Talk with Clara Painchaud, in collaboration with Le Conseil québécois LGBT and AlterHéros
As part of La Centrale's summer window display exhibition:
Running with the Argonauts
by Clara Painchaud

2020.08.08 - Talk : Clara Painchaud

Talk with Clara Painchaud, in collaboration with Le Conseil québécois LGBT and AlterHéros

Saturday, August 8, 2020 from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m

Watch the video of the talk

Summary of the talk:
Clara Painchaud holds a Bachelor of Visual and Media Arts from UQAM and are an emerging artist living in Montreal. They have received, in 2019, the EAVM / Arprim print production grant as well as a grant from the McAbee Foundation which was granted during the Parameters IX exhibition in 2020. In their installation practice, they favor the printed arts and ceramics and are interested in theory and politics related to gender. They explore in their work the tension between violence and gentleness.

Running with the Argonauts : Summer window display from July 31st to September 6th, 2020

Inspired by the essay The Argonauts by Maggie Nelson and Women Who Run With the Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estés, the artist wants to invent a non-essentializing mythology about gender, in which there is room for transformation and for queer identities.
In their work, Clara Painchaud created a porcelain and ceramics armory which symbolizes the need to exteriorize violence and the need to defend oneself, but also the disgust of tthe responsibilization of survivors to defend themselves.
Theseus' boat reference appears in their work, in parallel with the constantly changing identity. Throughout the long journey, all parts of the boat end up breaking and being changed, is it always the same boat in the end?

Too often it is the responsibility of survivors to take action to prevent an act of violence and this is unacceptable. It is also common to hear that people who have experienced violence are responsible for their healing and for their self-care by being calm, being posed without disturbing too much. Anger is not valued, and it is an aspect that is found in the work of Clara Painchaud, which celebrates these emotions.

However, the responsibility does not lie on survivors, if community organizations exist, it is in order to prevent survivors from having the responsibility of changing the system. These organizations receive a lot of testimonials, which can create desensitization, anger and burnouts.

Elsa Dorlin, with her philosophy of violence, sees violence as possibly necessary. We try to disarm the people who are the most victims of violence and we will consider their violent response to be even less legitimate than the ones they suffer from because the latter is institutionalized. As we have seen for the Black Lives Matter movement, institutional violence and the biases of white people make non-white people experience violence on a daily basis.

Violence can be reappropriated to create tools, weapons that can be empowering and can exist in the public space, as we saw during the wave of denunciations happening now in Quebec.

Map violence, to have the tools to protect yourself, speak out and break the silence. Alterhéros uses these principles with the web platform: Pose ta question, where you can read questions asked by LGBT people who have been victims of violence and Alterhéros' answers.
There is violence specific to LGBT communities, for example, forced coming out. In addition, LGBT people generally have a very difficult relationship with institutions, so the nearby social network is even more important. When someone threatens to use a sexual or gender orientation to make someone lose a network, it is incredibly violent. To transform a part of the identity that is essential to a person and to turn it into weapons against them, especially when that identity is not yet clear, is very violent.

Homosexual and queer identities in our society are often reduced to sexuality, to the sexual act, which has the consequence, especially in environments where people are not necessarily out, that the only things that give the impression to be close to their sexual identity, is intercourse. This can create a connection to identity that is fragile and a higher potential to experience sexual violence, as well as shame of their sexuality and internalized homophobia.

Experiencing violence can come with guilt because of the discourse on self-defense, so there is no legitimacy to experience anger, to experience trauma. Indeed, survivors may feel that they should have behaved differently and that they are responsible for their "care". Self-care is taken over by capitalist and neoliberalist principles of prevention, risk-management and victim blaming which give the impression to survivors of having to perform care and healing.

Also, access to therapy is difficult for people who have experienced sexual violence, and this institutional violence is blamed on survivors who must find therapy and must work to finance it, which are new layers of oppression of capitalism and classism.

In addition, the community environment that offers this type of service is exhausted
because it is produced for people who have experienced violence but also by people who have experienced violence. Once again, this weight is put on the survivors, because they are survivors who will offer services for little money, few resources and a lot of burnout. Without forgetting all the work to be done to help the services offered to the population to receive LGBT communities because those services are not equipped and there is a lot of prejudice.
These are system issues, not individual action issues: there isn't enough tea to heal people's traumas.

It can also be noted that only few people who have experienced violence report or prosecute, this is even more true among LGBT communities. This is understandable by the lack of trust in institutions and the lack of sense of legitimacy. Also sometimes people do not want to denounce when they come from a marginalized community because this could damage the reputation of their community and reinforce certain prejudices.

List of resources that can offer support to LGBTQ + survivors of sexual violence (Compiled by the Conseil québécois LGBT)

Support resource collaborative document in which you can add resources

Running with the Argonauts, Clara Painchaud : La Centrale's summer window display from July 31 to September 6, 2020
Running with the Argonauts is a space created by Clara Painchaud in order to celebrate the transformation. This work is a ritual work on internalized violence. The installation highlights traces of various ritual actions. These are traces of violence serving as catalysts for a transmutation: the passage between fragility and ferocity.

For more information:

Clara Painchaud
Clara Painchaud holds a Bachelor of Visual and Media Arts from UQAM and are an emerging artist living in Montreal. In their installation practice they favor the printed arts and ceramics and are interested in theory and policies related to gender. They explore in their work the tension between violence and gentleness.

The Conseil québécois LGBT (CQ-LGBT)
The Quebec LGBT Council is the central reference in Quebec for defending the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people from here. The LGBT Quebec Council seeks to consolidate the rights of LGBT people in Quebec, in addition to campaigning for the rights to be acquired, so that no one is left behind in the recognition of sexual and gender diversity.

For more information:

AlterHéros is an organization that works to foster the development of individuals in relation to their sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression and sexuality. Their digital platform Pose ta question ! provides free support to thousands of young Francophones online and constitutes a whole universe of positive and inclusive sexuality education, through a bank of more than 5,000 articles, and a fully-featured question-and-answer system entirely anonymous and confidential.

For more information :

La Centrale galerie Powerhouse
Since 1973, the Centrale galerie Powerhouse is an artist centre dedicated to the dissemination and development of multidisciplinary feminist practices. The centre is committed to supporting practices and artists that are not very visible in dominant cultural institutions, and this at various stages of their careers. The centre’s programming dialogues with feminisms and supports intersectionality and social justice.

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