Le Huitième Jour 1967-2017, 2017

images Le Huitième Jour is inspired by The Eighth Day, a film created by Québec artist Charles Gagnon as part of the Christian Pavilion, one of three religious pavilions at Expo 67. The film is composed of found newsreel footage, producing a frenetic critique of war technologies, violence and postwar consumerism. Effectively picking up where Gagnon left off, Léonard’s double-screen video installation is a collage of images of conflict from 1967 to the present, gleaned from hundreds of thousands of clips available on the Internet. The documents are sourced from broadcast television, state and military archives, self-promotional recordings by guerillas, as well as the propaganda of various camps. The evolution of technologies is made manifest through the diverse quality and shifting aspect ratios of the projected images, which go from analogue to digital formats, from cellphone recordings to drone captures and infrared detectors. Léonard has chosen to focus on daily activities─marching in step, trudging through the jungle, running, sitting and waiting in makeshift camps─and to remain at ground level, thereby subverting the high-tech images of war favoured by the military.

Le Huitième Jour 1967-2017, 2017 [The Eighth Day 1967-2017] Video projection, 16 min, sound

La taverne, 2015

images Produced in collaboration with a small group of the regulars and personnel of a neighborhood bar, "La Taverne" features a succession of individuals addressing the camera. Expressing their visions about youth, money or death, the protagonists' preoccupations and opinions inscribe the expression of personal experience into the social life of the milieu.

Postcard from Bexhill-on-Sea, 2014

images In "Postcard from Bexhill-on-Sea", voice-overs combine with views of the sea. Strolling along the English coast, where the climat is milder, ageing personnes respond to a question: how do you see the future? Some more optimistic than others focus on their remaining time; others worried about the England future, nostalgically comment on the lack of civility and human contact in the world today.

Postcard from Bexhill-on-Sea, 2014, single-channel HD video installation with sound, 18 minutes, English with French version available on headphones.



Exhibitions:

2014 BNLMTL 2014 - Montreal Biennial, Montreal Museum of contemporary art

La Providence, 2014

images
How the members of the Sisters of Charity of Montréal, more commonly known as the Grey Nuns, see the future? In "La Providence", we encounter the retired nuns in the generic apartments called home, after having recently vacated their one hundred and fifty years old Mother House in downtown Montréal. Still active, they recount their missionary work in Africa and in the Canadian North, reflect on their impending death and reunion with their husband, the Eternal Father, and the precarious future of their dwindling order.

Special thanks to Sisters Madeleine Therrien, Réjeanne Fortin, Evelyne Blanchard, Cécile Montpetit, Réjeanne Grandmaison, Marie-Paule Arsenault et Ginette Bacon.

With the voice in english of Aleck Guès

La Providence, 2014, single-channel HD video installation with sound, 29 minutes, French with English version available on headphones

Exhibitions:

2014 BNLMTL 2014 - Montreal Biennial, Montreal Museum of contemporary art

Trois lieux, 2014

images Philippe-Pinel Institute, standard room, 2014
In 1963, the Quebec government decides to build a high-security psychiatric hospital to replace the Bordeaux psychiatric hospital. The Philippe-Pinel Institute of Montreal opens its doors in 1970. This Institute receives patients who come from throughout Quebec and from penal institutions or other health establishments too.

Police National School of Quebec, simulation room, 2014
In 1969, The Police Quebec Institute of Nicolet received its first recruits. In 1974, the Institute employs actors to play police simulations. On 5 May 1997, the police new base formation program entered. This program is essentially based on an experiential approach. A virtual police station is created. It is part of a concrete and strictly supervised approach of learning process: the students play the roles of policemen inside scenarios.

Laboratory of judiciary sciences and forensics (SQ), morgue, 2014
In 1914, the Quebec government created the first North American laboratory of forensic assessments in Montreal. Today, the Laboratoire de sciences judiciaires et de médecine légale includes different fields of expertise like toxicology, biology and DNA study, documents and writing, fires and explosions, chemistry and ballistics. The Quebec laboratory is specific because it contains a forensic institute. Here, the dummy, arrived in its end, is brought down to the morgue by ballistics team.

