Through short poetic texts that are both humorous and insightful, Quebec artist Annie Descôteaux speaks to her ever-evolving art practice and relationship with
the physical world, while also incisively critiquing the institution.
opens with three citations from women—Anne Truitt, Anni Albers
, and The Slits—resolutely setting the tone for this first book by visual artist Annie Descôteaux. Somewhere between confession and denial, rebellion and comedy, these brief poetic texts embody unabashed ecofeminist
meditations on the place of the artist within the institution, and indeed within everyday life. For Descôteaux, art is an inner experience inextricably tied to the secret lives of things themselves: "I (…) draw strength from the kingdom of objects / the kingdom of colours."
Through art-making, Descôteaux sets out to find the origins of feminine empowerment, and nature itself replies with bouquets of colour, particles of beauty, and alchemical paradoxes. She addresses the ivory tower of academia with elegance and levity: "I'll never have the Sculptor's ambition / Are my intentions too basic?" A quiet strength emerges from this exercise in vulnerability, one that Descôteaux takes on fully, and makes her own.
As Descôteaux herself puts it, "my goal was to candidly document the deep ambivalence I've felt since finishing my MFA. It's a collection of doubts and beliefs, but also the story of a long journey with pitfalls at every turn, where empowerment is only just off the path, somewhere in the bushes."
With Matières premières
, Annie Descôteaux succeeds in constructing a series of texts that lets us see and consider the world that lies "through the looking-glass", that is, just beyond the prism of disobedience inherent to the very art-making she practises.
Quebec artist Annie Descôteaux assembles found and handmade things. Bringing together conceptual intention and personal experience, She seeks to understand the physical world around her.