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Authors: Sylvie Cotton, Nathalie de Blois

Artists: Sylvie Cotton, Nathalie de Blois

2013, 101 p., softcover
Black and white illustrations, 12.8 x 18.3 cm
Table of contents
Graphic design: Dominique Mousseau
Éditions les petits carnets
© Sylvie Cotton, Nathalie de Blois, Éditions les petits carnets, Galerie de l’UQAM
ISBN 978-2-922393-07-1
Publication only available at the Galerie de l’UQAM

An encounter between the work of author Nathalie de Blois and artist Sylvie Cotton led to this book, where each looks to portray the other through writing, the reprise of performances and drawing.

Sylvie Cotton and Nathalie de Blois have known each other for more than 10 years.

“I first saw Nathalie de Blois on a weekday. She was sitting at the bar at Laïka, having coffee. I was behind the counter. We then crossed paths at the launch of Centre Clark’s new space on de Gaspé in 2002. I spontaneously remember her determination and elegance. I know that she has a masters in museum studies. I do too. We became friends through work.” (Sylvie Cotton)

“I met Sylvie Cotton when she was working as an assistant cook in a Montréal restaurant. Some years later, she invited me to be a part of Poésie sur le frigo, an activity she organized in her home with a group of friends. I spent an afternoon alone in her house, composing a poem on her refrigerator that I eventually read to all of the participants at an evening event. We became friends.” (Nathalie de Blois)

From this friendship emerged the desire to work together on a literary project.

“Both as an author and curator, I’ve always had this reflex to broach an artist’s work as a vehicle for ideas whilst maintaining a critical distance from it, a semblance of objectivity. The works have generally served me as screens, even as bulwarks. But here, with Sylvie Cotton, we wanted to try something else. We sought to explore a process that would bring us as close as possible to her practice, in which she engages her own experience as she investigates the experience of the other. So, parallel to the work that lead me to portray her in writing, she worked on portraying me with drawings, through the retelling of shared moments, by reproducing my physical traits, the lines of my hand, my beauty spots, my birthmark. She made a list of my books and artworks and drew my hunting trophies, which I cherish. We agreed to a common flow, one toward the other, in a process of revealing and letting oneself be revealed.” (Nathalie de Blois)