The Summit Meetings
The Summit Meetings ponders the underpinnings of our propensity for material attachment. By gathering and exhibiting objects that are recontextualized in a kind of limbo, Raphaëlle de Groot invites us to consider their value in a different way and to examine the human and cultural processes that document, create, and weigh the immaterial importance of things.
This exhibition will shift and evolve across its three venues: Southern Alberta Art Gallery (SAAG), Art Gallery of Windsor (AGW), and Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec (MNBAQ). The Summit Meetings is a large-scale installation that stages gatherings of objects from diverse sources and origins, presenting them as if they were the protagonists of an important gathering of world leaders. Composed mainly of items the artist collected herself as part of an artistic investigation called The Burden of Objects, the installation will also include elements borrowed from ethnographical, historical and community museums.
In 2009, Raphaëlle de Groot set in motion her long-term project, The Burden of Objects, inviting communities within Lethbridge to donate personal items that bear a certain 'weight' - to free themselves of these loaded objects and transfer their burden to her. For the next five years, de Groot's collection would grow as she travelled throughout Canada, the United States, Mexico, and Italy, using her objects to produce installations, performances, video, and photographs. Coming full circle, de Groot returns to SAAG, AGW, and MNBAQ where the intention of her collection evolves further. This exhibition serves as a summit where the items convene to contemplate their future. De Groot sees the project as a collection of events, which are captured best through performance. At each venue the performances allude to different phases in the summit - from inauguration to closure.
Raphaëlle de Groot presents her work actively in Canada and abroad. Some of her major collaborations include 8x5x363+1 (2002-2004) with the Cittadellarte-Fondazione Pistoletto (Biella, Italy), En exercise (2006) with the Galerie de l'UQAM (Montréal), and The Burden of Objects (2009) with SAAG. Her work was shown as part of the first Québec Triennial at Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal in 2008 and Candido was exhibited at the Festival cultural de Mayo in Guadalajara, 2012. In 2013, Raphaëlle de Groot carried out a performance during the opening days of the 55th Venice Biennale – the event was presented by the Galerie de l’UQAM and the Conseil des arts et des letters du Québec under the curatorship of Louise Déry. De Groot holds an MFA from the Université du Québec à Montréal (2006). She was awarded the Pierre-Ayot prize (2006), the Prix Graff (2011) and the Sobey Award (2012). Raphaëlle de Groot is represented by the Galerie Graff in Montréal and the Z2O Galleria - Sara Zanin in Rome.
This exhibition is organized in partnership by the Southern Alberta Art Gallery, Art Gallery of Windsor and Musée National des Beaux-Arts du Québec, supported by the Ministry of Culture and Communications of Québec, the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec, the Ontario Arts Councl, the Alberta Foundation for the Arts, the City of Windsor, the City of Lethbridge and the Canada Council for the Arts. Loans generously provided by AGW, Windsor Community Museum, MNBAQ, Musée de la civilisation, Galt Museum and Archives, Raphaëlle de Groot, Landriault-Paradis Collection and the Buchanan Bequest, City of Lethbridge.
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