Par les yeux du surveillant, 2012

images As a new initiative, DHC/ART invites an artist to conceive a hands-on workshop for the education program to be presented within the framework of its current exhibition: "Par les yeux du surveillant" / Through the Eyes of the Monitor is the first of these projects created by artist Emmanuelle Léonard. Aimed at an exploration of the themes and approaches put forth in the exhibition Chronicles of a Disappearance, participants will be presented with a sequence of footage that has been captured by the foundation’s surveillance cameras. In small discussion groups, participants will select images from this footage based on given criteria, which will then be printed. The participants will each individually describe the essence of one of these images in a brief sentence. These accumulated images and texts will provide the content for a collaborative piece that will be created by Emmanuelle Léonard and presented at our closing event.
- DHC/ART Press -

Extras recruited by classified ads are invited to play the role of some anonymous visitors in the DHC exhibition rooms. Unknowingly filmed by the surveillance cameras of the space, they are observed on extracts from videotapes by the participants of the workshop. The participants will have to identify the ones who are suspected of having committed minor crimes. On what criteria should our judgment be based when we have for the only evidence a picture in bad quality? What is a suspicious behaviour in a gallery? Finally it is the observer that observes himself.

Le polygraphe, 2011

images A 68-year old woman submits to a polygraph test. For this video, the (non-professional) actress and her examiner, John Galianos (he, a professional polygrapher) enter the exercise naturally. Questions are asked three times in a different order each time, as per standard procedure. Only the control questions are preserved, the banal questions serving to establish a benchmark for the suspect’s physical reactions and providing a barometer for picking out the lies. In order to do this, the suspect is asked to lie to the examiner. A dance as absurd as it is oppressive, the desire to tell the truth seems as irrepressible as that to please authority.

The Polygraph, 2011, video installation with sound, 13 minutes 25 sec.

Juste une image text by Nicole Gingras

La déposition, 2011

images Unlike police photographs, the transcriptions or video documents of suspect's interrogations are not included in the records to which we have access once the trial is over. The first confession of a woman who murdered her husband used in The Deposition (La deposition) is taken from a judgment given by the Supreme Court of Canada in 1990 in the appeal of an earlier trial. The two others come from depositions of defendants from which extracts were published in articles in Photo Police dating back to the Sixties and early Seventies. A that time, it seems that a certain relationship existed between the tabloid dedicated to criminal cases and the police service who leaked information. The dramatic stories recounted by these women, accused of murdering their spouses, are cut into sometimes brief or anecdotal phrases in order to be reconstructed into a simultaneous unfolding of events. In this new narrative, it is difficult to isolate a single case. And despite some strange errors, one single confession flows from this voice of which we cannot be certain whether it is that of a victim or of an aggressor.
Played by an actor at the École nationale de police du Québec in Nicolet, named Patrick Lacombe, a police officer listens to the deposition, sometimes appalled but most often bored. Depending on the position of the viewer, the sounds of the voice are partly masked (like the filters used by television media).
This video was filmed at the Sûreté du Québec MRC station.

The Deposition, 2011, video installation with sound, 6 minutes 20 sec.

L'interrogatoire, 2011

images Conceived for the Critical Reflection program of Les Territoires, En Obscurité explores the key role that darkness plays within the constitution and reception of visual and aural works of art. In order to experiment with the potential and plurality of questions that obscurity raises and refers to, the gallery’s lighting will gradually change from dimness to almost complete darkness. To adapt to this change in light, the works will transform themselves or be adjusted by the artists along the way. The aim is not merely to play with light but rather to present obscurity as an active, functioning component, a material that can be manipulated.
Curated by Aseman Sabet

"Police interrogation" is a video loop of 8 minutes. The screen is placed behind a one-way mirror embedded in the wall. Immersed in the semi-darkness of the beginning of the exhibition, the image is hardly noticeable because of the mirror reflecting the space light. Throughout the exhibition, when the lights decline till the darkness, the image of the video reveals itself. But it gives little to do: in a deeply dark corridor, between some empty moments, a policewoman comes over and over and sometimes stops to watch us with indifference, compassion or amusement.

