eunice bélidor

Editor : Est-Nord-Est
Location : Saint-Jean-Port-Joli
Year : 2023
Author : Julia Eilers Smith

Artist and author

eunice bélidor

From a methodological point of view, the approach of Montréal author, curator, and researcher eunice bélidor is rooted in correspondence, collaboration, knowledge sharing, and a radical and feminist perspective on care. For many years, she has been exploring the epistolary field, using handwritten letters as tool of research, creation, and connection. She regularly writes letters to various addressees – family and friends, colleagues, thinkers, artists, figures she admires – to ask them questions, share her thoughts and concerns, ask for their advice, and, of course, simply find out how they’re doing.

During her stay at Est-Nord-Est, bélidor instigated and refreshed her correspondence around curatorial practice and current thought about art. What is the nature of curating in the absence of an exhibition? How can exhibition spaces be made more welcoming? Because of its little-documented and compartmentalized nature, the curatorial thought process tends to be lost over time. So, bélidor’s interest in correspondence flows in large part from her concern about curatorial archives and their accessibility. She envisages these exchanges of letters as future archival documents.

Correspondence also represents a favoured means of informally engaging in collective intellectual activity, which in turn leads to finding out about an individual beyond the professional sphere. On the margins of institutional discourse, this practice offers a freedom and mobility of thought that gives a glimpse of its emotional dimension. The letters that bélidor sends and receives thus bear emotional, memory-related, and material marks of a communion of ideas, a network of support, sharing, and personal and professional ties woven among individuals. Eventually, bélidor imagines, these letters might form the basis for an affective theory of curating.

During her residency, bélidor also studied the conditions propitious to the act of writing. She immersed herself in the literature on the subject and began a process of self-reflection concerning her writing methods. Following the example of the “curatorial advice” that she wrote and shared in her networks several years ago, she is considering compiling her observations in a second handbook intended specifically for authors.