Du August 05 2020 to September 27 2020

Le travail en soi / The work itself / El trabajo de uno

Maria Ezcurra

Little more than five months after the start of the forced shutdown, L’Imagier opens its doors to the public on August 15 with the exhibition Le travail en soi / The work itself / El trabajo de uno, curated by Nuria Carton de Grammont. If it’s true that the theme of the exhibition was defined long before the health crisis; however the issues raised by it are even more relevant today. By exploring the concept of work not only as an economic activity, but also in its socio-cultural dimensions, the artists tackle sensitive questions such as ways of increasing productivity, ecology, deterritorialization as well as the notions of identity and belonging that derive from these questions. At the core of this exhibition are the works of three women artists, Ifeoma U. Anyaeji (Nigerian), Maria Ezcurra (Latin American-Canadian) and Meera Margaret Singh (Indo-Canadian). Following their own migration experience, they unite their voices in the consideration of labour from a perspective of uprootedness. The curator, Nuria Carton de Grammont, sees the exhibition as a centre for geopolitical reflection. She explains: “[labour] represents a will to claim identity in its relationship to the construction of the territory in its geographic, as well as in its sensorial dimensions”. Also at the core of this proposal, there is a desire to direct a special kind of attention to the neoliberal production system and to rehabilitate the value of handmade work. In this perspective, Nuria Carton de Grammont underlines: “Beyond productivity and the capital it constitutes, work highlights space as an affirmation of practices, know-how and traditions”. Whether through the use of traditional West African weaving techniques (Anyaeji), the transformation of clothing (Ezcurra) or through the photography of immigrant farmers (Singh), the artists not only approach the work accomplished by oneself (as an individual); they also consider the social, cultural and political dimensions that modulate our relationship to the territory.

Le travail en soi / The work itself / El trabajo de uno