Expérimentations menées en atelier par Kim Kielhofner en résidence
Kim Kielhofner, Expérimentations en atelier, 2018. Photo: ENE/Jean-Sébastien Veilleux photographe

Kim Kielhofner

Artist / Spring 2018


by Dominique Chantraine

Video artist Kim Kielhofner was born in Wisconsin and now lives in Montreal. The point of departure for her on-site work during the residency was to explore the photographic archives of the town of Saint-Jean-Port-Joli and then trace out the streets, buildings, and bits of nature shown in them. Continuing with this idea, she produced small albums of historical images gleaned here and there and organized by colours and themes. Because film and video are her main media, her quest quickly took the form of a short film into which identity-related issues were skilfully inserted. The plotline, Kim’s present time in the setting of Saint-Jean-Port-Joli, intercut with historical photographs the mysteries of which she tries to solve, creates a timeless atmosphere beyond time that melds with her questioning of what characterizes an everlasting space and aesthetic. How can we situate ourselves within something that changes all the time and the borders of which are unknown? The Farthest Point on the Compass – the title of the work – is finally where that something is found. Thus, paradoxically, the farthest point on the compass is situated at its centre.

Treated as a suspense story, with the main actor (Kim) playing different characters – spy, philosopher, 1960s pin-up – the film harks back to a New Wave aesthetic. The light is natural, and the archival photographs amplify the outdated effect of the staging. Containers filled with various brightly coloured liquids, related to another research project conducted during the residency, illuminate the image. In fact, during the creation of the film Kim produced a series of drawings, reinforcing her desire to create confrontations or arrangements of various colours and motifs. Triangles and crosses are recurrent. Why crosses? “For healing,” Kim explains.


Kim Kielhofner is an artist living in Montréal. She completed a Master’s of Fine Art at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design in London, UK in 2010 and a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree at Concordia University in 2007. She is known for her videos and drawings that often take the form of books. Her work has been shown in numerous festivals and exhibitions. Recently, she has had solo exhibitions at VOX (Montréal, 2015), Sporobole (Sherbrooke, 2017), LUX (London, 2017) and Dazibao (Montréal, 2017). She won the Hnatyshyn Foundation Charles Patcher Prize (for emerging artists) in 2013 and participated in a residency in Vienna through KulturKontakt Austria in 2017.