May 13th to 28th, 2022

If the exquisite corpse rings a bell, it is likely that your memory goes back to your first art history classes. It is a game conceived and initiated by a group of surrealist artists living in Paris in the 1920s. Among them were artists like André Breton, Jacques Prévert and Yves Tanguy, whose collective goal was to create an « art game » that would remain playful and non-competitive in order to enrich all participating artists with a sense of creative play and joy.

© Thom Sokoloski

For the final event of Le Labo’s fifteenth anniversary in May 2022, we decided to extend this idea to the media art by creating four groups consisting of four Labo’s member artists. Each group engaged in a creative game to reveal their « exquisite corpse » to themselves, then to the other three groups and vice versa. All then collaborated to create a unique work and/or a confluence of four different works in the manner of a collaboration, or collective assemblage.

To achieve this kind of meta-media collaboration, imagine the first four artists inspired to capture a snapshot who then give it to the second artists transforming it into a moving image, who in turn inspire the third artists to create a soundtrack, and then inspire the fourth and final artists to draw an abstraction of life… The whole thing ends with the four participants combining everything into a single expression of an « exquisite corpse »!

The association of the work of the 16 members could at first surprise – some being more associated with digital arts, others with photography or still others with short-films – but it is enough to a careful look to detect the multitude of points of proximity of their artistic language. Basing their collaboration on a common interest in the work of the instantaneous (they only had 48 hours), the sixteen artists offered us a relaxed glimpse of the post-covid.

This original experience of Le Labo’s members was at the crossroads of their eclectic talents, ideas and practices. Fifteen years later, the spirit of exploration of Toronto’s francophone artists is still alive and well!

Artists: Carolina Reis, Sophie Dusmeny, Denis Taman Bradette, Marc Audette, Ama Ouattara, Éveline Boudreau, Denis Leclerc, Marcel Grimard, Paul Walty, Samuel Choisy, Madi Piller, Marc Lemyre, Maria Legault, Murielle Jassinthe, Nelson Eduardo Vasquez, Jean-Christophe Foolchand

Thanks to Canadian Canadian Art Council and Heritage Canada