Le beau, le laid et la photographie, 2011

images Available for young girls, the L-Trichet school is located in Tetraultville, Montreal East. Fifteen students aged about 13 years in grades 1, answer to two questions: what would be the most beautiful photography of the world? What would be the ugliest photography of the world?
These black and white video portraits filmed in static shot offer the opportunity to create a work in which the starkness of the image gives way to the teenagers word. Between silences and hesitations, sometimes conventional, sometimes surprising, some answers emerge. Referring us to this age between childhood and adolescence, the reflexions about the beautiful and the ugly lead us to the question of taste, constantly redefined.

Homicide, détenu vs détenu - Archives du Palais de Justice de la Ville de Québec, 2010

images Taken by a police officer in 1997, forty-four crime scene photos are displayed on tables. A prisoner murders his fellow inmate in their shared cell. The space being circumscribed, the images scrutinize the cell and reveal us all the details of life in detention as well as the traces of the crime scene. Police photographs rest in boxes in the archives of Quebec City’s Courthouse where we can find, haphazardly, the court exhibits of cases closed. These photographs enter in the public domain when the cases have been judged. Executed in accordance with a very strict procedure and rules, one would like to believe that forensic photography produces cold pictures, deprived of feelings, however one still finds horror there.

Homicide, détenu vs détenu, 44 photographs, map of the space, black and white ink-jet print, 37 cm x 33 cm

Emmanuelle Leonard, a judicial perspective text by Gaelle Morel

La motivation, 2010

images Located in Tampere, the Finland’s Police College trains all the country’s police officers. For The Motive (La motivation) seven students from the Poliisiammattikorkeakoulu – two women and five men – describe what led them to enrol here. Each of them responds to the same question: what motives drove you to become a police officer? Filmed like video mug shots, they express themselves in Finnish while a French voice-over creates a feeling of distance in these narratives of hopes.

The Motive, 2010, video installation with sound, 10 minutes 24 sec.

Les citoyens, manifestation, 15 mars , 2009

images Deployed during a demonstration, riot police officers keep the pose; actors ubiquitous in press images. The uniform, the badge, enroll the individual into action, the law enforcement officers are involved in the event and as it were, they enter in the public domain. Would they be the last citizens of public spaces to represent...

Emmanuelle Leonard, a judicial perspective text by Gaelle Morel

Assemblée nationale, 2009

images A spot of blood on the floor is a classical image. Still, it remains difficult to access because of the closed circulation of the forensic photography which goes from the crime scene to the courtroom. This kind of use which appeared as soon as the origin of the medium (Alphonse Bertillon, 1853-1914) has evolved with a methodology continuously seeking to protect its credibility. Taking the basement corridors to go to the archives of Quebec’s Courthouse, I gained access to the court exhibits among which there were police photographs. Numbered and bound these photographs were available for consultation and might be photocopied. When the cases have been judged, its evidences enter in the public domain.
We recognize the place immediately: the Quebec’s National Assembly. But the angle differs from the usual point of view used in television broadcasting of debates. Here, through the eye of a police officer, we track the tragedy; by collecting the traces left by a man who decided to end politics, this 8th of May, 1984.

Assemblée nationale, black and white newspaper, 12 pages, 32 cm x 36 cm, 1,000 free copies
Images from the archives of Quebec City’s Courthouse

Snowmobile Rehearsal, 2009

images Rescue exercise staging a skidoo accident in the forest which involves all Finnish police corps (customs agents, police officers, paramedics, first-aid workers, etc.). It took place not far from Kittilä, in Lapland, situated in the north of the arctic circle at the end of November, 2009.
At that time, the sun does not rise anymore, dawn touching dusk, a blue light will last a few hours…

L'Annonciation, 2008

images “The Holy Spirit will come down upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you…”
The Gospel according to St Luc

The Annunciation is the moment when Angel Gabriel delivers the message from God to the Virgin Mary and also signifies a painting that represents the eternal Mystery. It is the message and its image.

The Joliette Prison is the only federal penitentiary for women who served sentences of over two years in Quebec. Some of those buildings look like real apartments where mothers can live with their children, either part-time or full-time. Located in the shadows of the Bordeaux prison, Tanguay House is a detention centre for prisoners sentenced for up to two years less a day. Within its perimeters is a mobile home where detainees with good behaviour can receive their children for a weekend.

