“No” is easier said than done. Canadian artist Noémi McComber explores this tension by playing with the arsenal of tones, gestures, and variations we draw from when saying “no.” A work that opens itself to our imaginations, inviting us to participate in the process of constructing negation, from interrogation to affirmation and back again.
Sur le principe de négation is a study of negation in all its colors. In this video, Noémi McComber explores what it means to say “no” from a feminist perspective, in a world where it is just as hard to establish boundaries as it is to refuse those that are imposed upon us.
By turns evoking the figures of mother, teacher, and woman, McComber shows us how we negotiate negation through the timbre of our voices and the expressions on our faces, caught as we are between the restrictive demands of a norm and the affirmative power of refusing to adhere to them.
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This piece is presented as part of In Focus, a monthly series showcasing new video art that caught our eyes, made us think, or that we simply couldn’t forget.
Sur le principe de négation, 2012 Video, 4:33 min
Noémi McComber lives and works in Montréal. Since 2000, she has been actively involved in artistic and curatorial projects and is a founding member of L'Araignée, a feminist collective for the dissemination of contemporary art. She holds a master’s degree in visual and media arts at Chelsea College of Art, London (UK). Noémi McComber’s work has been the subject of numerous international exhibitions, including presentations at ICA in London (UK); FRAC, Lorraine de Metz (France); Kunstverein Kohlenhof, Nürnberg (Germany); Moscow Centre for the Arts, Moscow (Russia); Castlefield Gallery, Manchester (UK); L’Oeil de poisson Gallery, Québec (Canada); Musée des Beaux-arts de Sherbrooke, Quebec (Canada); and Casa Tres Patios, Medellin (Colombia).