Amber Berson + Manon Tourigny
Souper spaghettiApril 1, 2020 - March 31, 2021
Premises and the outcome of a “duologie” shared between two curators
"In the spring of 2019, we were twinned to participate in the DARE-DARE Duologie project. We spent a whole year discussing how two curators could work together on a project that would go beyond a curators’ framework. Then COVID came along and it put us in an agonizing situation that continues to this day. Instead of chatting over a beer like we did in 2019, we continued our conversations virtually. During these meetings, our discussions often put the project aside to approach our daily life in this time of pandemic: how we lived this new reality, what we liked to eat to comfort ourselves, how we had to adapt to the working at home, or even being able to work with the anxiety of the virus, etc.?
Since our meetings have always been friendly and our conversations spontaneous, we wanted to keep this mode by offering two artists to participate in a meal with us (mirror conversation). The idea is to get out of a theoretical framework and focus on the experience (of the pandemic, of creation, of food, of sharing, etc.) in a performative spirit. The idea, at the base, remains the family cookbook project that Manon works on in spare time and which also interested Amber. It is absolutely not artistic, but a project that she develops with her aunts and which puts forward the sharing, memory and transmission of know-how. Our project pursues these ideas by focusing on what makes us good in a desire to take care.
We had planned A and B scenarios depending on what were going to be possible in the context of COVID. We even hoped to be able to invite the public. We also considered filming ourselves for an online broadcast. With the current situation and the uncertainty that still looms in 2021, we have made the decision to go to plan B, namely to meet on Zoom, behind closed doors in order to allow ourselves some privacy and offer Sophie Le-Phat Ho, Sara A. Tremblay and ourselves a space for unconstrained conversation. We recorded this evening to extract key moments that are reproduced in the zine. We also invited four artists (Terrance Houle, Fanny Mesnard, Keg de Sousa, Karen Tam) and our collaborators (Aziza Nassih and Josianne Poirier) to offer us (you) a recipe.
Amber Berson is a writer, curator, doctoral student and doctoral researcher at Queen’s University on the theme of the culture of feminist artist-run centers and utopian thought. She is interested in utopian feminist movements and socialist imaginaries, both in their origins and in their heritage, affecting collective self-management, self-determination, childcare and pay equity, as well as anti-racist practices. She was recently curator of Trailmix (2014); * ~ _: * JENNIFER JENNIFER X *:. ~ (2013); The Annual Arts Trustees Race (2013); and The Wild Bush Residency (2012 -). She is a member of the editorial board of .dpi, a feminist digital art and culture journal, and recently organized the Montreal edition of the Art + Feminism Wikipedia project. Her articles have appeared in Canadian Art, Esse, Fuse Magazine and C Magazine and St Andrews Journal of History and Museum Studies.
Manon Tourigny is an art historian and author. She is interested in video, media arts, photography, performance and artistic practices that are part of public space. The collaborative aspect is essential in her practice as an author and curator. In all stages of a project (research, writing, curating in the exhibition space), she makes sure to be in discussion with the artist. She has written numerous articles and texts for specialized magazines (Ciné bulles, CV photo, esse arts + opinions, Espace et Inter), in addition to writing pamphlets for various organizations (artist-run centers, exhibition centers and museums). She is part of the collective of curators N. & M., which centers its research on collaborations, artistic processes and contamination between artists, works and the very role of the curator.