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Julie-Christine Fortier's work flirts with absence, with disappearance, but equally evokes the expectation of them. In her work, time is summoned up as uncertain, suspended. Fortier leaves the traces of such time in the pieces; sometimes derisory and sometimes marked by the history of cinema, or at least by the memory we might have of it. The video track Vanishing Point(2004), for example, shows us the artist digging a hole with a pick and shovel for almost an hour. This almost mechanical action - tunnel, escape, film scene, treasure hunter - takes part in its own fictionalization by obliging us to linger, to contemplate, and above all to await the response we suspect is absent. In the hope for a climax that never shows, Fortier gradually sinks into the hole she is digging and vanishes. As the artist writes: “in announcing their deliberately suspended and misleading character, the works become the measure of a time inexorably dissolving, giving form to a kind of melancholy emptiness.” If the action implicates the artist in her own disappearance in Vanishing Point, inDomaine quatre saisons (2006), time, nonetheless frozen in its photographing, implies the subject of the image's death, or at least its change. The possibilities are numerous, this suspension of time activates speculation and other possible images; it is only more agitated by the narrative soundtrack.90.1 FM (2007), a piece comprised of a car radio locked on 90.1 FM, works in this way too. Inextricably tied to a geographical location it either picks up a signal or doesn't. Its relocation thus changes the way the work is read, and at the same time, clouds the road to decoding it through the addition of possible narratives. Go West Young Man! may be a film about the Gold Rush, may be a tragic account of an RV accident, a chase follows, a road trip West, as many ideas as moments of time are brought together in the work. Here, history surely escapes us; we may have arrived too late.
Translated by PduB
The artist wishes to thank
the Canada Council for the Arts