Tresser des liens durables, phase I
A nomadic, interactive, participatory, and cumulative performance

I envision a path coiled onto itself. And it travels. With the uneven inscriptions of earth beaten and plants flattened by those who patiently traced it. While chatting. In silence. By playing, laughing. By remaking the world, by creating links. Hands interlock, eyes speak. Moments of eternity are always instantaneous. What is lasting? What does it mean to ?weave connections”? What is a lasting connection?
I imagine a long braided path. . . and its movable memory.

Tresser des Liens Durables was constructed from a series of interactive and cumulative performances in which I meet people of all ages, of all nationalities, professions, walks of life, and social strata. At first, encounters took place at targeted venues and events: at Jonquière’s Centre National d’Exposition during a cultural pick-nick on Mont Jacob; in front of La Centrale in Montreal during a street sale on St-Laurent boulevard; at Le Grave, in Victoriaville, during environmental festivities; at the pumpkin festival in Ripon; at Café de la Grave on the Magdalen Islands; and in the Laurentians, at the Centre d’exposition de Val-David , for Earth Day celebrations at LezArts loco also in Val-David, for sheep-shearing activities at Ferme de la Butte Magique during the journées de la culture, at Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg (Algonkin territory, Maniwaki) for a spirit-gathering at Chief William Commanda’s.

I invite people to sit facing me and, together, for a few minutes, each at one end, we braided several lengths of a symbolic Braid out of organic materials. They sometimes included other biodegradable materials, paradoxically emblematic of durability. Throughout the encounter, we discussed broader notions of lasting connections and of the conscious emergence of the enabling power of decision-making and action by the simple fact of having chosen to participate in this long human braid. While maintaining the utmost respect for each person’s limits and desire for anonymity, an audio-visual record was made of participants’ actions. Thus collected from one place to another, words spoken and actions undertaken accumulated in various documents that were projected on site, in a loop that grew longer with each new performance. This audiovisual presentation on a portable screen created a powerful bond by showing participants that they are part of a human chain in a project that has already generated encounters, unencumbered by barriers of any kind.

The braid gained meaning by travelling and the video gained depth with each screening, exploring new interpretations of the words connection, lasting, and their encounter.

Phase II of this project will include a partly transformable physical installation of the long braid reaching, at the time those lines are written, nearly 1 500 feet long.

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Photos: Joanne Cormier, Roxanne Arsenault, Julie Simoneau, Gilles Matte, Chloë Charce, Michel Depatie, and Nathalie Levasseur.

Vidéo publication