29.10 — 26.11 / 2022

Mort au bureau

Kinetic and sound installation (2022) 

Pascale LeBlanc Lavigne


Over the past two years, office spaces have been deserted in favour of telecommuting. Rapidly, many saw some advantages: 

No more jackets and pants 

No more rushed morning preparations

No more spending hours on public transportation answering office emails on a volunteer basis

No more embarrassing tummy gurgles as you wait impatiently for dinner

No more guilt over another forgotten lunch that is replaced by a mediocre Subway sandwich


Nevertheless, as many have noticed, these benefits are accompanied by a confusion between personal and professional life, an intensification of work and a certain social isolation. Finally, we miss that colleague who made coffee for everyone at 1:30 p.m.

The installation Mort au bureau is the result of an intensive creation residency realized at Sporobole, whose premises emerge from a feeling oscillating between the joy and despair provoked by the potential return to in-person work. Through a presentation made out of festive colours, various sculptures cobbled together from objects and furniture emblematic of work spaces put to the test their resistance under the abrupt repetitions of motorized movements. An overturned desk, a trash can spinning on itself, an array of Post-it notes activated by motors spinning in all directions, a stapler smashing against the wall, a computer printing constantly or a telephone with its insistent ringing, are some of the elements that are favourable to this exploration. 

In parallel, part of the exhibition is delocalized: with the help of surveillance cameras, the disarticulated choreography of these supplies is transmitted live via a desktop computer, a key – and connected – element of the installation located in Eastern Bloc, in Montreal. On both sides of the desk and on the wall, objects and furniture specific to office spaces are also animated and degraded.


This exhibition is presented as part of the 12th edition of the Sight+Sound festival, an event of Eastern Bloc.

About the festival :


Dancing While Waiting (for the End of the World)

Bringing together works that play on a duality between festive and critical dimensions—whether they be performances, installations, augmented reality, sound or video works, Dancing While Waiting (For the End of the World) brings together proposals exploring the idea of reappropriating the social space that has been undermined over the past two years. If the hazards of our world and its occasional catastrophes can weaken what we take for granted, we can nevertheless take a step aside, then another, review the sequence and reshape the movement, rethink the choreography that is ours—dance again the existence together and participate in the movement of the world.

This movement presents itself as the passage of time with no coming back, through which new perspectives, and the hope for the emergence of a hybrid, transformed humanity arise; it is a back and forth from utopias to dystopias, anxiety about the current state of the world. This movement is also linked to our omniconnection, to our relationship to interfaces—our new mirrors, and to our dependence on the power structures that govern them. Then it sometimes takes the shape of loneliness, when trapped in a (too) familiar environment, waiting for the end of the world, or else, a vacant space left to itself when we are no longer there.

The proposed program exacerbates a tension between a “before” characterized by a carefree attitude of which we were unaware, and a “future” of which we are not sure that it is worthy of the name. It is this duality that is summoned here: behind the newly found festivity and the proximity that we have missed so much, there is the danger of denial, of dismissing pervasive critical issues may they be ecological, social or political.


Curators : Sarah Ève Tousignant & Nathalie Bachand


Photo credit : François Lafrance