Marie-Christiane Mathieu

Born in Montreal.    Lives and works in Quebec City and Montreal (Quebec).


From 2012 to 2016, Marie-Christiane Mathieu’s fields of research and creative activity were Highway 20 and the Trans-Canada Highway in the context of her project “Musique de char” (Car Music).  Her works have been the subject of exhibitions in various museums and galleries in the United States, Germany and Austria as well as in Mexico and Brazil. In 2008, she was appointed a professor at the École des arts visuels at Université Laval.


Mathieu makes the road her area of research. She explores the idea of the communicating bubble in which each individual lives what she calls L’aître (aire + être) (area + being). The works that Mathieu creates are imbued with phenomena linked to mobility and migrations of all kinds. She travels through the landscape and investigates visual and sound forms, provoking unexpected meetings between often-incompatible elements.

Usually, her projects appear through the construction of devices. These include the place where she sets up the work, the daily activities that she elaborates within it, the tools and equipment that she brings with her or fabricates, her collaborators and, the publics who give their point of view about her work. This ensemble helps generate issues related to matters of a social, economic, political and aesthetic nature, conducive to the context and situation created.


Using her laboratory on wheels, Mathieu takes on the role of the ethnologist who will analyse invisible, peripheral elements present in the area in order to find signs of an alternative if not fictive archaeology of Baie-Saint-Paul. Each day, in her truck, on foot or on a bicycle, she will travel the surroundings with a panoply of equipment: radio frequency scanners, camera obscura, tape recorder, photographic printer and so on.

Along the way, the space will become documentation. All the drawings, photographs, geographical and topographical maps, ephemeral documents and collected or constructed objects will be displayed on the walls around her space for working and greeting the public. The project will conclude with the creation of a limited-edition artist’s book/box. This will take on the modalities of Marcel Duchamp’s Boîte verte (Green Box), integrating notes, photographs, sketches, captured sounds and objects that will contribute to this archaeological fiction.

Mathieu works

Courtesy of the artist

Musique de char / toujours plus à l’ouest, 2016, projections vidéos on wood screen, photo Richard Max Tremblay