BIO A graduate of fine arts at Concordia University (M.A.), Sophie Lanctôt has taught at the Collège Jean-de-Brébeuf in Montréal. Her work has been exhibited in Québec, Toronto and Spain. Nine of her works are on display in public places in Québec under the province’s program for incorporating artworks into architectural and natural environments.
ARTISTIC PRACTICE For some time Sophie Lanctôt has been exploring what becomes of an image when it is part of a process of material and historical erasure. In this age of the overabundance of images on digital platforms, the question of archives, their transmission, preservation and representation, concerns her to the utmost. Her work questions how notions of value and meaning determine which historical events and figures are saved and which fall into oblivion.
PROJECT Sophie Lanctôt’s project Marguerite evokes the transformation that took place over the twentieth century in the media used to depict reality and the self. This transformation is traced through authentic archives, metamorphosed by the artist, of the life of Marguerite (1895-1961). Lanctôt has selected several letters with relevant content, as seen by the singular way Marguerite describes her feelings and the people and the land around her. Each letter is transformed by cutting it up, fragmenting it and superimposing it, on sketches, for example. At the same time, a series of drawings and paintings, based on photographs of the day, enable us to see Marguerite’s transformation. The drawings and the letter-objects construct a two-dimensional installation. Sacrificing the original is a painful gesture which in the end testifies to the loss of memory and of things. The artist wishes to invite viewers to feel their own life span and the way it is inscribed in traces and places through artworks whose emotive charge testifies to our cohabitation with the tangible world and our shared planned obsolescence.