i love to true as they remind me that i do not have a job right now and that it would be unrealistic to expect to find one plus to be able to sustain it as a bicycle mechanics right now
  • i am slowly drowning in the sense that i won’t be able to come out of the unknowns i experience about my home and my job right now.
  • it is my RESPONSIBILITY to not let myself fall into the terror of erasure, to not internalize the oppression and to generate the entitlement to exist and have a safe home that i have never experienced anywhere
  • i feel GRATEFULNESS towards all my neighbors, my friends, my art supporters, journalist Laurie Monsebraaten, Josh Barndt and late musician and ODSP recipient Justin Haynes
  • art could help here, but i am not one to use art as therapy. of course my drawings help me cope with the situation and soften the experience and opens me to slices of beauty, but in the end, the slices will disappear if (my) art can’t cut into the systemic crap. 

i have written a draft of a letter to the Fire Chief. it is not ready to be sent yet and maybe it will be transformed into another action. if you want to participate in any way in this action, please send an email to claudesudbury at gmail dot com


May 7, 2020

recipe against internalizing oppression

accept that what you will write or draw will feel ugly

draw or write

for example, a repetition of “this is too much”

take one pen in left hand, one pen in right hand

close your eyes.

put marks on the paper as if making a very rough portrait of body locations that call your mind. these are usually areas of blocked energy. be as quick as possible with noticing changes from left to right. when you know what an area feels like, write it down with closed eyes. stop when you feel a slight release in your head.

turn the page of your notebook.

again, one pen in left, one pen in right hand.

alternatively draw lines that are all these possibilities in you that are blocked by your own judge or by new rules added or confusion or an overload of emotion. maybe you will know what narratives they tell. maybe not because the mind is too fast.

inevitably this will start shifting things and emotions will show up. e – motions will happen.

commit to feel that. this is what is behind the oppression.

it is extremely vulnerable life.

draw the lines that come out of that.

maybe extremely vulnerable big hands will suddenly show up.

draw them.

let the lines go up.

let them pierce 1% of your own trauma.

no need for more.

commit to the (minuscule) light when you see some near the lines.

stay for a fraction of a second.

let go.

let go.

feel the tiny bit of peace that comes.

rest.


April 30, 2020

this is the place i will loose at the latest on July 31st:

Monsebraaten_April 29, 2020

there are a lot of things that the article does not say.

i do not know how much longer i will sustain the task to generate fast thinking, grace and resilience to continue the political fight for this building while facing the dread of an unaffordable market and oppressive rules that accompany to our relocation.

needless to say that i have no time for bicycle wheels or for looking for a job and that when i open up to beauty, i end up in a blanket of trauma.

maybe i will edit this later. i admit.


April 2nd, 2020

i did not pay my rent yesterday, but i live in a live/work studio and my lease is a commercial lease and this puts me at risk. my landlords want us out on May 10, 2020 (see eviction letter posted previously). it is a long, convoluted, time- and hope-consuming story.

the landlady is here right now, in her office, contemplating the absence of rent cheques and probably inventing a new offensive although she is a senior landlady with a lot of health worries for her husband on her shoulders and who said in the past that we were her “family”. she was a bit like an unpredictable aunt to me. this is typical Toronto gentrification with landlords we thought were atypical.

residential evictions are suspended because of the pandemic at the moment, but we do not know if commercial evictions are too and how they usually take place.

would it be better in Sudbury?