OPEN FIRE | FEU OUVERT by Marie-Claude Gendon
Marie-Claude Gendron

Image © Marie-Claude Gendron, 2018. Photo by Karine Locatelli.


Through a multidisciplinary approach in action art, visual arts and media arts, Marie-Claude Gendron attempts to identify the patterns of a community that is constantly actualizing itself in the public, private and intimate spheres. She considers the potential of the archive and of ruin through action and spatial settings that she sometimes presents as “tableaux vivants.” In the order of raw commemoration, her projects highlight the inevitable transformation of the existing. She is interested in the multiple possibilities of the book-object and the different forms of poetry in action.

Born in QuĂ©bec City, Marie-Claude Gendron is involved in the organization of self-managed performative events and participates in several residencies, exhibitions and events in Quebec, France, Brazil, Italy, Northern Ireland, Thailand, Mexico and Switzerland. His work has been the subject of solo and collective presentations at the Galerie de l’UQAM (MontrĂ©al, CAN), the Bangkok Art & Culture Centre (Bangkok,TH), the Museo de medicinal laboral (Real del Monte, MX), the Galerie des arts visuels (QuĂ©bec City, CAN) and as part of RIAP 2012 and 2014 (international performance art meetings, Le Lieu, QuĂ©bec City, CAN). She has won various prizes and creation grants, including the original initiative grant for the independent broadcast of PremiĂšre Ovation in 2012 and 2013, the FARE grant in 2014, support from SODEC in 2016 and travel and creation grants from CALQ in 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2019. Marie-Claude Gendron holds a Bachelor’s degree in Visual and Media Arts from UniversitĂ© Laval and a Master’s degree in Visual and Media Arts from UniversitĂ© du QuĂ©bec Ă  MontrĂ©al.

OPEN FIRE | FEU OUVERT by Marie-Claude Gendron

“Well, our age is one of those fires whose unbearable burning will undoubtedly reduce many works to ashes! But for those that remain, their metal will be intact […] One can no doubt wish, and I wish it too, for a softer flame, a respite, a stopover conducive to daydreaming.”

Albert Camus, The Artist and His Time (lecture), 1957.

OPEN FIRE | FEU OUVERT is a furtive, political, symbolic and poetic work conceptualized by Marie-Claude Gendron. Involving the artist and many members of the MontrĂ©al action art community, the group will feed a fire—daily, stealthily and anonymously—keeping the fire burning continuously over the course of the last two weeks of January. Up to 40 members of the community of fire keepers will be culled on invitation by the artist. Those who choose to participate in the project will receive a detailed map of the route to find the exact location of the fire. 

OPEN FIRE | FEU OUVERT is an attempt to revive the invisible link that unites us through the practice of action art. Confined, for the most part, to the home, Marie-Claude Gendron’s wish is to propose an outside simple manoeuvre that involves the participation of artists in whatever way is possible given their respective means and motivation. The resolution is to foster being together, even in an abstract and active way in the imagination.

With the participation of fire-keepers: Alexis Bellavance, Laurence Beaudoin-Morin, Catherine Bodmer, Caroline Boileau, janick burn, Sylvie Cotton, Anne Florentiny, Pierre Gauvin, Léo Gaudreault, Stéphane Gilot, stvn Girard, Katherine-Josée Gervais, k.g. Guttman, Michelle Lacombe, Frédérique Laliberté, arkadi lavoie lachapelle, Julie-Isabelle Laurin, Helena Martin Franco, Diyar Mayil, Rhonda Meier, François Morelli, Florencia Sosa Rey, François Rioux, Jacqueline Van De Geer, Stephanie Nuckle.

The closing event for OPEN FIRE | FEU OUVERT is a co-presentation with VIVA! Art Action.

© Marie-Claude Gendron, OPEN FIRE | FEU OUVERT, 2022. Photo Manoushka Larouche.

Performance Yellow

This fragrance opens us to the question, has the show started? It's winter, the theatre is colder than the street and the room is filled with people and all their winter smells: wet faux leather, down, too much shampoo, and beer breath. The atmosphere is a trickster. Am I late, am I early?

Top Notes

yellow mandarin, mimosa

Middle Notes

honey, chamomile, salt

Base Notes

narcissus, guaiac wood, piss, beer