Saturday, April 22, 2017

To Not Be So Lonely

This post is about the performance Mariana Lafrance did at her vernissage on April 12 for her exhibition entitled To Not Be So Lonely at the Art gallery of Sudbury.
She used the two puppets that she had made earlier from cotton dyed with walnuts.  She set up a checkerboard for them to play with made from charcoal dust and flour and her grandmother's china.
During the performance Mariana manipulated the puppets to play the checker game with a pool cue, each taking turn.  She spoke for them, using a childish aggressive dialog in French and in English.

'What's your favourite colour?'
"C'est le noir"
'Black, you like black?  That's not a colour"
"Ce n'est pas une couleur?"
'Nope, not a colour.  Me, I like pink.  Purple too. Pink or purple.
Those are my favourite colours."
"Rose et mauve? Ça c'est des couleurs de fille."
'I can't wait to be a grown-up.'
'When I'm an adult, everyone will be nice to me."
 When kings were made, a cup was placed in a saucer and tea was poured.

"Do you want any sugar"
'Sure, I'll have some sugar'
"We don't have any sugar"
"What do I do with the history that belongs to me and to my family?"  asks the artist.
"Checkers is a war game."
As well as the assemblage left behind from the performance, Mariana's exhibition consists of 3 videos, 3 textile drawings and several photographs.  In every instance there is a duality or a feeling of twinning in the imagery.  Mariana also uses her hands very expressively in all 3 videos, giving them a sensuousness rare in this media.  The exhibition will be on view until May 14 2017.

She explained her ideas about Not Be So Lonely to the gathering who attended and I quote her below:
The intent of this exhibition is not about the loneliness of the individual but more about the process of opening up to people around you, both as a person and as a culture.  In the process of opening up, you find that the others around you are more similar to you than different, and you find that they are quite like yourself, like twins, in a basic and essential way.  You bring "you' to that other person, and that other person brings themselves to you. Once you've done this you start to see humanity as yourself and others,  mixed up and yet essentially the same.      Mariana Lafrance. 


  1. Great spirituality expressed here. Moving. Thanks.

  2. this seems to tie in so well with the current emphasis on mental wealth issues. Do you think the artist has intentionally done this

  3. playing in the deep

  4. Lynn Holland, do you mean mental health or mental wealth?

  5. i simply enjoyed the destruction of the clean lack and white grid.


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