With a PhD in art history (Université Rennes 2) and extensive professional experience as a researcher, author, and curator, Pascale Beaudet devoted her residency at Est-Nord-Est to pursuing her reading and writing on textile art. She sees the practices associated with this discipline, which combines aspects of both handicrafts and visual arts, as paradigmatic of the disciplinary boundaries of art resulting from the hierarchies, established over centuries, between the categories of male and female, and between the statuses of professional and amateur.
This long-term reflection began with an interest in ceramics, particularly works by Laurent Craste, and glass pieces made by Michèle Lapointe and Montserrat Duran Muntadas. At Saint-Jean-Port-Joli, Beaudet concentrated on the use of textiles by Sandra Sawatzky (embroidery), Nathalie Levasseur (raw fibre), Mylène Boisvert (spinning linen paper), and Julie Bénédicte-Lambert (weaving). She feels that artists have never really lost their interest in the handmade. An indication of the essence of human beings, who are always drawn to fabrication, such activities have not been regarded with unanimity through art history. Beaudet seeks to highlight a return to manual production by studying textile works from the viewpoint of feminist critique of the discipline (Griselda Pollock) and studies of “craft” (Glenn Adamson) and the “subversive stitch” (Rozsika Parker). Finding strong affinities with the psychoanalytic approach, according to which art (and the analysis of art) responds to the human psyche, she seeks to refocus the dialogue on the way in which certain inclusion and exclusion mechanisms have, over time, justified a devaluation of women artists, and even a general domination over women in society or in the definition of the artist’s status. Moreover, she sees the crossroads at which arts and handicrafts meet as the site where ideological struggles over what distinguishes the artist from the artisan – a distinction that is not unconnected with the “deskilling” that accompanied the automation of industry – are played out.
Beaudet also took advantage of her stay in the region to conduct studio visits with the artists Chantale Bouchard, Bernard Hamel, and Christian Michaud.
Montréal-based Pascale Beaudet, who holds a PhD in art history from Université de Rennes 2 (France), is an author and independent curator, specializing in public art. She is also interested in practices that combine contemporary art and applied arts. She has organized 30 solo and group exhibitions, including the symposium of outdoor sculptures at the Fondation Derouin (Val-David, Quebec), the Biennale internationale du lin (Portneuf, Québec) as guest curator, and Art souterrain (Montréal). She has published more than 150 essays in art catalogues and magazines, mainly about Québec artists such as ceramicists Gilbert Poissant and Laurent Craste and glass artists as Michèle Lapointe and Carole Frève.