25 March, 2006


Infidélités is an artists’ book that speaks of fidelity. The edition is comprised of twenty-one books, all containing - in either a blue binding or a wooden box - the works of six artists and a writer.

This project originated on a bitter cold January afternoon in 2004, around a pot of hot tea at the quiet Sablo Kafé in Montreal. A group of people connected in one way or another to the large web printmaking had managed to spin across the province of Quebec and get together hoping to relive the enriching experience of a collaborative artwork. Infidélités, the artists’ book, was to become the answer to their quest.

The finished product contains twelve artworks and three pages of text in an unusually elongated box (15 x 45 cm). Each artist has created two works: the first follows the chosen theme; the second replies to the interpretation of the theme by the other participants in the project. The writer repeats this creative process with a first variation, followed by two more variations inspired by the artworks and the animated studio meetings. From these the writer has added a chosen extract. The interactive aspect adds dynamism to this artists’ book - as one flips through the loose pages, one tends to look for links that could tie the works together.

When we chose the title Infidélités our purpose was to free ourselves from the restraints imposed by the traditional artist’s book, the book that contained only original prints and a text. “Ma fidélité est ma liberté”, writes Andrée Dandurand. The finished product however shows loyalty: loyalty first to old friendships, but also loyalty to work well done and to noble materials.

This book is respectful of traditional printmaking techniques (lino, intaglio, silkscreen), weaving and collage, drawing and painting, as well as binding.

The most faithful to the theme are Hélène Goulet and Andres Manniste: they use printmaking techniques to explore relationships. Elisabeth Dupond is faithful to her long practice of printmaking by reusing the dry point technique on a painted surface. Julianna Joos shows her attachment to her printmaking tools in her prints before experimenting with jacquard weaving. Lorraine Dagenais and Johanne Lemaire remain faithful to their respective techniques in painting and drawing, unfaithful to the concept of identical images.

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