February 5 - March 26, 2022

IMPORTANT PAPERS

Gabrielle Lajoie-Bergeron (Charlevoix, Canada )

Residency: December 10, 2021 - February 6, 2022

Part of Artist-in-Residence

IMPORTANT PAPERS IMPORTANT PAPERS  Gabrielle Lajoie-Bergeron, photo courtesy of the artist

In 2019, Gabrielle Lajoie-Bergeron found an 8.5" x 11" envelope with the stamp: "IMPORTANT PAPERS". She opened it months later and found photographs, drawings, and poetry of a Mexican woman born in 1923 who married an American citizen. The papers were part of the immigration process accompanied with text written by her daughter from 1975. She explains the painful experience of having been raised between two cultures. Lajoie-Bergeron felt deeply connected to her story. She began to connect with other stories of immigrant mothers settling in Ohio and Cleveland.

The project presents in an intimate way how, regardless of the time difference between the four stories, the process of changing countries, the stress of crossing the border and leaving everything behind is still relevant.

The artist writes, " Through this project, I explore the idea of having your life in an 8.5 x 11 paper envelope for years and I revisit the administrative codes of immigration. How to present the life of a mother which is deeply linked to these piles of papers? How to bring the human behind the rigid administrative process of immigration? At the end, it will not be a presentation of their life or mine, but an eclectic constellation of moments in life influenced by the administration of another country.’’

IMPORTANT PAPERS questions the notions of territory, belonging and identity. Geared towards disorientation, rootlessness and encounters, the project explores how can movement, shifting locations and the unknown characterize one’s identity – cultural, historical, political? What do we bring back and what is left behind when we leave? A person? A state of mind?

The project is supported in part by the Canada Council for the Arts (CCA) and the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec (CALQ).

About the Artist

Gabrielle Lajoie-Bergeron

Gabrielle Lajoie-Bergeron (she/her) is a French-Canadian multidisciplinary artist, curator, teacher and cultural worker living and working between Charlevoix, CA and Baltimore, USA. Lajoie-Bergeron holds a Master's in visual and media arts from UQÀM(2014) and was granted numerous international awards and grant (MSCA/ Grit Fund / Plein Sud / Canadian Council... go to artist page

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