Michèle Waquant

Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal

It was hard not to be moved by Michéle Waquant’s latest installation, Impression Debacle, 1992, a video and sound environment that presented nature as a cathartic force, rather than as an object for creative interpretation. Waquant’s earlier videos include 212, rue du Faubourg Saint Antoine, 1989, in which voyeuristic shots of passersby taken from a window are stretched out of shape, anamorphized, and only fleetingly come into focus. These recorded images distort time with a neurotic urgency. En attendant la pluie (Waiting for the rain, 1987), a video totem of four vertically stacked color monitors displayed scenes that alternated between a view of a back alley with telephone poles and the figure of a formally posed woman looking through a window, while voice-overs recounted the story of the deluge in Gitskan. It had the hallucinatory, reliquary quality of a legend—the framing device and

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