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reference just as many experiences and stories, she proceeds in the same way as in her projects based on encounters, in which she brings out the irreducibility of the figure of the Other. She produces an encounter which takes into account the singularity of these stories at the same time as it makes perceptible the knots into which recurring experiences flow, making possible their sharing, their “being in common.”(16)

1 Raphaëlle de Groot, quoted by Louise Déry, wall panel for the installation 8 x 5 x 363 + 1. See Louise Déry, Raphaëlle de Groot: En exercice (Montréal: Galerie de l’UQAM, 2006), 14.

2 I borrow here Patrice Loubier’s term: an “incidental” observer or viewer is one who, without wishing to, is witness to a more or less visible artwork outside the venues devoted to the presentation of contemporary art. See Patrice Loubier, “Par hasard et en passant: sur quelques oeuvres rencontrées en marchant,” esse 55 (Fall 2005): 26-31.

3 Dominique Abensour, “Collecting, the Collection and the Collector,” trans. Peter Dubé, esse 71 (Winter 2011): 20-27.

4 Raphaëlle de Groot, “L’autre comme contrée à explorer: Dévoilements et Colin-Maillard,” in Patrice Loubier and Anne-Marie Ninacs, eds., Les Commensaux: quand l’art se fait circonstances (Montréal: Centre des arts actuels Skol, 2001), 124-29.

5 This is how de Groot explains the specificity of the objects in her collection in the lecture-performance Relation (2012).

6 As if to support this presence of the other, a series of photographs made at the time of collecting objects in Guadalajara, Mexico and in Stanstead, Québec and Derby Line, Vermont, on either side of the Canadian-U.S. border, shows the donors’ hands as they present the object they have brought the artist, or the moment the object passes from hand to hand when they give it to her. These photographs are placed alongside the series Relations (2012) and appear in the slide show of the lecture-performance Relation (2012) and in the exhibition Collections (Graff gallery, Montréal, 2012).

7 Textual fragments are also incorporated into the collectible cards produced for the artist’s activities at La Chambre blanche in 2011 and at 3e impérial in 2012. This time, the text on the back of the card is placed alongside the image of the object printed on the front.

8 While the anecdotes contain an essential share of the “burden” of the objects, the significance they lend them nevertheless contrasts with their ordinary quality.

9 This “face,” moreover, looks at a second more abstract face, formed by a rope that was used for a hanging in 1949 (SAAG collection), covered by a display window topped with a hat. The consultation document “Summit Meetings Press Room Book of Topics” (2015) provides a view of de Groot’s artistic enquiries by way of information on the objects presented in the installation-exhibition.

10 I understand collaboration here as the involvement of the other in the moment of collecting by donating an object accompanied by a commentary. We should note, however, that Raphaëlle de Groot created other kinds of collaboration in this project, in particular by asking spectators at her performances to attach the objects to her (Porter/To Carry), by suggesting to visitors that they take a collectible card and leave it in a suitable place (La Réserve) or by involving museum staff in the collective act of creating an encounter between objects (Rencontres au sommet). These collaborations open in turn onto new interpretations of the objects in the collection.

11 Between 2000 and 2006, Joreige asked several people to bring her an object that reminded them of war. Presented like artefacts telling a story in a history museum, these objects, resolutely more domestic than military (such as a bag, a radio and a guitar), were accompanied by video interviews in which the individuals recounted their memories around the object. The installation focused on the everyday aspect of war through necessarily fragmentary stories that were nevertheless as close as possible to the experience of events.

12 Raphaëlle de Groot: En exercice.

13 Les Minutes A, very close to prints, are drawings in soot, and Les Minutes B are heat transfers on paper.

14 Louise Déry, Raphaëlle de Groot: En exercice, trans. Donald Pistolesi, 24.

15 The question of invisibility is conveyed concretely in 70 objets emportés avec moi (70 Objects Taken with Me, 2011) and Le Manteau (2012) by wrapping the objects. De Groot thereby relegates a part of their presence to other modes of existence (the image, the collectible card, the list).

16 In the sense in which the expression is used by Jean-Luc Nancy in The Inoperative Community, ed. Peter Connor, trans. Peter Connor et al., (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1991 [1986]), but also in the more recent sense given to the expression by Érik Bordeleau in Comment sauver le commun du communisme? (Montréal: Le Quartanier, 2014).

This essay was published in the catalogue Raphaëlle de Groot. The Summit Meetings produced in conjunction with the exhibition of the same title, organized and presented by the Southern Alberta Art Gallery (September 27-November 23, 2014), the Art Gallery of Windsor (October 3, 2015-January 17, 2016) and the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec (February 4-April 17, 2016).