A bald eagle on the lookout. U.S. emblem, this bird of prey is considered by many North Americans as a messenger of God. This classic portrait follows the code of amateur wildlife photography that wants to disregard the elements which could give us a clue on its captivity.

Fixed and dazzled by the flash light, the she-wolf runs in circles in the cage. The Latin etymology of louve (French for she-wolf) is lupa that designated a prostitute. Female of an animal that we tried to eradicate, in vain.

Une sale affaire, 2007

images "Always squeeze the shutter release as you do the trigger on your gun" - Crime Scene Photography course, RCMP

The driver and his truck sank into the river’s icy waters. The image of a man — the owner of a house near the scene of the tragedy — is broadcast over the media. Emmanuelle Léonard’s Une sale affaire (“dirty business”) brings the investigation to life, with all the mundane details and the flurry of spawned documents. Here, though, investigative procedures accompany a photographic fiction that brings something new to the evidence: the image itself.

With her previous series, "Les travailleurs" (2002), "Les travailleurs de l’église Sainte-Rita", Nice (2003), and "Les marcheurs" (2004), Léonard had seasoned us to a practice midway between conceptualism and photo-journalism. Her investigation of realism, often expressive of a social universe, here leads her to question the objectivity of the photographic document, considered from a judicial perspective. To be accepted in court, police photography must respect simple though strict guidelines meant to ensure efficiency and objectivity, as summed up in the statement: "The photograph must not appeal to the emotions" - Field Evidence Technician Course, California State University. Applying this rule to picture-taking, Léonard circumscribes every angle, every exit from a building. The intent is to take pictures that reconstruct the scene leading up to the investigation. These photographs and a brief noirish video sequence call us to witness. The camera’seye attempts to persuade us. But of what crime?

In the basement corridors leading to the archives at the Quebec City court house, Léonard has access to items of evidence for closed cases, among them photographs taken by the police. Numbered and bound, they are free to be consulted and photocopied for they no longer have any judiciary use. In a sense, they’ve returned to the public domain, like the events recounted in the second hall of the gallery. Elsewhere, equipped with a portable radio, Léonard listens in on police communications, on the lookout for incidents requiring immediate action. Thus equipped, and attentive to what’s happening on TV and the Internet, she observes public events, follows press photos: accidents, raids, shootings, drownings. While a picture printed in the newspaper is meant to elicit emotion, police photos muster the evidence. Between the photo attached to a police report and exhibitions in the printed press, between the programmed neutrality of the one and the sensationalist intentions of the other, can we measure the visual divide?
- Translated by Ron Ross

Special thanks to Jean-Pierre Aubé, Roberto Pellegrinuzzi, Georges Aubin, Jean-Pierre Bourgault, Mathias Delplanque, Luc Laforce (of the Journal de Montréal), Christiane Bourdua (from the City of Montreal’s police department, or SPVM), Mélanie Lajoie (Division des communications, SPVM), M. Caumartin (Division de l’identification, SPVM), the art centres Est-Nord-Est, Optica, and the Fondation Christoph Merian, and the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec.



Exhibition:

2007 Une sale affaire, Optica gallery, Montreal

Guardia, resguárdeme, 2005

images In the streets of Mexico City, the number of private security guards is estimated at 12,000. There are some 10,000 private security companies in the country, but, in the year 2000, only 2,984 of these had a valid permit. These companies offer a variety of “products,” such as armed bodyguards, elite chauffeurs, armoured cars, radio and video surveillance systems, etc. Everywhere, guardaespaldas keep watch for widely varying salaries (which sometimes include meal tickets and uniforms and are sometimes nothing more than these bonuses). On Moneda Street is one of many clothing stores specializing in uniforms of every description. Given that a great number of workers have more than one job, or move from one to another, it has become practically impossible to distinguish the cop from the security guard from the criminal. In 1998, the legislative assembly declared that these private guards had become more numerous than the police. In the streets of Mexico City, a gringa is walking with the lens of a surveillance camera planted in her hat. Now a part of the urban landscape, this discreet eye is the product of an increasingly popular technology; private life and private property, become synonymous, must be protected. It is a tool of uncertain birth (police departments, private industry, individuals) and of improbable recipients (are they watching?). It is an autonomous device: no biography intrudes upon the image. One can never be too wary of the interference of human weakness.

