Mariane Bourcheix-Laporte, Anne-Marie Proulx (curators, editors, designers); Donna Akrey, Anne Bertrand, Claire Dumoulin, Julie Fournier Lévesque, Shane Krepakevich, Vanessa Kwan, Marc Laforest, Jean-François Prost, Jacinthe Robillard, Étienne Tremblay-Tardif (artists)
Chroniques lavalloises/Laval Chronicles

For some, Laval is a lived experience—the memory of childhood spent playing on avenues lined with identical houses, the pulsations of its everyday life marking a sense of belonging. For others, Laval is unfamiliar, barely known or imagined. It can sometimes appear as a shadow cast by the island of Montreal, which lies just to the south, where Laval is seen as a neighbour, known to exist but little more. One constructs an idea of what makes it tick, without really knowing. It can be an unavoidable segment on one’s path toward the Laurentians, or just the three metro stations that extend the orange line out of Montreal. For those further away, Laval is but a place on a map, a faraway city one only knows through pictures, stories, statistics. Ten artists have explored various urban, human, geographical, and historical aspects of the city of Laval. Their different perspectives are conveyed through a series of postcards to form these Laval Chronicles. Postcards usually illustrate and crystallize landscapes and monuments, thus marking time and place and contributing to the visual identity of a given location and of its community. In this project, they foreground simple stories, transient surroundings, ordinary dreams, and this suburb’s potentiality. With their references to lived experiences, on-site expeditions, historical research, and the projection of possibilities, these artists’ postcards offer a partial topography of the city while proposing speculative, imaginative, and imprecise conceptions of Laval.

Published by Palindromes and Verticale – centre d’artistes
ISBN: 978-0-9877539-1-5
20×15.5 cm, 46 cards plus 2 pp, Color, B&W laser, Loose postcards and 1 folded sheet of paper, wrapped in a large sheet of vellum, 2012
Edition of 148
CAD $30

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Laval Chronicles involved ten artists of different backgrounds in an exploration of the city of Laval. Some made works that reflect their intimate knowledge of the city, developed through growing up, living, or working in the city. Other artists’ investigations of historical and current issues were conducted from afar, or were inspired by exploratory trips to Laval. Together, their works offer different perspectives on the city. Donna Akrey (Hamilton) is a visual artist who looks at the incongruities and singularities of urban space. Anne Bertrand (Montreal) makes work that speculates on the possibilities of territorial explorations. Claire Dumoulin (Quebec City) develops narratives that examine relations between people, everyday objects and spaces. Julie Fournier Lévesque (Montreal) examines issues of language, constructions of identity and interpersonal communication. Shane Krepakevich (Montreal)’s practice, combining sculpture, print media and design, looks at the relations existing between the human body, spaces and systems. Vanessa Kwan (Vancouver)’s work is process-oriented, and site- or context-specific, and she has produced public artworks, object-based exhibitions and curatorial projects. Marc Laforest (Montreal) is an artist working primarily in photography and printmaking, who teaches visual art in a Laval high school. His practice is influenced by his work as a teacher and involves students in his process. Jean-François Prost / Adaptive Actions (Montreal) explores urban environments looking for ways to alter its structures and enhance the collective imagination. Jacinthe Robillard (Montreal), an artist who grew up in Laval, uses video and photography to broach the themes of identity and individuality. Étienne Tremblay-Tardif (Montreal)’s work is concerned with transportation, systems, and historical and contemporary urban design and development.

Palindromes is a publishing collective that facilitate the creation of artists’ books in which works appear as such, complete, as opposed to being shown fragmented in the form of documentation. With the belief that the distance existing between people generates a space that fosters creation, Palindromes wants to bring together the work of artists from different disciplines and milieus, so that these may connect, inform and complete one another. In the process of concretizing projects, the printed medium not only serves as a support, but also adopts a significant role in the creation of artists’ works and in their combination. Through the meeting of ideas and creative intents so as to allow for a reflection combining multiple voices, Palindromes aspires to build a creative chain, in which the one will influence the other, the former will incite the latter, and so on. From this will result a community of artists who, without necessarily working with each other, will nevertheless be influenced by one another. Amidst the pages and sheets where images and texts are laid out, Palindromes wants to leave open blank spaces, interstices in which viewers are invited to enter and speculate on your own terms. Laval Chronicles is Palindrome’s second curated artist’s book publishing project. Other projects include published individual artists’ books and curated exhibitions.

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