Justine Charland and Nicolas Bourgeois, students in the master’s program in sound creation at the Université de Montréal, were offered a two-week artist residency at Sporobole from August 23 to September 5, 2023. The work resulting from this residency will be played in the sound window in 2024.
The installation Mur Murs reveals the secrets of woman-identifying individuals around Sherbrooke. Named after the 1981 documentary by acclaimed filmmaker Agnès Varda, the work seeks to open a dialogue between girls and women who don’t know each other, in an anonymous way. They are subject to the weight of expectations: what they must be, what their bodies must wear, what they must say, sometimes, and keep quiet, other times. Are women free to be what they want, or free to be what they can within a certain framework? Mur Murs aims to break down this social construct: go ahead, ladies, say what you want! Girls, teenagers, young mothers, single women, trans women, elderly women, grandmothers, all are invited to speak out. How do you like the flowers in spring? Why did you choose to be a mother? If all careers had been open to you at the time, what would you have liked to be? What’s your favorite street in Sherbrooke? What’s your favorite cheese? Topics can range from the profound to the everyday: all they have to do is float their thoughts and tell their stories.
Mur Murs is a collection of demographically varied testimonials, subsequently synthesized into snippets of experiences of the city. These anecdotes, projected on both sides, give the effect of a real improvised exchange, like an exquisite corpse wallpapered on a background of soaring ambiences. In Mur Murs, the emphasis is on creating a safe space where opinions can be expressed in a place where the voice is magnified.