Concordia Artist Anne-Audrey Remarais Sets Free

Vulnerability as Authentic Healing at the VAV Gallery’s ‘No.03’ Finissage

  • Remarais created ‘Miwa, I…’ as a collective healing process by including the voices of Black folks who shared their perspective. Photo Nanor Froundjian

“Words—it’s energy, it’s like a spell, kind of like casting a spell on myself,” said Anne-Audrey Remarais.

Despite the difficulty of confronting her fears and insecurities, Remarais believed it was the only way to move past them. She carried with her the burden of past generations, the suffering of the Black community that was passed down to her in childhood.

Miwa, I… is an interactive installation where Remarais wanted to simulate a ritualistic space. Two orange lights, recreating the glow of candles, were installed on the wall. A gold-framed mirror hung from the opposite wall, with a pair of headphones to its right.

The interpretation of our reflection is subjective, Remarais explained. Through the people’s voices in the soundscape coming from the headphones, she hopes the visitors will see a positive reflection in the mirror.

In the adjacent space, Seeing and be-coming was exhibited; the phrase ‘Will you move with my shadow?’ was projected onto a black drape.

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“When I dance I feel free, but I don’t lead my life with the same freedom that I have when I dance and that comes from [suppressing] certain things that I don’t want to confront,” said Remarais.

This exhibition allowed her to liberate herself from traumatic narratives—the stories and actions that fuelled a sense of insecurity. Revealing her vulnerabilities, she explained, was the only way to finding the power in those voices and changing them.

“[I’m] working through finding the power to see myself as capable, to see myself as enough, and to see myself as beautiful, because even if the words said something, the actions said something else.”

The exhibition at the Visual Arts Visuels Gallery is open until Dec. 6 and Remarais will be hosting a workshop to accompany her work in the new year.

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