Collectif Taupe (2003-13) was formed by four artists from the city of Moncton: Jennifer Bélanger, Jean-Denis Boudreau, Angèle Cormier, and Mario Doucette. The goal of the collective was to perform unexpected interventions in unusual places to engage the public and raise awareness of contemporary issues. Taupe infiltrated everyday reality through set pieces and trickery, which playfully exposed the structures which shape our societal norms.
The collective’s activities were often carried out stealthily: for the project WalmArt (2006 and 2008), for example, the artists inserted their original works of art in the picture frames of the big-box store, which they then put back on the shelves in order to clandestinely interfere in the capitalist processes of large retailers. Taupe’s method is consistent with taking conventions and altering them slightly in order to underscore their singularity and call their foundations into question.
Collectif Taupe, Raymond, 2005
Raymonde/Raymond is a second-generation shrub which is a new take on a work done by Collectif Taupe in 2005, Le buisson Raymond. This new sculptural shrub was re-thought on several levels. On the formal level, it preserves the eyes and the goofy look of the original version, in which the plastic eyes were hung from a real bush, but this time coloured concrete has taken the place of the greenery. In addition, the stealthy aspect that was integral to the original work has been reduced in favour of greater visibility within a public park. The work is now not at all unobtrusive and stands out in a pleasing manner. In addition, on a conceptual level, the title given to the work by Loranger opens up ways of thinking about gender identity. The title now consists of the first name Raymonde/Raymond, thereby eliminating any possibility of imposing a sole gender on the work.
Raymonde/Raymond provides benevolent supervision for all park users, from different walks of life, thereby instilling human values towards all.
Raymonde/Raymond (detail), 2018, colored concrete
To create this shrub-artwork, Loranger invited Éric Filteau to collaborate with her. They drew on their shared technical expertise in casting coloured concrete. This time, the materiality of the work ensures it will be integrated into its environment in a lasting manner. Raymonde/Raymond provides benevolent supervision for all park users, from different walks of life, thereby instilling human values towards all. The observations of the silent schrub will never be known to others, but its presence may cause the passer-by a little embarrassment or bring about a smile. Because Raymonde/Raymond will never leave the site and will retain its form throughout the seasons, she/he will continue to watch over the park and enhance everyone’s visit.
The artist would like to thank Eric Filteau for his collaboration in the project.
Jacinthe Loranger works primarily in screen-printing, which she uses in a variety of forms, such as installation, sculpture, and collage. She combines disparate elements, taking them out of their original context by viewing them in an excessively joyous manner, thereby commenting on contemporary society. By drawing on the conventions of the still life, landscape, and animal paintings, her work depicts metaphorical scenes of human life in which the everyday becomes flamboyant. With humour and poetry, this fantastic imagery praises imperfections and inconsistency, which she transforms into objects of contemporary vanity.
Loranger lives and works in Montreal. She completed a bachelor’s degree in visual and media art at UQAM in 2001 and a master’s degree in visual art at Concordia University in 2017. She has undertaken several artist residencies and shown her work across Canada, including several exhibitions in Quebec (at Engramme, Galerie B312 and Arprim).