Ania Mokrzycka

Editor : Est-Nord-Est, résidence d'artistes
Location : Saint-Jean-Port-Joli
Year : 2023
Language : French / English
Author : Edith Brunette

Artist and author

Ania Mokrzycka
London-based artist Ania Mokrzycka, whose work is situated at the encounter of human and non-human, of organic and inorganic, is fond of borderline environments. During her stay at Est-Nord-Est, she explored the river’s liminal areas, where saltwater and freshwater mingle. Interested in the materiality of the site, she wanted to work with objects gathered in this borderline environment and with traces of its contamination. The lead and aluminum found in the river’s waters and the clay that absorbs its various contaminants were some of the materials that she used in sculptural elements produced during her stay. In research deeply connected to the site, she created a series of objects made of clay harvested on the shores, aluminum powder from a workshop in the region, and lead objects taken from the studio of her neighbour at ENE, Pierre Bourgault.

Mokrzycka’s research also intersected with Pierre Perreault’s masterful film Pour la suite du monde (1962). In this documentary, the inhabitants of L’Isle-aux-Coudres re-created a traditional hunt for porpoise – another name for the beluga – by fencing the river with long wooden poles. The poles themselves became a motif in Mokrzycka’s experiments, as she wanted to make a moulded-clay version (the clay, deliberately unpurified, cracked, breaking the pole into pieces).

In addition to her sculptural work, Mokrzycka wanted to observe the figure of the river through film. Her explorations led her to visit other places crossed or surrounded by its waters – Saguenay, Bic and Île Verte – to gather 16 mm and Super 8 images, still in rushes at the time she left the centre. With these images of sounds captured on the shores of Saint-Jean-Port-Joli, she would like to make a film – and perhaps return to complete it.