Outre-vie / Afterlife was formed by Raymonde April in 2013. The group is made up of thirteen image practitioners whose work aims to develop a concept of “afterlife” that belongs to the language of images. Taking its name from a work by the late Québec poet Marie Uguay, the group is united by a shared dialogue about storytelling and the vicissitudes of memory. The group has exhibited large-scale photographs, video projections, experimental writing, and sound installations in Québec and abroad. These collective engagements have generated new collaborative modes of production and dissemination, including a practice of archiving their collective art-making process.
Celia Perrin Sidarous
Outre-vie / Afterlife seeks to develop photographic and videographic practices that elucidate the ghostly afterlife of the images that comprise our present as much as our historical and artistic memory: “Images,” they claim, “do not (always) die away; they prolong the lives of foregone places and beings in their absence.” The group takes name from the late Quebecois poet Marie Uguay, who writes: “Afterlife is when one is not yet in life, when one looks at it, when one seeks to enter it. One is not dead but already almost alive, almost born, being born perhaps, in this passage beyond borders and beyond time, which defines desire. Desire of the other, desire of the world […] Afterlife is like overseas or beyond the grave.”
Our individual and collective practices reflect and expand on the meaning of afterlife in relation to lens-based media. Some members of the group explore human geographies that resonate with the spectral traces of disappearance; others turn to objects to explore the alterity and contingency of the material world. Collectively we delve into alternate modes of storytelling. Through processes of montage and staging, unnoticed aspects of our collective memory are transcribed into their own emotional space, giving rise to unexpected juxtapositions and new meanings that interrogate the multiple, fluid boundaries of self and other, space and time, memory and forgetting, reality and fiction, continuity and fragmentation. Our projects, which include large scale photographs, video projections and sound installations, present the group’s sustained efforts to develop a new concept of afterlife that belongs to the idiomatic language of the photographic image.
The Afterlife group has been meeting consistently since 2013 for regular discussion, analysis, exchange, and critical commentary around our ongoing projects, and to produce a collective dissemination program for our activities. The group serves to anchor our oscillating movements between the solitary studio and relational spaces of meeting, where we assess, archive, and document the processes of making integral to our quotidian activity.
Les artistes souhaitent remercier / The artists wish to thank
Fonds de recherche du Québec sur la société et la culture (FRQSC)
Faculty of Fine Arts, Concordia University
Post Image Research Cluster, Milieux Institute for Arts, Culture and Technology, Concordia University
Hexagram, réseau international dédié à la recherche-création en arts médiatiques, design, technologie et culture numérique
VU, centre de diffusion et de production de la photographie.