Reactivating the Archive: a conversation with Nicole Jolicoeur and Denis Lessard

une conversation

An event presented in the context of the exhibition Objects in mirror are closer than they appear

Reactivating the Archive
A conversation between Anne Ramsden, Nicole Jolicœur and Denis Lessard
Thursday, February 9, 2017, from 6 PM to 8 PM

In connection to Anne Ramsden’s current exhibition Objects in mirror are closer than they appear, we are pleased to present a conversation between artists Nicole Jolicoeur, Denis Lessard and Anne Ramsden. Jolicoeur and Lessard will each give a presentation about aspects of their work, which integrate archival materials. These presentations will be followed by a three-way discussion addressing issues arising from their use of archival materials as a basis for making art.


Nicole Jolicoeur lives in Montreal. Since 1980, her photographic and audiovideographic installations have been presented in numerous solo or group exhibitions in Canada, France, England, Mexico and the United States and have received many critical reviews. Her works are also part of several public collections. Her multidisciplinary practice has developed around issues relating to the decontextualisation, the poetization and the incarnation of the archival image.

Within the four walls of my studio, when the time comes to take risks, first and foremost, it is the charisma of the images, the significance they bear, the memory and knowledge that they hold, which gives way to my prudent looks and which are worth my gentleness.

– The concern of the archive image. N. Jolicoeur, 2016 [translation]


Denis Lessard is an artists and archiving consultant. Since 1982, he has been presenting performances and visual creations in Canada, the United-States, France and the Netherlands. He also works as an art critic, translator, guest curator and art history teacher. His interdisciplinary practice engages with issues around collection, masculine identity, spirituality and the relationship between literature, music and visual arts.

” To work with an archive is to dive into it to better know or recognize oneself there.
Thinking we want
to find one thing, whereas another finds us.
Above all, we must never suppress emotion, even when it takes us by surprise.
If we have one responsibility towards the archive, it is perhaps to keep alive the link to its origin, with the person or group, which is its source.”

– Denis Lessard, 14 January, 2017 [translation]



For more information on the exhibition

For more information on Anne Ramsden’s research residence

Published on January 20, 2017



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