Briefly describe the work you do.
My projects are determined by the selection and combination of elements, which together establish an open corpus. This structure serves alternately to the integration of such varied existing works including but not limited to sculptures, artefacts, performative or textual works. Subsequently, my work questions the presentation and representation inherent to autonomous objects. By association, I create non-linear narratives where invested sources gather at the crossing of investigation and storytelling. Following an interdisciplinary approach, my projects advocate a hybrid status between visual arts, design, literature and the curatorial. Calling for an integration of the multiple components of my production: creation, collection, curatorship, I want to freely examine the dynamics of a curatorial process, a resolutely inclusive process where content expresses itself with regard to context.
Tell us about your background and how that has had an influence on your work and on you as an artist.
I find it more evident now that I worked as an artist for few years that I am influenced by the language context of living in Quebec. It is not about making a political statement, but I grew up thinking about the conflictual nature of speaking a “broken” French and feeling that my accent wasn’t able to represent an intelligent discourse. It might come from what I was perceiving around me growing up. Currently, I am very interested in magazines, feminist and queer zines that were published in the 1970s and 1980s, mostly in Montreal. I find the use of language deeply political and still a topic of relevance today.
The concept of the artist studio has a broad range of meanings in contemporary practice. Artists may spend much of their time in the actual studio, or they may spend very little time in it. Tell us about your individual studio practice and how it differs from or is the same as traditional notions of “being in the studio.”
The studio is where my mind is. I do not feel the need to have a designated place to work.
What roles do you find yourself playing that you may not have envisioned yourself in when you first started making art?
Doing a PhD was not expected when I started making art. I find myself doing more research and writing recently then actually making art, but that will change soon. I appreciate the cycles of creation and non-creation.
When do you find is the best time to make art? Do you set aside a specific time everyday or do you have to work whenever time allows?
The short answer would be: late at night, when everybody is sleeping. In the last year, I did exhibitions on short notice, so I had an intensive summer of production.
How has your work changed in the past five years? How is it the same?
I was always interested in the relation between my various creations. A drawing would start a cycle of performances using sculptures that would then be the subjects of drawing and so on. An ecology of sort. What changed is that lately, I found it more interesting to work on broader projects, mostly in the form of exhibitions.
How have people such as family, friends, writers, philosophers, other artists or even pop icons had an impact on the work you do?
Literature is often a starting point in my projects. In the last years, I was obsessed with Arthur Machen, a British author from the late 19th century. I was collecting the editions of his books republished during the 1970s, the psychedelic lettering being a reminiscence of the art nouveau. Currently, I am rediscovering the work of Jenny Holzer and Franz Erhard Walther.
Have you ever been pulled in the direction of a pursuit other than being an artist? What are your other interests?
History and archaeology have always fascinated me. I suppose I only like the romanticized version of it, a large library with varnished oak bookshelves, exotic rugs, hand carved wooden figurines, and leather bounded books. That makes me think that psychoanalysis could have been an other career patch for me.
Guillaume Adjutor Provost is an interdisciplinary artist living and working in Montréal, Québec. He is currently pursuing a PhD at the École des arts visuels et médiatiques at UQÀM, Montréal. His research focuses on curatorial strategies as creative gestures. Guillaume Adjutor has presented his work in solo and group exhibitions across Canada, as well as in the United States, Belgium, Germany, Austria, and France. In the fall of 2015, he will be in residency at the Christoph Merian Foundation in Basel, Switzerland.
All images copyright of the artist and used with their permission.