Biography of Daniel Dugas

Daniel Dugas was born in 1959 in Montréal, of Acadian parentage. In 1980, he received a Certificate in Social Development from Université Sainte Anne (Pointe de l’Église, Nova Scotia) and in 1986, a Bachelor’s degree in visual arts from Université de Moncton (New Brunswick). He studied at the Banff Art Centre (Alberta) from 1989 to 1990. In 1993, he was awarded a Masters of Fine Arts/Time-Arts by the Art Institute of Chicago after benefitting from their considerable Trustee Scholarship.

He has been particularly active in Moncton’s artistic community, as Executive Director both of Galerie Sans Nom (1985) and, part-time, of Imago Printshop (1995-1996), Associate Director of the 12th issue of the poetry periodical Éloizes (1986) and exhibition curator for L’art à tout prix (1989). He co-founded Trunk Gallery (1996), a travelling gallery that operated from the trunk of a car.

Dugas has shown his work in over 30 exhibitions, including nearly 20 solos. Among his group shows, he collaborated with Herménégilde Chiasson in Out Going Messages (1988), and was selected as part of the traveling exhibition Young Contemporaries/Jeunes contemporains (1988), organised by Marnie Fleming of the London Regional Art Gallery (Ontario). His remarkable installation exhibits include Cube Aleph (1986), Erika: les boîtes noires (1988), La boîte rouge (1989) and La nouvelle boîte de Pandore (1991), each featuring the cube as an omnipresent structure.

Dugas is a poet as well. He began writing at Université Sainte Anne and has published the collections L’Hara-Kiri de Santa-Gougouna (1983), Les bibelots de Tungstène (1989), Folies de junkie (1990), Le bruit des choses (1995) and Même un détour serait correct (2006). He is a frequent participant in poetry readings and recitals, including the seminal Nuit de ventôse (1990), has published several pieces in Éloizes, and presented several works in performance art, notably Poéscie mécanique/Chainsaw Massacre of Poetry (1991) and Produit brut/Produit net (1996). His accomplishments also include some ten video recordings and a half-dozen audio recordings. Since 1991, his work in installation and video performance is often in collaboration with the artist Valerie LeBlanc. He represented Canada for painting at the 3rd Francophone Games, in Madagascar (1997).

Daniel Dugas has been awarded grants by the Canada Council for the Arts and the Province of New Brunswick. His work is collected by the Canada Art Bank, the New Brunswick Art Bank, the Alberta Foundation for the Arts and the Galerie d’art Louise-et-Reuben-Cohen of Université de Moncton, and is part of several private collections.

Speaking of his process, the artist explains: “My entire production feeds on chaos. Chaos is far from being in essence a state of despair: it is perceived as a unique moment where anything can happen.”