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When In Doubt Assume the Most Dangerous Case immerses us in a world where sometimes contradictory atmospheres, like suspense, humour and appeasement, intertwine. The slow, calm narration guides us toward a fragmented and eventually tragic story that seems imprisoned in its own vicious circle. We sense a danger, but what is it? It is real or just our imagination?

The origins of this piece can be traced back to the town of Banff, Alberta. Surrounded by mountains, boreal forest, rivers and grizzlies, Théorêt-Groulx became interested in the psychology of humans when confronted by bears. After reading Stephen Herrero’s book Bear Attacks: Their Causes and Avoidance, the artist discovered how walking through bear country takes on a performative aspect; making constant noises, such as yodeling, guttural sounds, whistling, hand-clapping and banging pots and pans, is highly recommended. She also learned the story of a naturalist couple’s tragic encounter with a grizzly bear in BC’s Glacier National Park.

When In Doubt Assume the Most Dangerous Case combines excerpts of the couple’s gruesome story, some recommendations from Herrero’s book, and vocal performances inspired by the author’s suggestions. Through changes in tone, the artist has developed a fluid range of emotional states that are often more complex than language itself. This piece examines how fear and anxiety can blur our senses and thought processes, while also challenging the very notion of fear in other contexts where physical threats are nearly non-existent. 

Pascale Théorêt-Groulx works with video, sound, performance and installation to examine how human beings interact with their environment. Drawing from multiple spheres—science, philosophy, sociology and spirituality—her work attempts to grasp and define human nature. Originally from Gatineau, she obtained her BA, with a major in visual arts and a minor in graphic novels, from the Université du Québec en Outaouais (2010). In 2014, she completed her MFA at the Emily Carr University of Art and Design, for which she received the Joseph-Armand Bombardier Master’s Program Scholarship from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC). Théorêt-Groulx has been an artist in residence at the Banff Centre, in Alberta; at DAÏMON, in Gatineau; and at Pigment Sauvage, in Baltimore. She is currently a resident artist at the Darling Foundry. 

The artist would like to sincerely thank everyone who contributed to this project, namely Dustin Brons, Kara Ditte Hansen, Evelyn Donnelly, Nick Howe and Charlie Murray. 

Poste audio
  • Pascale Théorêt-Groulx
When In Doubt Assume the Most Dangerous Case





We invite you to download the sound piece on your smartphone or MP3 player to experiment it while walking. It is suggest to listen to it at nightfall.