SVP nourrir les animaux

Stefan St-Laurent

January - February 2021

At home residency
Virtual Zoom conference — March 11, 2021 at 5pm

In 2014, artist Stefan St-Laurent produced a body of work for an exhibition entitled S.v.p. nourrir les animaux (Please feed the animals), which was presented at AXENÉO7. His questions still persist: is it possible to intervene ethically in the animal world, without taking anything in return?

In 1973, British psychologist Richard D. Ryder coined the term “speciesism” to describe the widespread discrimination that is practiced by humans against other species; since that time, we have developed interesting expressions to describe our current relationship to the animal world: human supremacy, anthrocentrism, and human centralism. Some of us anthropomorphize animals to reestablish a bond with them; through this narcissistic game, we have lost sight of our own animality by projecting a host of human qualities onto animals. We train them to imitate us, and we move further away from them in this process. However, the best human-animal artistic collaborations are relational and are deeply rooted in reciprocal love and respect; exchange and freedom are an integral part of the creative process.

During his “at home” residency, St-Laurent will begin the design of an interdisciplinary work that incorporates diary entries, philosophy around animal ethics, performance, video, puppet art, and music.

Click here to RSVP to the free virtual conference.

The artist

Stefan St-Laurent, multidisciplinary artist and independent curator, was born in Moncton, New-Brunswick, and lives and works in Gatineau, Québec. He holds a Bachelor of Media Arts from Ryerson University in Toronto. His performance and video work has been presented in numerous galleries and institutions, including the Centre national de la photographie in Paris, Edsvik Konst och Kultur in Sollentuna (Sweden), YYZ in Toronto, Ottawa Art Gallery, Western Front in Vancouver, the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia in Halifax and the National Arts Centre in Ottawa. He has been a curator and programmer for a number of artistic organisations and festivals, including the Images Festival of Independent Film and Video, Lux Centre in London, the Cinémathèque Québécoise in Montréal, Festival international du cinéma francophone in Acadie in Moncton, and Pleasure Dome in Toronto. He was the guest curator for the Biennale d’art performatif de Rouyn-Noranda in 2008, and for the 28th and 29th Symposium international d’art contemporain de Baie-Saint-Paul in 2010 and 2011, in Quebec. From 2002 – 2011, he was Curator of Galerie SAW Gallery and from 2014 – 2019, Director of AXENÉO7 in Gatineau. He has been an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Visual Arts at Ottawa University since 2011.

S.v.p. nourrir les animaux, Stefan St-Laurent © 2017