The Long Red Ribbon, 2001

(in collaboration with Héloïse Audy)

Installation-performance which takes place in an old public bath, le Bain St-Michel.

The public bath is a space where the bodies, half naked, cross each other, nearly touching. A space where intimacies are put in relation under the cover of physical activity. We tried to create a work where, once again, the intimacies would overlap. Le long ruban rouge is the result of a collection of over 1500 sentence-thoughts gathered around Montreal in November 2001. They are made up of hundreds of moments lived by various people, transcribed onto paper. The swimming space is here transformed into a factory dedicated to converting thoughts into material. Two young women are constantly working in this space and appropriate the gestures of the seamstress, infusing these everyday gestures with a poetic meaning.

Visitors are invited to participate by writing down a spontaneous thought. This action initiates a process wherein the sentences they write will be sewn after the others on a long red ribbon. The installation presents the unfolding procession of this infinite ribbon, which, in the same way as History, recounts facts. With a mechanism of rolling and tension, the ribbon progresses in the space.

Red cotton, red thread, recycled paper, polyester canvas(20x 6,5m), wood frames (pine), wood basin (ash-tree), running working system (old wooden reels of thread, felt), a sewing machine table, a writing table, 350 m2. Special thanks to all who shared their thoughts with us during November 2001. Photo: Julie Faubert.