"chant [dans les muscules du chant]" primarily uses film archives from the first half of the twentieth century. I uncovered these images after attentive and selective research, ignited literally by the conceptual engine “film flame.” As I previewed them, I could see they were powerful fuel for the contemporary imagination. Material ablaze and ardent, the archive here evokes the past in the present, polarising memory and oblivion, document and fantasy, the collective and the private. This video was also conceived as an archival laboratory, one “that seeks to bring together heterogeneous constellations of images (and sounds), embraces figures foreign to each other, and proposes the crystallisation of analogies, even if they are insufficient.” It is suffused with a strong desire for formal experiments and linguistic inventions capable of restoring meaning and returning a dynamic memory to the past. Unfolding in a series of excerpts - echo chambers both autonomous and attracting - this videographic work calls out to the forgotten, the buried, the ruined, and the similar in the different. Through the use of various procedures (cut-up, superimposition, deconstruction, the association of images), I attempt to reactivate abandoned visibilities, transfers that induce both spatio-temporal and aesthetic upheavals, producers of affect. Sudden apparitions, luminous ghosts, fortuitous and/or vanishing images - I gather these phantoms of histories together and choreograph thaumatropic dances. I take a rough and (madly) loving look at this vanishing material, travelling sometimes to the edge of invisibility. The insistence of a gaze surfacing out of this black velvet nitrate, its failures carrying away any mythology of the image. I set alight conflagrations in which each image is in exile and each clip is a burn mark of desire.

Suzan Vachon
City, Province
Montreal, QC

Interdisciplinary artist, Suzan Vachon, teaches sculpture, video, and other multidisciplinary courses at the Université du Québec à Montréal's École des arts visuels et médiatiques since 1992. Between 1991 and 2002, she taught video at Université de Montréal, first in the Art History Department, and then in Film Studies (2004). Considering her art practice as a polyphonic space for research, Vachon questions the relations of resonance and interpretation between architecture and several other media, for example sculpture, video, cinema, sound, literature, and photography. Since 1993, Vachon has focused on public art, installing either permanent or temporary works within the architectural environment. Her works divulge an interest for staging light and develop various spatialization strategies to reveal images onto different types of screen and by luminous bodies. In 2001 and 2007, she was a runner-up for the Artistic Creation Award for best experimental artwork by the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec, presented at the Rendez-vous du cinema québecois. Her videos have been shown and nominated at several international festivals (France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Mexico, and Argentina).

Year Produced
Original Media