The encounter between two control strategies, a guard and a camera, will take place around a public space, the Plaza de la Constitución, the Plaza Zócalo. She looks for him, moves slowly towards him. The two instruments come up against one another, their function is altered. In the rubbing together of these observation systems, contact is brief, it is of the order of the persistence of vision. A furtive breach is opened. For a brief moment, the eye slips. Because their paths separated. Paths always separate. We carry tools with us, and tactics within us. My body is not neutral ground. Nor is yours, by the way. We keep watch. We have to protect ourselves, my love.

Guardia, resguárdeme.



Exhibitions:

2005 Territoires urbains, Montreal Museum of contemporary art
2006 Oakville Galleries, Oakville

The end, 2004

images A projector presents a black-and-white, 30-second loop, shot with a Super-8 camera; an old man waves energetically goodbye at us. Bid adieu to analogue amateur film, relic of the 20th century. Being a silent movie, the words have been erased; we can’t hear the old man.



Exhibition:

2005 J'appelle l'inquisition (autoportraits), Occurrence gallery, Montreal

faits divers, 2004

images Anonymous records of a news item, this sudden entrance of private drama on the street. With the growing number of restrictions on shooting or recording in public space — paradoxically under the cover of privacy and private property rights, now become synonymous — only remain some accidental witnesses or empty streets…



Exhibition:

2005 J'appelle l'inquisition (autoportraits), Occurrence gallery, Montreal

Kill the Drunk Woman, 2004

images Self-portraits of ambiguous likeness, a modelization of the author playing the role of dubious heroine in classic video game action: a suspended killing. A contemporary genre scene, the authentic chronicle of a shared debauchery, without drama.
With the participation of Alexandre Brunel, 3D designer



Exhibition:

2005 J'appelle l'inquisition (autoportraits), Occurrence gallery, Montreal

Statistical landscape, 2004

images Twenty employees were asked to take pictures of their workspace, such as to represent 20 sectors of employment in Toronto (source: Statistics Canada). The size of each image is keyed to the number of workers in the sector it represents. For the time of the shoot, these spaces only produce images. A freely distributed poster gives information on the photographer and the sector.
A project in cooperation with Mercer Union Gallery, Toronto



Exhibitions :

2005 The space of making, Neuer Berliner Kuntsverein Berlin
2005 Stadtische Museum Zwickau, Kunstmuseum Heidenheim
2005 Stadtische Waldkraiburg Gallery, Germany

General Motors, Ste-Thérèse (the end), 2004

images A monthly union meeting of former GM employees, TCA local 1163, in their spaces in the town of Boisbriand — despite the St. Therese plant’s closing, bringing thirty years’ operation and Quebec’s automotive industry to an end. The parking lot storing the last Impalas, the only view one has of the production as access to the manufacturing premises was denied. We’re on the outside, and that’s where we’ll stay, the factory having been torn down.



Exhibition:

2004 Working, Mercer Union, Toronto

Les marcheurs, 2004

images Six thirty a.m., De Gaspé Street, the textile factory employees are arriving. For one month, posted like a paparazzo ignoring his usual subjects, not to be outdone by the surveillance cameras. The lens spies the look of one ensconced in a body struggling against the cold in the city’s last industrial neighbourhood. Wind tunnels through between the buildings, close by employee footpaths marking a vacant.



Exhibitions:

2006 Oakville Galleries, Oakville
2005 Trafic Inter/nationale d'art actuel en Abitibi-Témiscamingue, L'Écart, Rouyn-Noranda
2005 Territoires urbains, Montreal Museum of contemporary art
2004 Working, Mercer Union, Toronto

Le stade du Ray, 2004

images Ray stadium is slated for demolition. In the old-style construction, the crowd is placed close to the field, causing a little skittishness among security personnel. Here, the stadium stands and the game goes on to the hearty cheer of the fans.



