Fred Laforge & Eddy Firmin

Born in Saguenay. Born in Guadeloupe.   Live and work in Montreal (Quebec).

BIO

Fred Laforge completed his doctorate in Études et pratiques des arts at UQAM in 2016. His work has been shown in Canada and abroad in several group and solo exhibitions, and he recently presented work at the National Print Museum in Mexico City. This artist has also produced various public art projects in Canada.

Eddy Firmin has a diploma from the École supérieure d’art du Havre and from the Institut régional d’art visuel de la Martinique. He is currently a doctoral student in Études et pratiques des arts at UQAM. In 2011, Firmin was entrusted to visually remodel the stain-glass windows of Notre-Dame de la Guadeloupe Cathedral. His art practice combines sculpture, drawing, digital art and performance, and questions the art narrative of his traditional Caribbean culture.

APPROACH

The practice of the Laforge/Firmin duo is linked to the meeting of the Guadeloupian artist, Quebecois by adoption and the Quebecois artist. The two artists share a similar sensibility concerning identity and diversity. From the perspective of their disciplines, their practices include drawing, printmaking, sculpture and installation.

Both Guadeloupe and Quebec have been subjected to colonialism in various ways. In fact, each of these cultures has been confronted, at various times in history, with issues of appropriation, censure and assimilation. The duo’s questioning focuses on notions of power, identity and diversity and on relations between dominant and minority groups. The issue of cultural appropriation often appears exploited to the advantage of a colonialist vision, or a contrario, to benefit a discourse in which the individual is enclosed in his or her cultural ethnicity.

 

PROJECT

Laforge and Firmin wish to continue their reflection on aspects of identity and diversity. Their concerns will focus on the complex and tensed relations between these two notions. They plan to work with objects stemming from their respective cultures, objects that look like handicrafts but are usually mass-produced. These objects will be reinterpreted in order to unlock their meanings. Hence, they will be distorted or combined to create a form of cultural hybridization. The artists also plan to create an installation inspired by souvenir shops, where they will integrate hand-made objects produced by their four hands. This display will enable the artists to question the concept of cultural appropriation through notions of exoticism, otherness and globalization. Their interest in such experimenting is to explore the heritage of colonialism because the souvenir shop is a continuation of this narrative, such as the curiosity cabinet of exotic objects.

Firmin works                Laforge works

Courtesy of the artists

Fred Laforge, Vénus grecque africaine, 2016, ink on paper

Eddy Firmin, Lapin meuble, 2018, ceramic, furniture, golden leaf, Photo Guy L’Heureux