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Remi Belliveau

Moncton, NB
November 22, 2017

Rémi Belliveau is an Acadian multidisciplinary artist who works primarily with the artefacts and archives of his Acadian community. His recent projects include the culinary performance Passe-Pierre, presented at Art in the Open in Charlottetown, and the archive project A Seated Girl Wearing a Cloak, currently traveling with the Carte de Visite group show. From nine to five, he works as the co-director at Galerie Sans Nom in Moncton and has recently taught Acadian art history as a sessional instructor at l’Université de Moncton. His essay Deuxième Déportation is featured in Canadian Art’s current issue The Idea of History. He is also the artist-in-residence at Struts Gallery in Sackville until December 2.

1. Evangeline by Thomas Faed

The myth of Evangeline is a popular topic of discussion and debate in many Acadian circles because it’s essentially the ultimate Acadian cliché. Over the last year, I’ve been working on my own deconstruction of the myth through a long-term archiving project where I’ve set out to collect as many copies and reproductions of Thomas Faed’s Evangeline as possible. I’m constantly on the lookout for institutions that have these in their collections (most Maritime museums and galleries do) as well as antique shops and online auctions that have them for sale. I particularly obsess over finding colour postcards from the early 20th Century because I like their poor quality.

2. Self-publishing

In the last year, I’ve written two essays about Acadian art. This exercise has brought me to think about essay writing as an active component of my art practice, which is already rooted in historical research. I’m currently working on an artist publication (on Faed’s Evangeline) that blurs the line between scholarly journal and artist’s statement. Truth be told, I spent a month working on this sixteen-page pocket book and it’s been ready to print for weeks, but I can’t stop fussing over printer tests and paper samples.

3. Menuhin/LeBlanc

The project that I’m currently working on is about two violin players – one classical (Yehudi Menuhin) and one traditional Acadian (Eloi LeBLanc) – who played the same stage in my home village at different points in time. Researching this project has been a real thrill for me because very little has been assembled on the life and music of LeBlanc. Right now, information lies scattered between incomplete university archives, regional historical society quarterlies, former associates’ cigarette-perfumed apartments, and fading memories. I’m particularly excited about an encounter I had recently with LeBlanc’s former sound engineer who allowed me to scan his own handwritten sheet music of the fiddler’s original compositions. He also had a pencil draft of an unreleased album design.

4. Charles Ives

In discussing the Menuhin/LeBlanc project with friends, I’ve come across the music of composer Charles Ives and can’t stop listening. Of particular interest to me is his method of writing two completely different arrangements for two different sections of the orchestra. In attempting to play his music (which remained largely unperformed during his lifetime), scholars have opted for the method of using two conductors to guide musicians through the difficult task of playing one thing while hearing another close by. Central Park at Night and Symphony no. 4 are my favourite pieces by him so far.

5. Viens voir l'Acadie

Another cliché of Acadian culture, Donat Lacroix’s Viens voir l’Acadie has been on my mind as of late as a prospective basis for a project. So many things about this independent album and its title track fascinate me. Whether it’s the label that they invented for its release (Acadisco) or the handwritten note on the back of the LP (in Acadian French by a fishermen from Caraquet) or the exaggerated Salvation Army band arrangements (that remind me of Bob Dylan’s Rainy Day Women minus the psychedelia), this album will haunt me until I completely pick it apart.



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