Paryse Martin

Québec, Canada

My fabulist spaces

My "fabulist" spaces are answers to the riddle of the representation of the universe. First step towards the best of worlds; to find a representation of the world in which we live...

Reminding at once an ancient science museum and a chamber of wonders, my installation involves representations that oscillate between a credible fiction and a surreal reality. Like a freely floating promise, the clairvoyant revelations of my protagonists transfer themselves and specify the uncertainty without saying a word.

The classic illusionist construction is here manhandled by abrupt changes of time scale, as well as by the coexistence and the interweaving of the reversals of sense. Each element builds its specific links, joining together the cruel to the candour, the marvellous to the nightmare. The technical virtuosity pacifies the violence of my proposition.

My work consists of brief playlets My fabulist spaces are setting up small poetic chronicles. The latter evoke actions captured on the fly, grabbing a reality, an atmosphere. They stem from a suspension of time as well as from narration. Thus, I explore the narrative possibilities of a non-linear story, which landmarks are enigmatic and floating. My staging combines theatricality, likelihood and fiction. I'm not proposing any outcome to this story, but I set up actors, my work interfere with reality, to momentarily take part in our perception of the surrounding environment.. This narrative process solicits the visitor in that it will result in an arborescent proliferation of stories. These spaces are sensualist representations, dramatized and especially shifted, inhabited by hybrid, baroque and elegant protagonists.

Every time I'm back at work, I relentlessly rehabilitate my boldness through pleasure, my fantasy through freedom and my liveliness by the complexity of the creation, still hoping to produce a gap with the conventions of a reality that is too explicit.

In your artistic itinerary, what perspective connects you to the Brave New World theme?

It is possible to identify a common thread linked to the novel Brave New World and to various manifestations of my baroque mind, translating itself both by an art of conjunctions, of connections and crossings that seeks to capture, in a single breath, our entire existence.

We share a strong sensualist dimension that establishes the discursive foundations of a realistic tactile representation and a fantastic projection of a utopian existence. More specifically, I pay attention to the use of the senses and the body that revives the interest and will to exist and refers to the pleasure of being, open to the world, integrated with nature and culture. In my practice, I have introduced poetic elements based on the structures of pleasure, invented and nurtured all so finely by us. So I have a bias for a lifestyle that is deeply inscribed in the present and that has a will to beat the tragedy of life. The point of the novel takes us into a future that puts in deficit the very notion of the will to exist and only compromises the sensualist dimension by the dimension of a restricted and controlled sexual practice. The nature of the subject is the same in the absolute: a willingness to seize a moment in the infinite and changing world that surrounds us.


Born in 1959 in Caribou, Maine, United States, Paryse Martin holds a doctorate in education and practices of Arts from the Université du Québec à Montréal. She received the Videre Awards in Visual Arts last year. She was awarded many times with bursaries from the Canada Council for the Arts and the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec. She has made numerous exhibitions in Québec, Canada and abroad. Her works are part of many public and private collections; she also made several public art works. Paryse Martin's works read like systems in which each element influences another. Martin Paryse questions the universe that surrounds us and reorganizes it otherwise, with dramatic and playful accents.

The artist thanks the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec for this project

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