To insinuate oneself into the graphic universe of Jaime Angelopoulos is to surrender to one's senses and embrace one's vulnerability. It is to prepare oneself to lose foot at any moment, to be in turn amused, troubled, seduced or emboldened.

Autonomous while still being connected to one another as to a rhizome, the drawings and sculptures exhibited at the Musée Regional de Rimouski may initially appear to belong to an exclusively formal mode of inquiry. The frank and vibratory tone of infrared (2014), the uncompromising minimalism of The Youth (2017) or even the organic and ondulatory form of Eurydice (2015), even if they testify to such concerns are not, however, limited to those preoccupations. As a matter of fact, these works suggest a powerful and sensitive humanism.

The art of Jaime Angelopoulos takes root in affect and implies at the same time interiorization, work on oneself, empathetic listening and the humility of the artist. Whereas she avoids common sense boundaries, Angelopoulos seeks to give form to human emotions, behaviors and experiences. In this perspective, she codifies the immaterial which she attempts to appropriate by translating it into a visual language that is her own, without however refusing corporality. To some extent, this fundamental interest, not so much for the body as for that which agitates it, recalls the notion of "expressive body," as it is understood in the dramatic art and modern dance.


In a conference entitled La Danse et l'espoir (Dance and Hope) presented in Montreal on February 16,1948, the multidisciplinary artist Françoise Sullivan calls for a renewal of the dance which would have, according to her, "(lost) its human character,(lost) everything that allows it to convey the intensity of life, (lost) feelings and aspirations that are as much individual as social”. She is already advocating, in the wake of the Refus global, a return to the harmonious use of the laws of nature-  notably the law of gravity- and is opposed, categorically, to the concept of the Academy which hinders, if not halts the development of the discipline.

At the time, Sullivan has just returned from New York, where she studied dance with Martha Graham, Pearl Primus and in particular, Franziska Boas (1945-47). At the Boas School of Dance, and then with the Boas Dance Company, the artist whom we now recognize as a pioneer of modern Quebecois dance had left behind the teachings of her classical training in order to experiment differently the body in movement.

It is thus beyond the disciplinary boundaries that the aspirations of Jaime Angelopoulos' connect with those of Sullivan and even of Boas, notably in their shared quest for the full awareness of the body, as well as the exteriorization of the vital emotive charge that inhabits it. The sculptures and drawings of Angelopoulos maintain a close relation to the human body by their scale, their verticality and their assurance. It is thus with great subtlety that Eurydice exudes a perfume of humanity. Apart from the title, its posture sets one thinking, connoting a certain affect. In order to anthropomorphize this volume invertebrate mass, the artist solicits certain psychomotor principles familiar to dancers, including the action of so-called "gravitational"muscles. These muscles, acting more often than not without our awareness, are those which record our affective modulations. Incidentally, feeling an emotion influences - even if imperceptibly - on our posture, and vice versa.


Animated by antagonistic forces, the works of Angelopoulos are at times troubling. Sometimes they appear dynamic and extroverted, and other times apathetic and introverted; they invoke in succession hope and despair, movement and immobility. Some even take on the menacing appearance of traps, snares or immense gillnets. These works carry with them the dreams and anxieties of the artist – and perhaps a whole generation. They are the voice of a generation confronted with uncertainty, that lacks clear models and does not know how to escape a neoliberal political regime in which it does not recognize itself.

Not without suggesting the oil painting The Third of May of 1808 in Madrid- also known as the The Shootings on the Prince Pio Hill (1814) by Francisco de Goya, You're Hysterical (2016) stands as a symbol of compassion for the victims of the war, while denouncing corruption and the defenders of the status quo. Perhaps more optimistic and celebratory, Role Model (2017) and The Youth (2017) act as beacons of hope for a better tomorrow.

Simultaneously strong and vulnerable, the work of JaimeAngelopoulos has its origins in an autobiographical practice before taking on a collective dimension. Like the reflection behind by Françoise Sullivan's La Dance et l’espoir and the cry fromthe heart of Goya, in The Third of Mayas much as in The Disasters of War (1810-20) her work appears indeed to be profoundly anchored in human experience. It amounts to an act of resistance.

-Éve De Garie-Lamanque, Curator Musée Régional de Rimouski

Translated by Serge Bérard

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