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Detail of image by Raphaëlle de Groot Study 5, A New Place – Masks, 2015 Paper scans (series) mixed media,

Study 5, A New Place by Raphaëlle de Groot

  • Audio Description

Raphaëlle de Groot’s work evolves from heterogeneous contextual research, situations of encounter, and responses to experience, the artist has created a video study.

It was shot in the backyard of a house in a small fisherman’s village in Florianopolis, Brazil, where over a period of six to eight weeks, the artist collected miscellaneous detritus and rubbish found on the streets and on the beach during her daily walks.

She also collected the paper bags that came from the grocery store with the bread and pastries she bought. The video is a study of these collected materials but also, through these materials, the video ultimately becomes a documentation of the place and the life that she discovered while she was temporarily living in Brazil. De Groot engages in a performative action conglomerating these materials on her head. They gradually obstruct completely her sight as she creates a blind mask over her head. The artist says, “I can’t see through the mask and the mask is made without me seeing what it looks like.” This action is a recurring gesture in de Groot’s public performances. She calls it an exercise that she repeats with variations and different degrees of complexity. In this particular study executed especially for Marking Blind, it is the first time that the artist explores unmaking the head or mask as much as making it.

Other important aspects of this work are the video and sound capture, and the editing of the final piece. The action is recorded from three view points: one is a capture from the artist’s forehead, another is from her hand ,and the last one is from a cameraman. The two first are blind view points. There is no eye behind the camera framing the action, as the devices, which also record audio, are strapped directly onto de Groot’s body. The study then also becomes one of the beautiful sensorial experience of the actions she is performing on herself – the image and sound recording devices probe this experience up close, almost from within, as if they were parts or extensions of her skin, hands, ears and eyes. Once recorded, this type of “internal” viewpoint allows the artist to see the experience, to look at it as material form. The record can never substitute the lived experience, but in this case it simulates it. From a subjective perspective the study is also an attempt to measure and qualify (characterize, describe) the difference between the recorded images and sounds from within to the artist’s own physical and sensorial memory of the experience itself.

Audio description of Raphaëlle de Groot, Study 5, A New Place – Head Remnants, 2015 in word

Audio description of Raphaëlle de Groot, Study 5, A New Place – Masks, 2015 in word

Audio description of Raphaëlle de Groot, Study 5, A New Place, 2015 in word

Raphaelle de Groot. Screen shot from Study 5: A New Place

Raphaelle de Groot. Screen shot from Study 5: A New Place

Raphaelle de Groot

Raphaelle de Groot Study 5, A New Place

Raphaëlle de Groot, screen shot from Study 5: A New Place for Curated Space

Raphaelle de Groot, screen shot from Study 5: A New Place for Curated Space

Raphaelle de Groot Study 5, A New Place with audio description (AD)

Raphaëlle de Groot, Mask

Raphaelle de Groot, Mask

Artist Biographies

Raphaëlle de Groot was commissioned by Arts & Disability Ireland for a Curated Space online visual arts exhibition 'Marking Blind' curated by Amanda Cachia

Raphaëlle de Groot was born in 1974 in Montreal (Canada) where she lives and works.
She presents her work actively in Canada and Europe since 1997. Over the years she has acquired valuable collaboration experiences with, among others, Dare-dare (an artist-run center, Montreal), the Centre d’histoire de Montréal, the Cittadellarte-Fondazione Pistoletto (Biella, Italy), the Leeds City Art Gallery (UK), the Galerie de l’UQAM (Montreal), the Quartier, Centre d’art contemporain de Quimper (France) and the Southern Alberta Art Gallery (Lethbridge).
Her most recent solo exhibition, Le poids des objets – Recommencer, was presented at La Chambre Blanche in Quebec city in 2011. Raphaëlle de Groot took part in the first edition of the Québec Triennial unveiled at the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal in 2008. In collaboration with Robert Desjardins, landscape architect, and Gavin Affleck, architect, she worked out a concept for the development of the square des Frères-Charon (Montreal), which was completed in the fall of 2008. Raphaëlle de Groot holds an MFA from the Université du Québec à Montréal (2006).
Winner of the Pierre-Ayot prize 2006, and a 2008 Sobey Award finalist, Raphaëlle de Groot was awarded the Prix Graff (14th edition) in 2011. She was also awarded the 2012 Sobey Award. Raphaëlle de Groot is represented by the Galerie Graff in Montréal and the Z2O Galleria – Sara Zanin in Rome.




Amanda Cachia

Amanda Cachia curated Marking Blind for Arts & Disability Irelands' Curated Space

Amanda is an independent curator from Sydney, Australia and is currently completing her PhD in Art History, Theory & Criticism at the University of California, San Diego. Her dissertation will focus on the intersection of disability and contemporary art. She is the 2014 recipient of the Irving K. Zola Award for Emerging Scholars in Disability Studies, issued by the Society for Disability Studies (SDS). Cachia completed her second Masters degree in Visual & Critical Studies at the California College of the Arts (CCA) in San Francisco in 2012, and received her first Masters in Creative Curating from Goldsmiths College, University of London in 2001. Cachia held the position Director/Curator of the Dunlop Art Gallery in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada from 2007-2010, and has curated approximately 30 exhibitions over the last ten years in various cities across the USA, England, Australia and Canada. Her critical writing has been published in numerous exhibition catalogues and art journals including Canadian Art, Art Monthly Australia and On Curating, and peer-reviewed academic journals such as Canadian Journal of Disability Studies, Disability Studies Quarterly, Journal of Visual Art Practice, Museums and Social Issues: A Journal of Reflective Discourse and The Review of Disability Studies: An International Journal. Forthcoming publications include articles in The Journal of Literary and Cultural Disability Studies and in an edited volume on art history and disability studies to be published by Ashgate Publishing Company in the UK. She has lectured and participated in numerous international and national conferences and related events within the USA, Canada, Australia, Europe and the Gulf, and has served as a panelist for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Art Works grant and Canada Council for the Arts. Cachia is a dwarf activist and has been the Chair of the Dwarf Artists Coalition for the Little People of America (LPA) since 2007. She also serves on the College Art Association’s (CAA) Committee on Diversity Practices (2014-2017).
For more information, visit www.amandacachia.com

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