Exhibitions:

2007 Summer Glow, Donald Browne Gallery, Montreal
2004 Adoration, Pari Nadimi Gallery, Toronto

Je t’aime, 2003

images This poster has been executed as part of the exchange project Les affiches ne meurent jamais, between the French publisher based in Bordeaux Le Bleu du Ciel and the Quebec galleries Le Lieu and Galerie Clark.
A portrait of an eroded fingerprint that plays between narcissism and masochism.

It has been exhibited in places in France and in Quebec, such as in the Centre d’art contemporain Passerelle in Brest and in Artexte in Montreal.

Les travailleurs de l'église Sainte-Rita, Nice, 2003

images The six workers of the Sainte-Rita Catholic church in Nice strike a pose: Youcef Ben-Mohamed, Marie-Thérèse Caruana, Father Normandin, Joseph Paletta, Julien Pauliau, Roxana Ponchier-Alforo. Each in his or her frame, all in the same setting located at 1 Rue de la Poissonnerie, Nice.



Exhibition:

2004 Adoration, Pari Nadimi Gallery, Toronto

Les travailleurs, 2002

images This documentary is made up of 110 photographs taken by 45 workers in their workspaces. Representing various sectors of employment in Quebec (according to 1999 data), including professions not indexed in these statistics — housewife, prostitute, unemployed person etc. —, these images show places devoid of human presence. A transfer of authorship that allowed access to locations closed to strangers. Here we don't have portraits of faces but portraits of gazes.



Exhibitions:

2005 Arbeitshaus Einatmen, Kunsthaus Dresden, Dresde, Germany
2003 Lieux anthropiques, Casa Vallarta, Guadalajara
2002 La vie en temps réel/Mode ralenti, VOX gallery, Montreal

Dans l’œil du travailleur, 2001

images Workers from different areas have been asked to take photographs of their workplace with an automatic camera lent to them. A magazine presenting the image bank produced by the employees. 7,000 copies are printed and freely distributed by paper carriers on the street and at other venues. Nothing to sell but a glance at on the bread-winning theatre.

Dans l'oeil du travailleur, black and white newspaper, 12 pages, 44 photographs by 33 employees - credits on page 12 include name and job title.



Exhibitions:

2002 Citizen Clark, Glassbox gallery, Paris, France
2001 Du lien social, public events produced by VOX, Le Mois de la Photo à Montréal, Montreal

Les pantomimes, 1999

images Series of 6 pantomimes, which display comic sketches performed by great actors who in fact are not, amidst hyper-realistic sets.



Exhibitions:

2001 Hors/Out of Place, Notre-Dame de Grâce Cultural Center, Montreal
1999 La boîte en chantier, Plein Sud gallery, Longueuil

Le ça, l’ours, et le tonneau des Danaïdes, 1998

images A black box presides in the hollow of an artificial cave. It is a question of at once documenting a myth and building a reality out of cement and plywood. Is an artificial cave in fact more a cave than a cube is a(n) (unfinished) bear? Juggling between what one believes one sees, what one wants to see, and what one can see.



Exhibitions:

1999 La boîte en chantier, Plein Sud gallery, Longueuil
1998 Le ça, l’ours, et le tonneau des Danaïdes, VU center, Quebec City

Descriptions, inscriptions, 1997

images 5 photographs show boxes of underground garages. Bearing the signs of their defacement, they create a labyrinth where uniqueness and instantaneousness disappear.



Exhibitions:

1997 Descriptions, inscriptions, Clark Gallery, Montreal
1997 De fougue et de passion, Montreal Museum of contemporary art

Le corps électrique, 1996

images An electrical circuit is fragmented by 4 photographs. A sentence is inscribed on the gallery wall: Deceased on April 30, 1995. As a result of a fall, a deep fracture of the occiput has been identified.



Exhibition:

1996 Jeune photographie, fuite et repaire, Centre de photographies actuelles Dazibao, Montreal

L’usine, 1995

images 25 photographs (negative contacts 4 x 5) of industrial landscapes along the St. Laurent River. Some quotes extracted from the annual reports of these various companies are engraved on the silvering of a mirror.



Exhibition:

V.A.V. Gallery, Concordia University, Montreal