Performance
M. Gros [Mr. Big] by Geneviève et Matthieu

Curated and presented by FADO in the context of the 7a*11d International Festival of Performance Art
In partnership with L’Ecart Lieu D’Art Actuel


Do you have a special relationship with your sculptures? What if they were the ones performing? How would they do it?

This installation-performance is inspired by the Canadian investigative technique called “Mr. Big,” which allows an undercover police officer to obtain a confession from a suspect of a serious, unsolved crime. Led by shape-shifting characters, living sculptures, dual weapons and a televisual soundscape, M. Gros [Mr. Big] tackles identity issues relating to surveillance, infiltration, idea theft and copying; but moves beyond classic investigative games with a narrative that pays special attention to a contemporary art ecosystem.

M. Gros [Mr. Big] takes many forms. A performative version was presented at La Chapelle Scènes Contemporaines (Montréal), Centre Wallonie-Bruxelles (Paris), La Capella (Barcelona); and has appeared as an installation-performance at Pierre-François Ouellette art contemporain (Montréal). In addition to being presented by FADO at the 7a*11d festival in Septeber, M. Gros [Mr. Big] will also be presented at la Biennale d’art performative de Rouyn-Noranda, Galerie d’art Louise-et-Reuben- Cohen (Moncton), Festival Actoral (Montréal, Usine C) and at the Théâtre du Trillium (Ottawa).


Reflection on M. Gros [Mr. Big] by Antoine Charbonneau-Demers

GenevieĚ€ve and Matthieu bring me into their studio. They take my coat and hang it up. Monsieur Gros and Monsieur Gros are in the checkroom with a coat hanger, a cotton candy machine and a rope-knife. There is no shortage of evidence, in fact, that’s all there is; everywhere, evidence that an artist’s life is violent.

Crime often comes from within. Geneviève speaks over Matthieu, then he reproaches her for expressing herself poorly. They lay themselves bare. They love each other, and above all, they say the same thing. Two big babies, one united family. M. Gros is a story of appetite, of thirst, of excess, but it is also the story of a duo of artists who emancipate themselves. The large painting, they knocked it down because it oppressed them so much.

Since I have known them, I feel like taking everything from them. Sometimes, alone at home, I imitate GenevieĚ€ve’s eloquence, I invoke Matthieu’s quiet strength. They are so big.

While they are discussing wiretapping, I record them. GenevieĚ€ve confides to me that she dreams of writing an investigative script, but that she is unable to do so. Immediately, I say to myself: I will write one for them. I infiltrate their workshop, I will be inspired by their characters, I will slip into their skin. Then they say, “We’ll find the copycat artist, and if we have to, we’ll look for him among the members.” They set me up. That’s the beginning of Operation Mister Big.

7a*11d International Festival of Performance Art
September 6–10, 2022

Artist
Geneviève et Matthieu

Canada
https://genevieveetmatthieu.bandcamp.com/

The duo Geneviève & Matthieu, from Rouyn-Noranda in Abitibi-Témiscamingue, started working in the late 1990s, blending visual art, performance, music and everyday life. Geneviève & Matthieu play on interdisciplinarity—happening, musical composition, performance art and installation—to create group performances and productions of social tableaux that are at times festive but always human.

Beginning in 2001, their discography includes five titles. Between the baroque, abstract expressionism and arte povera, their works have been presented over forty times in Québec, across Canada, the United States, France, Belgium and Spain. Actively involved in their community, Geneviève & Mathieu have been developing the artist-run centre Écart and the Biennale d’art performatif de Rouyn-Noranda for over 20 years.

The duo takes a critical look at past and current artistic movements: DIY culture, conceptual art and performance art. Through residencies, public dissemination and the experience of a body that bounces, transforms and blends into art, their works are constantly evolving. Propelled by the human spirit, their creative approach favours a living art that challenges usual modes of presentation through the change of the place, duration, and manner of exhibiting and performing.

Artist Orange

Just as a performance artist uses their body as their medium, this is a fragrance composed entirely of the orange tree: fruit, leaves, bark, roots, and flowers. Artist Orange performs itself.

Top Notes

neroli, blood orange

Middle Notes

fresh orange juice, petit grain

Base Notes

orange twig, orange seed