Sylvie Cotton


Sylvie Cotton is a multidisciplinary artist living and working in Montréal. She has studied literature, arts and museology. Her work, which includes installation/situation and performance, focuses on the relation between social and individual identities, and between public and private spheres. Her projects take place in the street or other public spaces, including galleries and festivals. Sylvie Cotton is also an author of narrative texts and critical articles and has written for esse Arts + Opinions, a Québec art magazine, among others.

Promenades by Sylvie Cotton

From February 19 to March 1, 2003, Montréal-based artist Sylvie Cotton will undertake a residency project as part of FADO’s on-going Public Spaces / Private Places series.

Promenades is a socio-artistic experiment featuring one-one meetings between the artist and selected participants, taking place between February 21–28, 2003. Participants will agree to spend between 3 to 8 hours with the artist, either in silence, or looking after the artist while she is temporarily blindfolded.


Sylvie Cotton, Art Action and Performance Artist, seeks participants to share with her (individually) in a day of either silence or blindness. Apart from maintaining a mutual respect for the moral and physical integrity of the other, each meeting will have only one condition: to be together in silence; or to be responsible for the temporarily blindfolded artist, or vice versa.

Each meeting will be unique. The activities that unfold will be decided in advance or as the day goes on according to an agreement reached by the artist and participant together in a preliminary telephone conversation.

The project will be documented by drawings made by the artist after each meeting. An evening bringing together all the participants will take place at the end of the project so that they can exchange their impressions of this socio-artistic experience based on trust, instinct and intuition, a divergence form our normal methods of communication, and also on chance.

Artist Talk: Sylvie Cotton & Kirsten Forkert
February 26, 2003
Women’s Art Resource Centre, 122-401 Richmond Street West, Toronto

© Sylvie Cotton, Promenades, 2003. Photo Paul Couillard.

Public Spaces / Private Places

Public Spaces / Private Places was a 3-year long international performance art series featuring 22 projects, created by 26 artists, from Canada, the US, Europe and Asia. The series explored the elements that turn neutral ‘space’ into meaningful ‘place’ through performances that examined the degrees of intimacy, connection and interaction that mark the dividing line between public and private. The series was particularly focused on performances created for intimate audiences. Some projects featured site-specific or installational environments that invited participants into a sensory or experiential journey. Others were process-oriented, involving public intervention, intimate gestures, or actions that were, by their nature, nearly invisible. Above all, the series explored the points where identity and geography intersect to generate meaning.

The series took place in Toronto in various locations, from 2000–2003, and was curated by Paul Couillard.

Walking and Getting Rid of Something by Kirsten Forkert
Promenades by Sylvie Cotton
The Rootless Man by Iwan Wijono
Disposition by Adina Bar-On

Talking to my Horse by Archer Pechawis
A Gathering for Her by Reona Brass
Mettachine (Sequence 1) by Louise McKissick
Feu de Joie by Randy & Berenicci
Open Surgery by Oreet Ashery & Svar Simpson
Remembrance Day by Johanna Householder
Disclosure by Undo
Meridian by Marilyn Arsem
One Stitch in Time by Devora Newmark

The Addmore Session by Istvan Kantor
spoken house by Otiose
Public Web by Tagny Duff
Numb/Hum: A Subterranean Metropolitan Opera by Christine Carson
Between Us by Jerzy Onuch
Ethel: Bloodline by Louise Liliefeldt
where do I go from here? by Stefanie Marshall
Urban Disco Trailer by Jinhan Ko
Evanescent Rumour by Tony Romano

Series Purple

An ode to FADO's history, Series Purple is composed of a collection of purple fragrance materials dating back to the Roman Empire. Dense, intense, and meandering, this fragrance tells us non-linear stories.

Top Notes

huckleberry, violet

Middle Notes

cassis, lilac, heliotrope

Base Notes

orris root, purple sage, labdanum