It is a great pleasure to continue our FIAP2019 Artist Feature + Interview series with Montréal and Saint-Alphonse-Rodriguez based artist-author-composer(+), André Eric Letourneau. Letourneau has performed since the 1980's and truly enlivens multi-media within his performance practice. His upcoming work for Martinique's International Performance Art Festival (FIAP2019), Standard III, employs the notions of chance and social practice. In our interview discussion, Letourneau clarifies the term "transmedia artist" and expands on his call to participation performance, Standard III.
QUINN DUKES (QD): How long have you been presenting live performances?
ANDRÉ ERIC LÉTOURNEAU (AEC): Informally since I was at primary school doing experiments without knowing about this practice. Then, as an artist, I started early circa 1986 with unauthorized street actions.
QD: In my research about you, I see that you are referred to as a transmedia artist. What does that mean to you?
AEC: I could also say that I am an intermedia artist. These categories keep you freer than using "performance artist", which is a term mainly associated to visual arts. I am more from the conceptual art tradition, poetry and sound so I prefer to call my actions “art manoeuvers” or “actions.” That allows the inclusion of practices traditionally non-artistic in the work such as science, sociology or psychology. In many of my pieces, some of these things are somehow mixed together. So I am a transmedia artist, using different media and mediums. The first media is my presence though since the « home » of the presence is the body, it is also related to the tradition of performance art.
QD: Is there a fellow community of transmedia artists within your current community?
AEC: We call them ‘interdisciplinary artists” in Canada. I was involved in the Quebec national Quebec Regroupement pour les arts interdisciplinaires du Quebec (RAIQ) for a while. But now this term is used to describe mostly staged works within performative theatre, live experimental arts, etc.
QD: How did you become involved with FIAP?
AEC: Through Grace Exhibition Space in New York who connected me with Annabel and Henri. (FIAP festival co-curators).
QD: Have you experienced the performance community within Martinique before?
AEC: Not yet
QD: Do you foresee Martinique’s geography having an impact on your performance?
AEC: Absolutely, since my piece involves, among many other things, the production of space, geography, and psychogeography.
QD: When do you perform during the FIAP2019 festival? I will introduce the piece at a conference/performance at La librairie KAZABUL, 135 Rue Lamartine, Fort-de-France 97200, Martinique, on November 9th at 11am. On that day, I will also launch the anthology book that I edited with Michel Collet entitled, “Art performance, manœuvre, coefficients de visibilité” (Performance art, maneuver, visibility coefficients). This was released a few months ago by Les presses du reel.
QD: What can we expect from your upcoming performance, Standard III?
AEC: Standard III is an art/life work I started to do in 2001 and that will be completed in 2020. So this is one of the last stages of that big project.
Standard III, is a piece blurring art and daily life. People can contact me to be part of it by calling +33 766888093 or by writing to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. The meetings usually last a couple of hours and are held at a place chosen by the participants. They are private actions/meetings.
It is basically a non-spectacular piece without an audience. The people who are meeting me are part of it with me. Sometimes many weird events happen to us. Sometimes it is very subtle. This piece is composed a lot around chance operations and synchronicity and each meeting is different. We can never expect what will happen. I propose some instructions, always the same and then things happen in real life, while we walk and then when we keep a 3-minute silence at a location chosen by the participant.
ANDRÉ ERIC LÉTOURNEAU
André Éric Létourneau is a French Canadian media and transmedia artist, researcher, author, musician, composer, curator and professor based primarily in Montreal and Saint-Alponse-Rodriguez, Québec, Canada. He uses several pseudonyms, most notably Benjamin Muon and algojo)(algojo. His work has been associated with the development of performance art, radio art, process art, sound poetry and experimental music.Since the 1980s, Létourneau has presented intermedia works in international performance art festivals, galleries and museums such as the Walter Phillips Gallery at the Banff Centre (1992), The James H.W. Thompson Foundation in Bangkok (one of Thailand's National Museums directed under the Patronage of Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn, 2006) and at the Pointe-à-Callière Museum (as part of Les Escales Improbables in Montréal, 2007). In 2006, he was one of the artists selected to represent Canada at the XVth Biennale de Paris under a pseudonym. Since 2012, Létourneau has also contributed to the Biennale des Arts d'Afrique de l'est EASTAFAB-BURUNDI, the festival InterAzioni in Italy, the Steirischer Herbst (Graz, Austria), Festival Phénomena (Montréal), Grace Exhibition Space and The Emily Harvey Foundation (New York) among many others.
The second edition of the International of Performance Art (F.I.A.P) will be hosted in Martinique from November 5 to 12, 2019. This festival organized by Annabel Guérédrat & Henri Tauliaut from Artincidence will gather local artists from Martinique.
This festival dedicated solely to Art Performance invites performing artists, art critics, academics, international programmers, the Caribbean Basin, the United States, Canada, Central and South America, Europe and Asia, thus enabling the creation of a network between the artists and academics of Martinique.
The heart of the F.I.A.P. will be experienced as a performative act of one week composed as follow:
Performance Is Alive is a fiscally sponsored project of Fractured Atlas, a 501(c)(3) charity. Contributions made payable to Fractured Atlas for the purposes of Performance Is Alive are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law. DONATE TODAY!