23 minutes

Sarah Wendt & Pascal Dufaux

Quelque part dans l’inachevé

Inspired by their shared studio practice, Sarah and Pascal are like DJs mixing sculpture, dance, music, and media arts into a collection of immersive visual and sound experiences. In this laboratory dedicated to process, strange characters play invented instruments and manipulate various constructed protean objects in trance-like rituals, transposing the viewers in a “pop-apocalyptic universe,” as Jean-Michel Quirion writes. Time becomes as tangible as honey dripping through an hourglass.

Production, artistic direction, music, performance, sculptures, costumes, colourization Sarah Wendt and Pascal Dufaux

Performance and creative collaboration Lucy Fandel

Video and editing Nina Vroemen

Lighting design Sophie Robert

Performances and outdoor shoots in The Tablelands, Gros Morne National Park, in Newfoundland Sarah Wendt and Pascal Dufaux

Other performances Dominique Pétrin and Bartleby the cat

Automated camera programming Guillaume Arseneault

Light robot programming Patrice Coulombe

Sound collaboration moon moon

With the support of Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec, Canada Council for the Arts, Recto-Verso, Musée du Centre de la Confédération, AXENÉO7, The Rooms, Parks Canada

Quelque part dans l’inachevé is a title and also a running theme in our ongoing creative practice and methodology. Borrowed from a work by the poet Rainer Maria Rilke, it evokes for us the creative potential of an unfinished thing: a partial sentence, a half-finished drawing, a technical glitch, or a failed performance. 

Previously presented as an exhibition at Axenéo7 in Gatineau and at Maison des Artistes in Winnipeg, and as a performance at the Confederation Centre Art Gallery, PEI, this new iteration for Tangente is presented in its most ambitious form yet, as a film, immersive installation, and series of performances.

The anchor of the work is the film The Mountain moves while my fingernails grow, in which creature-characters perform dreamlike kinaesthetic rituals in landscapes of barren rocks and sky. The film was shot in the immense geological formations of the Tablelands in Gros Morne National Park, NL. The title references the speed at which tectonic plates move, which, in turn, alludes to tectonic plate theory, proven in the park in the 1960s due to the geological singularities of the area.

In this installation version created for the context of a hybrid project at Tangente, the somewhere (quelque part) is also a Some-time. Time is mixed up, long ago past, present, and speculative future. Loose assemblages of gestures, protean objects, and looping media suggest possible new language systems. We appear as technician-characters, performing the soundtrack, making adjustments, mixing images and sounds. A rock-creature evolves slowly throughout the space, hinting at the evolution (inachevé) from solid to gesture. A collection of honey hourglasses record the passage of time.

Sarah Wendt is a Montréal-based multidisciplinary artist originally from Prince Edward Island. She graduated from MainDance in Vancouver and studied music at the University of Victoria. She has collaborated on numerous projects with, among others, Chloë Lum & Yannick Desranleau, Stéphane Gilot, Sophie Castonguay, Julie Favreau, Coral Short, and Lin Snelling. Her performance work has been presented at Galerie de l’UQAM; Galerie Hugues Charbonneau; l’Œil de Poisson, Québec City; Art in the Open, Charlottetown; Encuentro Hemispheric Institute for Performance and Politics; Anode Festival, Melbourne; OK Quoi!? Contemporary Arts Festival, Sackville (NB); and OFFTA festival d’arts vivants.

Pascal Dufaux, born in Marseille, France, is a visual and media artist based in Montréal. He studied stage design and visual arts at Concordia University and has carried out residencies at the Christoph Merian Foundation in Switzerland and the Finnish Artists’ Association. His work has been presented at venues across Canada, in Mexico and Europe, including exhibitions in Créteil, Maubeuge, Lille and Marseille, and festivals such as Mapping in Geneva, BIAN in Montréal, Lab30 in Augsburg, Germany, and Mois de la Photo in Montréal. Recently, his work has been shown at Carl Solway Gallery in Cincinnati, Galerie Bellemare et Lambert in Montréal, Confederation Centre Art Gallery in Charlottetown, Feature Art Fair in Toronto, Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics in Waterloo, ON, and Festival Images in Vevey, Switzerland.

Sarah and Pascal have been collaborating since 2015. Their projects include: Work of the dancer: a short term archival device, Flotilla-biennale of ARCA, Charlottetown; Mixing Ghosts, Symposium de Baie St. Paul, Kinetic Studio, Halifax, Verticale, Laval, QC; Strange moods and dissonant feelings, Mois Multi, Québec, Canadian Centre for Architecture, produced by Viva Art Action!, OFFTA festival d’arts vivants; and The mountains move while my fingernails grow at the Confederation Centre Art Gallery.

Nina Vroemen is a Montréal-based interdisciplinary artist working in video, dance, multimedia installations, and sonic experimentation. She seeks projects that quicken the heart and that engage in critical research, sensorial inquiry, and immersive fieldwork. Her current research is on queer ecology, real-life magic, communities of the circumpolar North (human and non-human), and the fraught legacy of uranium mining and the atomic age. Nina is a collaborator in two interdisciplinary, performance projects centred on the intersection of speculation, imagination, and ecological justice: HEaD: Hypercosmic Earth and Dirt, with Yukon-based artist Krista Davis, and Horizon Factory, with dancer and author Erin Hill.

Lucy Fandel is a dance artist and writer based in Tio’tia:ke/Montréal who grew up between Massachusetts and France. Often at the intersection of social, scientific, and artistic movements, her work has been presented at Montréal’s Nuit blanche, the Festival international du film ethnographique de Québec, and with the interdisciplinary collective Daughter Product at the Camden People’s Theatre in London (UK) and Centaur Theatre’s Wildside Festival. Her site-oriented practice grows through collaborations across disciplines and in ecologically minded residencies, including at the Ross Creek Centre for the Arts (Nova Scotia), PLAYA Summer Lake (Oregon), and the Centre d’Art Contemporani i Sostenibilitat (Spain).

An interdisciplinary trans artist carrying mixed ancestries, moon moon was born and raised among the Témiscouata region’s forests, lakes, and rivers. Currently living in Tio’tia:ke (Montréal), they have a background in visual arts and transitioned into cinema studies and film production and postproduction. At this time, they mainly work in sound and music production as well as colour correction. Their raw and vulnerable creative practice is highly influenced by their relationship to lands, relatives of all kinds, and community.