Artist Frédérique Laliberté unveils her new installation at Concordia’s FOFA Gallery
Montreal multimedia artist Frédérique Laliberté (MFA) has come full circle.
After presenting art projects in France, Mexico, Switzerland, China and Hungary, Laliberté has returned to her alma mater to unveil her latest installation, Un lieu vide où il ne se passe rien, which runs at the FOFA Gallery from March 21 to April 29.
The installation is more than four years in the making. Laliberté was the 2018 recipient of the Claudine and Stephen Bronfman Fellowship in Contemporary Art, which supported the creation and production of the installation, as it has for many other projects.
“The Bronfman fellowship was not just an encouragement but a validation of my work,” Laliberté says.
“They gave me a grant so that I could pursue my ideas. That feels really good because a jury of artists, curators and educators recognized my work is important and worth it.”
Laliberté’s practice is expressed in a variety of formats, mediums and situations, yet her true love remains paper mâché. Un lieu vide où il ne se passe rien plays with notions of interior and exterior by using the wall, as both a concept and a construction.
In a combination of handmade and digital processes, Laliberté’s installation inhabits FOFA Gallery’s Main Space, Black Box and its Ste-Catherine Vitrine.
The installation was created alongside Laliberté’s art book Un lieu vide anticipé, which was published in 2020 when the installation was originally supposed to premiere at the FOFA Gallery, which showcases the current artistic and research practices of the Faculty of Fine Arts. But the COVID-19 pandemic pushed everything back two years.
“COVID certainly disturbed my art practice. As artists we’re pushed to being out there and showing results because we fear if we disappear for a number of years, then people forget about us,” Laliberté says.
“The patience imposed by the pandemic not only stretched my projects’ timelines, but it increased my desire to work against this restless productive impulse.”
Fortunately Laliberté was also working on a film, Le Désert, and other research-creation projects during COVID, so she remained in touch with her practice and her collaborators. But with the easing of COVID restrictions and the reopening of the FOFA Gallery, Laliberté is glad to see the exhibition finally materialize.
“I’m so happy that FOFA is able to display my work. It feels great to be able to share this long-term project with people.”
Laliberté says she’s also thrilled to be back at her alma mater. “My time studying at Concordia was really fun. It was a very social master,” she says
It felt like a really interesting conversation that I had for three years with people from across all disciplines whose thoughts were much connected to mine. It was a really rich and friendly time, and to finally be able to present my project at the FOFA Gallery is quite exciting.”
Frédérique Laliberté’s installation Un lieu vide où il ne se passe rien runs at the FOFA Gallery from March 21 to April 29. Laliberté’s art book Un lieu vide anticipé is also available for purchase at the gallery. For more info, visit frederiquelaliberte.com.
Find out more about Concordia’s Faculty of Fine Arts and the Claudine and Stephen Bronfman Fellowship in Contemporary Art.