caroline boileau
Location: Montreal/Canada

Drawing, Installation, Painting, Performance, Photography, Sculpture, Sound, Textile, Video


Wooloo Url



Since 1995, I have been using installation, video, and performance, to examine the connections between the body and its environment and also question the body as a social construct. My research addresses the influence of medicine (historic, popular, scientific) on the construction and understanding of what constitutes us as human beings. This obsession with the hospital and the medical milieu has recently expanded to include the scientific laboratory and the field of biology. I am fascinated by the various ways in which one can inhabit, depict and talk about the body. Often, in attempting to do this, metaphors are constructed using images and symbols borrowed from nature. I understand the natural world as a construction, one offering amazing possibilities for translation through the activities of growth, transformation and metamorphosis.


In opposition to the transparent body of scientific medicine, my drawings depict the imagined, poetic, and secret body. Drawing with medical disinfectants and solutions such as calamine lotion, mercurochrome and methylene blue or simply working with collage, watercolors and pen and ink, I linger over what the body feels, not what it is in reality. The objects in my installations are aggregates of refuse gathered from hospitals, laboratories and the home; objects made from recycled plastic materials, glass vials and jars, self-adhesive labels and printed materials which suggest bridges between containers, remedies and humans. In my performances, I gather stories about the body, about life’s passage and the marks it leaves. These performances take the form of conferences and interviews, story-telling and endurance actions that waver between playfulness and confidence, risk and potential disaster. My video work inhabits that gray area between fact and fiction. It includes both documents of my performances and installations but also short narratives related to the body as it is felt and imagined. I resist and reject the idea of a monolithic self, housed in a well-organized and impermeable body. 



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