EFUT’s Priemer Exhibition at UTAC

May 10, 2009 § 1 Comment

The French Club EFUT held its first ever art exhibition Francais sans Frontiere at the University of Toronto Art Centre. The show ran from 3rd.January, 2009 to the 31st. and focused on the theme of l’ expression francaise. The work which was from various student artists showcased their own stories of the French language and also carried within the background stings of their own culture and artistic expression.

Each corner of the Art Centre lounge was transformed into a tiny francophone world where the viewers were coaxed to take a journey through the artists’  eyes. While the work of all the students is worth noting I will be focusing on the following versions of “experience and expression.”

The video installation entitled Phonetics: Oh les beaux jours by Julia Abraham combined French and English language and the idea of communication being broken down into its component parts. While the protagonist moves her lips and speaks in English the viewers hear French dialogue. Julia claims that “when language is broken down and certain properties of language are disregarded, the idea of language remains.” After a while the video is successful in communicating with the viewers as the movements of the speakers lips finally seem to fall into sync with the spoken words.

Sara Berger’s Fil Rouge or The Red Thread is a collection of her personal moments and impressions which she then relates to from clips from French based films. The diptychs contains a set of cinematic episodes from a favourite movie along with an image from a moment from her life which Sara then links together to relate to the episode in the film. Such an outcome echoes the artist’s range of visual association with her “personal aesthetics and poetics.”

Golta Mohammadi brings out the theme of La femme liberee where she displays through a projector sexist dictionary entries which have been blamed for allowing stereotypes within the French language. She then ponders upon the question of the extent to which these terms have polluted the minds of French speaking citizens. The piece is also an expression on language and femininity and the push/pull of the two.

The large installation piece of the show is that entitled Serge Gainsbourg by Alex and Liz Daicos. The setting tries to work through the blurriness of love and lust and the clichés of the French as always imposing romance. In the background of a romantic scene replete with roses and champagne a drunken but honest voice utters “I want to fuck her.” The double meaning of lust and love is propagated by Serge Gainsbourg in his pop songs and brought to the forefront through this vehicle.

Graham Chamberlain, Dimitri Artmenko, and Courtney Kurysh were the other student artists contributing to the exhibition.

Rabia Ahmed

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