Maryse Arseneault

The Work : Évangéline redit
The Subject : Art and Literature

Art and Literature

Over the decades, Moncton’s cultural community has seen the development of many great creative connections between visual artists and writers. This porosity between the two spheres of creation has been particularly apparent in visual artists who developed a writing practice in parallel to their artistic practice, like Guy Arsenault.

Poetry evenings and literary events enlivened gallery spaces and artists’ centres; visual artists worked with the book as a medium; others created book covers and illustrations to accompany the texts of literary collaborators.

Herménégilde Chiasson worked with Raymond Guy LeBlanc, for example, to create the poetry book Cri de terre (1972) and with Anne Lévesque on Les jongleries (1980). Text also directly infiltrated the practice of several visual artists, creating a significant link between Roméo Savoie, Ghislaine McLaughlin, Daniel Dugas, and Angèle Cormier, among others.

Raymond Guy LeBlanc, Cri de terre, Éditions d’Acadie (1972)

Évangéline redit

Évangéline redit preserves the textual and sonic traces of a group performance orchestrated by Maryse Arseneault and developed in collaboration with five people active in Moncton’s theatre and poetry circles: Monique Arseneault, Monica Bolduc, Paul Bossé, Marc Chamberlain and Céleste Godin. This performance, held at Galerie Sans Nom in the fall of 2018, brought together the five performers to read aloud excerpts from poems, stories, songs, and plays, making reference to the shared places which are a part of the collective imagination of Acadians living in Moncton. Read simultaneously at irregular intervals, the texts were rendered indistinguishable, merging together into a cacophony.

Évangéline redit (detail), 2018, prints on plexi panels, sound device and earphones

[...] the hypnotic rhythms sound like incantations [...] or Gregorian chants that echo the symbolic strength of Acadian oral traditions and speech.

The resulting permanent installation continuously streams the recording of this performed reading. The aural effect is singular: the hypnotic rhythms sound like incantations or Gregorian chants that echo the symbolic strength of Acadian oral traditions and speech. The sonic dimension of the work is rendered material by a set of texts printed on transparent Plexiglas panels that are superimposed, making it difficult to read the excerpts. A listening station gives the spectator an opportunity to experience a private moment of contemplation with the work and to relive the experience of the acoustic performance at Galerie Sans Nom, a key exhibition space in the history of contemporary art in Acadie. By creating a collaborative, interdisciplinary piece that uses multiple quotes taken from Acadian literary texts, both past and present, Arseneault’s work is an ode to the interrelationship between the visual and literary arts.

The artist would like to thank Paul Bossé, Monica Bolduc, Céleste Godin, Monique Arseneault, Marc Chamberlain and Xavier Richard for their contributions to the project.

She would also like to extend special thanks to the authors cited: Napoléon Landry, Herménégilde Chiasson, Joséphine Duguay, Martin Pitre, François-Moïse Lanteigne, Raymond-Guy LeBlanc, Jean-Marc Dugas, Marc Arseneau, Marc Poirier, Gérald Leblanc, Paul Bossé, Marie-Jo Thério, Guy Arsenault, Zéro Celcius, Zachary Richard, Les Hay Babies, Denis Richard et Georgette LeBlanc.

Évangéline redit (detail), 2018, prints on plexi panels, sound device and earphones

Maryse Arseneault

Maryse Arseneault has pursued a multidisciplinary practice since 2005. She creates interrelated works that explore, with poetry and sensitivity, questions that resonate with both the personal and the universal. These often-participatory works engage the viewer and call for critical contemplation. Her most recent work examines memory and emotion permeating objects and places, which she seeks to prompt through art.

Born in Moncton and living in Montreal, Arseneault completed a master’s degree in printmaking at Concordia University in 2015, after obtaining her Bachelor of Visual Arts from the Université de Moncton in 2006. Her work has been exhibited at venues including the Galerie d’art Louise-et-Reuben-Cohen, Galerie Sans Nom, Connexion Artist-Run Centre for Contemporary Art, Eastern Edge Gallery, and Galerie du Nouvel-Ontario. Arseneault’s work has also been included in numerous group exhibitions and in festivals such as Third Shift, RE:FLUX, and 7a*11d.