Justine Blau, laureate of the Research and creation residency for visual artists in Montreal 2023
In collaboration with the Fonderie Darling in Montreal, Kultur | lx – Arts Council Luxembourg offers visual artists research and creation residencies for a period of three months. For the first time, a pilot project will extend the residency by three weeks as part of the programme for joint Residencies at the Matapédia Station (Gaspésie).
Following a call for applications, jury members Stéphane Meyers (Rotondes), Stilbé Schroeder (Casino Luxembourg – Forum d’Art Contemporain) and Suzan Noesen (artist in residence in 2022) selected Justine Blau for her project VOYAGE EN SOLASTALGIE.
Justine Blau has a solid track record and a strong relationship with Luxembourg whilst also being open to a wide range of influences and horizons. From her very first photo collages, Blau has explored landscapes in her work and the ways in which they are transformed by climate change and human intervention. More recently, Justine Blau has incorporated an ethical and ontological aspect into her work by looking at the plants and living beings that make up these landscapes and how they interact in various ways. Her research has naturally led her to look back at the ways in which humans have interacted with their natural environment: a relationship of domination and subjugation interwoven with narratives and beliefs, a relationship that is the opposite of the interdependence shown by other living species. In her most recent work, Blau has explored the memories of past landscapes and how they have been confronted with the way in which these landscapes have evolved and changed. This research has led the artist to focus on the people who saw their environment change as a result of progressive subjugation and who still suffer the effects of a deep trauma (solastalgia). Justine Blau uses her conceptual, almost scientific research, to create extremely refined visual works, such as videos, installations and tapestries.
In addition to the intrinsic value of Justine Blau’s work, the jury believes that the artist’s process for her project to explore the way in which communities of Indigenous peoples in Canada understand and pass on the concept of nature and landscape could be further developed during a residency in Montreal. The jury would also like to mention the artist’s contribution to art in Luxembourg and the synergies she has created around her. Her experimental approach, the range of collaborative aspects to her work, and her ability to open doors and build relationships with others are strengths that will undoubtedly ensure that this short residency will be fruitful.
About Justine Blau
Justine Blau adopts a multidisciplinary approach in her work, combining sculptures, installations, photographs and videos. Through her work, she addresses philosophical questions about humanity’s relationship with nature, images and the living world. Her creations have been exhibited many times in Luxembourg and across Europe, including most recently VIDA INERTE at the Centre Nei Liicht in Dudelange (2020), and the publication of THE VEIL OF NATURE, forthcoming from K.Verlag, Berlin. She is also currently completing PHUSIS, a film featuring a soap bubble representing an ephemeral moment, for which she received a Carte Blanche from the Film Fund. In 2019, she completed an artist’s residency at the Cité internationale des Arts in Paris.