Robin Arseneault
Paradoxe sur le comédien

Paradoxe sur le comédien is the title of an essay by Diderot, priginallu published in 1830, in which he debates the role of actors and how best they can convince an audience of an emotional expression. I used this title for a two-part exhibition and an artists’ book that occurred sequentially in partnering institutions. Paradoxe sur le comédien (Part II) consisted of a surprise performance staged for the opening reception with Conjoined-Twin Ringmasters in which they tried to sell the artists’ book to the audience. The images within it are brush and ink line drawings of Part I set as a coloring book that includes a sticker insert with historic names of circus freaks.
Paradoxe sur le comédien was designed by Erik Wong and printed by robstolk® in Amsterdam.

Self published
ISBN: 978-1894773313
8.25×11 inches, 88 pp, offset, perfectbound, 2007
Edition of 300
$15 CAD

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Robin Arseneault (born in 1975) received her MFA from the Edinburgh College of Art, Scotland (2005), and her BFA from the Alberta College of Art & Design, Canada (1998). She has completed a residency at the Banff Centre and been the recipient of several awards and grants from the Canada Council for the Arts, the Alberta Foundation for the Arts and Alberta Heritage. She was a recipient of the Lieutenant Governor of Alberta Emerging Artist Award in 2008 and a long list Nominee for the Sobey Art Award in 2007. Arseneault has exhibited internationally, including Canada, USA, Scotland, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands, and Iceland. In 2011, she completed a public sculpture commission, Hunting Blind, in conjunction with the Art Gallery of Alberta, and the Alberta Foundation for the Arts. Much of Arseneault’s work deals with the perception of folly, pathos and failure: the satirical attempt of self-actualization. Examining emotional expression and communication though theatrical endeavors, the end result teeters somewhere between what is humorous and that which humiliates. Her method of production and presentation reveals a certain economy in its making, with slight of hand gestures and often rudimentary design. Her choice of materials further carries out the precariousness and fragility found in her subject matter. Arseneault’s practice includes installation, sculpture and drawing. Arseneault is based in Calgary, Canada.

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