POUR CEUX QUI NE LES VOIENT PAS / marble / 2016-2017
(For Those Who Do Not See Them)
This series of sculptures in white marble reproduces, from photo identification, the scarred spinal columns of several belugas studied by researchers in the Saint Lawrence Estuary: Aile Joyeuse, Adhothyus, Bonheur, Blanche, and Pascolio. The marble itself evokes a long-ago era, as distant as the time when anthropomorphic art first began to appear, concurrently with the development of a certain empathy on the part of humans towards the animals they hunted. These life-size sculptures reproduce the actual dimensions of the original bone structure, and also include copies that serve as smaller-scale models. This work was produced at a time when citizens were organizing to stop an oil drilling project in the belugas’ main breeding area, off the coast of Cacouna, Québec. For Those Who Do Not See Them aims to make the beluga visible to policy makers, while also transforming it into a veritable political animal, a sort of braille for the blind. This series reveals the emblematic actions of these pale humps to undermine the momentum of those who would invade their territory. The artwork is currently installed at the ferry terminal in Baie-Comeau, for the Société des Traversiers du Québec.