Claudette Lemay






LA MONTAGNE (Mountain) | audio-video installation | 16 min in loop | 2005 | (extract)

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Images shot at the Banff Centre, Alberta (Canada). Art historian Nicole Gingras writes about the device used to shoot this video: "I draw attention to the camera movement, a vertical ravelling shot, in Claudette Lemay’s La montagne (2005). The work arises from a camera placed in a glass elevator shaft, recording the landscape seen from within the shaft, once an hour, in a vertical to and fro, for an entire day, from dawn to nightfall. The elevator is the “character” of this installation, its performing element. Here, Lemay forgoes her usual practice of integrating bodily movement in her tapes1in favour of a machine for recording time and documenting movement. In fact, the artist proposes another type of choreography. In the style of 1970s structural cinema, she uses the elevator as a shooting device. Its repeated coming and going producing a loop effect; a strange loop, certainly, but a loop nonetheless: the same landscape, though different, is changed by the light of day. The loop is a device for repetition or replay often used in current media art productions. A filming device, used in editing or in the work’s transmission, the loop, as a strategy of recollection, is video’s memory."

1As in the videos featuring a woman performing simple choreographed actions that are later dited to highlight their graphical qualities and hence become more abstract: Je ne bouge plus d’ici (2000), and Rentre chez toi 2 (2002).

Text: Nicole Gingras. 2008. « Des formes de mobilité », in Dix. 10 ans de création numérique. Directed by Marie-Ève Charron. Montreal : Perte de Signal. p. 49-57.

La montagne was presented at Galerie Donald Browne in Montréal (2006) and at Galerie sans nom in Monction (2007)