Les Bavardes [Small Talkers] II

Galerie d’art d’Outremont [Maison de la culture, Arrondissement Outremont]

Les Bavardes is a participatory exhibition that ran from April 7 to May 29, 2022, featuring diy bench-library furnitures where citizens were invited to explore the micro-narratives I’ve created on a range of autobiographical subjects around the question of the indicible; to place their own books in the exhibition space; and to take part in collaborative creative sessions in the gallery space (creating objects, zines, actions and video recordings).

Over 800 zines were created by citizens, and more than 400 remained in the exhibition space, in addition to my hundred or so small books. As I was on site during opening hours, hundreds of hours of chatting also took place.

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The approach adopted for this exhibition and for the chat methodology proposes situations that subvert the usual social roles and power relationships between artist and citizen, offering the hope of a life and everyday life that would be crossed by art.

Speech acts like a muscle. The more citizens are invited to speak out in public places, the more they are offered alternative spaces to find their own ways of expressing themselves, the more these citizens will develop a language and networks to talk about the public issues that affect them on a daily basis. Talking and discussing anything and everything, in the knowledge that it’s about “what’s not being said”, opens the way (and the voice) to a new way of speaking out.