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Microcosmic Experiences: Art by Marie-Hélène Tessier

GAMMES NOIRES ou Esprit de l'escalier, performance at Dynamo Arts Association, Vancouver, BC


Marie-Hélène Tessier is a Canadian artist who works in writing, performance, and media arts, creating collaborative works that function more as microcosmic experiences than as lasting artefacts.

A performance photo from Sitting Around in Vancouver 2014SITTING AROUND, performance photographed inside KITCHEN by Julia Feyrer at Grunt Gallery, Vancouver


As we discussed in our previous feature of Marie-Hélène’s literary performance pieces, the artist’s works are necessarily temporal, not always filmed, existing only for the duration of the performance before being relegated to the realm of memories and ideas. There’s something delightfully ethereal about the works that the artist makes in this fashion, and in the hints that are left behind on Marie-Hélène’s art portfolio website. Here, each individual work is loosely described, giving the viewer an inkling of what the event itself might have looked like.


A screen capture of Marie-Hélène Tessier's art website

The front page of Marie-Hélène's art website


The majority of Marie-Hélène’s artworks and writings are collaborative in some sense – sometimes the artist works with a group of others to create a single piece of writing or a physical object like a zine. Other times, in performances, each artist contributes a different element to the scene, whether it’s sound, visuals, dance, or cinematography.

A performance photo of CONTOUR at Publication Studio, VancouverCONTOUR, text commissioned by Jacquelyn Ross for Young Adult Issue 2 (performance at Publication Studio, Vancouver, BC)

About the author

Dallas Jeffs Art Writer

Dallas Jeffs is the Editor of Artist Run Website's blog. They hold a degree in Critical and Cultural Practices from Emily Carr University of Art and Design, as well as a certificate in Technical Writing from BCIT. Dallas has a passion for speaking and writing about art, and sharing that interest with others. In their studio practice they are an illustrator and budding tattoo artist, but they consider themselves a writer foremost. If you like art, books and culture with a science fiction twist, check out Dallas' personal blog, HappySpaceNoises or their art on Instagram.

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