Gabrielle Poulin: celebrating life through animal mourning

CULTURE. CULTURE. Granby is obviously known for its zoo and many live animals. But if the actor and actress Gabrielle Poulin dropped her suitcases in our beautiful region, it was not to observe zoo creatures, but the remains of dead animals littering the roads and paths we frequent walking trips.

It is part of the exploration cycle Ramailler nos spaces de vie, launched by the current art testing center in Granby, Le 3e imperial, which welcomed Gabrielle Poulin for a fourth stay in creative residency from October 26 to November 4. The opportunity for the artist to pursue Transfer the invoicea project that addresses the ideas of mourning, reciprocity and territorial sharing between humans and animals.

At the base of the project, the utilitarian trips Gabrielle Poulin takes to get out into nature and recharge her batteries. Ironically for the artist, his movements are often overshadowed by the appearance of animal remains littering the streets. “I find it remarkable, the reality of driving fast and not seeing the animal clearly behind the glass,” said the artist. “It’s ironic, because I go to the woods to take care of myself and connect with nature, whereas when I go through it, I have dead animals. This experience made me wonder how to stop. If I could stop, what would I do and how would I respect the lives of these animals,” he added.

Interpelled by the consequences that the fracture of the territory entails for the fauna, Gabrielle Poulin lists the carcasses of animals, reported by citizens or found to him during his wanderings, and stops for a moment to symbolically mark the place with a ritual. . This ritual drives the artist to meet the Granbyans and Granbyennes, to communicate with them and interact with the territory he examines to discover the different ways of life there. “This is the jewel in this project, it leads me to weave a cartography of stories, a way of inhabiting the territory to enter into a relationship with the animals that inhabit it. So this leads me to weave a cartography of life produced by the ritual of commemoration.

“People receive me with great curiosity. The -Granbyens and -Granbyennes teach me a lot about the wildlife they observe. As a city dweller, I can imagine things, but not I live it every day. People are very generous about their daily lives, what affects them and what doesn’t affect them so much,” explains the Montreal artist.

Animals as a place for art

Animals and the notion of animal mourning are present through various works of the artist, who sees in them a great way of dealing with people as a community of love and stability. The goal of the project will be revealed in the spring of 2023 during an artist presentation. The gestures are collected during various commemorative rituals and consist of the stories people tell Gabrielle Poulin, who then makes sure to move them, as gestures, to honor life and “entertain the itself somewhere”. “What I see at the end of all this is a big celebration of all these animals. But again, it’s a reason to be among the living to celebrate life by talking about death”.

While the remains of animals around the roads have become common for many, Gabrielle Poulin, instead she tries to destroy this notion of normality by commemorating the disappearance of these creatures. “We often face death in various ways, but rarely is it so violent. But it has become common, because we are often on a utilitarian journey and we may not always take the time to destroy this idea of ​​movement that will be affected,” he emphasized.

For the artist who graduated from the National Theater School of Canada, the destruction of territory is inevitable in our rhythm of life. “It’s interesting to witness this invoicing because of the dead animals on the road. What will be the relationship then ask the question how we can prevent these routes from blocking the routes of the animals that already exist, but more we see little”, concluded the artist.

Citizens are invited to contribute to the project by reporting the remains of dead animals encountered on the road to the site set by the artist

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