On Tour to Plug In Institute of Contemporary Art, Winnipeg MB, March 10 to June 17, 2023
Plug In Institute of Contemporary Art
Unit 1 – 460 Portage Avenue
Winnipeg, Manitoba R3C 0E8 Canada
Phone 204 942 1043
Exploring the vulnerability of queer female masculinity, Michèle Pearson Clarke: Quantum Choir is the first major touring solo exhibition for Trinidad-born, Toronto-based artist Michèle Pearson Clarke. Working primarily in photography and video, Clarke examines Black and queer experiences of longing and loss, while situating such grief as a site of possibility for social engagement and political connection. In this exhibition, Clarke presents her largest installation to date, a new four-channel video and sound work, Quantum Choir (2022).
Quantum Choir reflects on the vulnerability of learning to sing as a way of exploring the legibility, precarity, and affinity of contemporary queer female masculinity. Set in a custom architectural structure in the centre of a large gallery space, the video installation brings together four participants, including the artist, to work through the insecurity, worry and shame of being a bad singer. Following weeks of voice lessons with a vocal coach, the participants collaboratively construct a performance for the camera, progressing from initial vocal warm-ups right through to singing the same pop song. As in previous works, Clarke here uses performative gestures and repetition across the four screens to construct a video choir that harnesses queer kinship and intimacy to navigate a complex mix of privilege, oppression, power and invisibility.
Michèle Pearson Clarke is a visual artist, writer and educator who works in photography, film, video and installation. Born in Trinidad (1973), and based in Toronto, Clarke has exhibited both nationally and internationally, including in Chicago, Lagos, Los Angeles and Montréal, and she was recently the Photo Laureate for the City of Toronto (2019-2022). Clarke holds an MSW from the University of Toronto, and in 2015 she received her MFA in Documentary Media Studies from Toronto Metropolitan University, where she is an Assistant Professor in Photography in the School of Inage Arts.