The Artexte Unboxings

Discover the Artexte's collection here and on our Instagram from another perspective

Throughout 2021, Artexte will unveil a series of unboxing videos featuring members of our team, guest artists, curators, researchers. The Artexte Unboxings series will feature each invitee as they search through our shelves and choose a box, a file, a publication, or another item from our collection to unpack and reveal on video. The collection, which has been deprived of public interaction for almost a year, has asked to be activated!

Each member of our community has a unique relationship with our collection. This physical experience of searching through records, investigating a subject, a question, or person of interest, is unique to each researcher. The pandemic has —in addition to limiting our proximity to other people— reduced our access to print materials and has made searching within physical collections more complicated, restricted. Researcher treasure troves have also moved entirely to a virtual format, and by extension, the embodied experience of research is slowly being forgotten. (suggestion – remove this second reference to bodies?)  by our research bodies.

The spark of this idea came from a conversation I had with Dr. Johanne Sloan in late August. We talked about materiality, a subject she was immersed in for a class she was preparing — online, immaterially. We reflected on the haptic limitations caused by the public health circumstances and the constraints on how we navigate the world outside our homes, without our hands. This sensory deprivation, our longing for browsing through books and folders, can perhaps be mildly appeased by witnessing the manipulation of these objects. How could this be applied at Artexte? The Unboxings were born.

Artexte’s unboxing videos will reclaim the online phenomenon heavily associated with pure consumerism and bring it to the world of archival research, all while keeping the bonus extra-sensory effects afforded by A.S.M.R. (autonomous sensory meridian response). Discover our guests’ research interests and their unique ways of embodying the research process. And mostly, enjoy the sometimes-awkward nature of forced performance. And the limited range of our editing skills.

Mojeanne Behzadi


La Bibliothèque Fantastique of Antoine Lefebvre, 2009-2013 – Special collections 

Hi, Anabelle Chassé here, gallery and communications assistant at Artexte. On the occasion of the first unboxing of our new series The Artexte Unboxings, I have the pleasure to present you La Bibliothèque Fantastique (LBF) by artist-editor Antoine Lefebvre, presents itself as a conceptual meta-work and consists of close to 162 literary reappropriations and original creations by Lefebvre himself as well as 39 international contributing authors. Copied and multiplied, the publications of the LBF —which possess no International Standard Book Number (ISBN)— are more precisely perceived as ensemble forming an editorial assembly line, or a library made up of stories, artistic practices and the specific paths of the authors. It is then structured by the creative-thinking and editorial choices of Lefebvre, the artist. The materiality of La Bibliothèque Fantastique’s booklets borrows from the artist book and the fanzine traditions. This art work has been accompanying me daily as a case study for my academic research on the hybridity of the fanzine —simultaneously art work and document— as a whole in terms of being an institutionalized object.

Acquire LBF’s various fanzines, this meta-work conceived of as “an alternative way of conceiving art” by Lefebvre, by printing for free here


Enjoy your reading!

Anabelle Chassé


Sources :

  • Lefebvre, A. (2018). Artiste éditeur. Strandflat : Saint-Malo.
  • Lefebvre, A. (2016). Portrait of the Artist as a Publisher: Publishing as an Alternative Artistic Practice. Dans A. Gilbert (éd.), Publishing as an Artistic practice (p. 52-73). Berlin : Sternberg Press.


Discover the unboxing of La Bibliothèque Fantastique HERE on IGTV


410 – Marie-Anna Pajala – Artist file

Last November, when I began to immerse myself in the Artexte stacks for the first time since joining the team back in the haunting era of March 2020, I was curious to approach it laterally, through a method of chance inquiry. […] In starting a creative or research process, I often consult classic divination tools such as the poet Hafez’ Divān and the I Ching as well as more contemporary apparatuses, like the Magic 8-Ball and Brian Eno’s Oblique Strategies, as generative prompts. This natural instinct immediately had me see the opportunity to approach the Artexte collection as a monumental deck of possible discoveries. Giving myself some focus, I chose one section of the collection: the files on Canadian artists which are organized under the 410 code. I cut out the alphabet and picked the letters P, A and J at random which would determine the beginning of the last name of the artist I came to find: 410 – Pajala, Marie-Anne. Summoning this artist, who I did not know and who I was not able to locate since, has been full of gratifying mystery and revelation. Her file contained a single item: an 8 by 7 cm photocopied artist book full of surreal poetic musings dating back to 1997.

Mojeanne Behzadi

Read the full presentation HERE


Discover the unboxing of Marie-Anne Pajala’s artist file HERE on IGTV