At Le Galerie d’art Louise-et-Reuben-Cohen of Université de Moncton, the current exhibition on view features the work of frencophone artists Marie Hélène Allain and Alisa Arsenault, entitled Histoires de souche & other family stories.
The works on view present ideas of idenity built from family histories, and the artifacts that are created, like family photo albumns, home videos, and other ephemera that captures moments, gestures and people. These relations occupy our past and present. Both artists are concerned with these connections to the past and how it shapes our identities in the present As a way of exploring notions of personal mythology through family archives.
I was especially interested in Arsenault’s installation and the mapping/archival systems she used to display the work. Personal items like family videos, photos and maps of important locations to the artist were layered with patterns of stars, florals and archiving pins. The created works and archived pieces became one and the hierarchy of art object and family memory was broken down. The artist’s interest in conservation is apparent, choosing to preserve her family’s memories, and the act of conserving becomes a part of the work, and her personal history.
Alisa Arsenault, 2017