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Question 1: When and how did you realize you wanted to be an artist?

Transcription


It was a rather bizarre journey in the sense that I started doing photography when I was 13. All along I had been telling myself if I were to have a career in photography it would be with National Geographic, that kind of thing. And then when time came to go to university I went into biochemistry, because the idea of a career in the arts, that was not to be considered. That was nothing more than a hobby; that was as far as it went. I had been in biochemistry for two years when I landed a good job as a student in biochemistry, working for a student at the Masters level. I realized that that wasn’t the way I was going to spend the rest of my life. Then I had a pretty bad third year in biochemistry, while I was in transition. I told myself the only other thing that I really feel I do well is photography. I’ll go into visual arts. But, then again, it wasn’t that I was going to be an artist. I enjoy photography, I have a need to create images, there’s a place that will allow me to do it at a certain level, at a certain pace, where I will learn a little bit, and I decided to enrol at l’Université de Moncton in visual arts. And then again, the notion of “art” wasn’t there yet. I started working. I was doing photography, taking art history classes and in the second term, Ghislain Clermont showed a slide of Marcel Duchamp, and that’s when I knew I was going to be an artist. I always put artist between quotation marks because I have no right to call myself an artist until I get more wrinkles. As far as I’m concerned the idea of being an artist is just a life process. A person alone won’t call himself an artist; other people will call them artists. So, I never made that decision. Even then, being an artist, you don’t decide to be an artist, that choice isn’t mine to make, but I know I have to make images. If I don’t make images I don’t function well in the world, and if that’s what it is to be an artist then yes, I’ve been wanting to be an artist a long time. But there hasn’t been a specific moment other than the Marcel Duchamp slide that I can recall made me say: I can do something here, I can contribute something that is mine and that will maybe have value. Because we always underestimate ourselves as Acadians. Maybe it’ll have a value so getting myself involved in this is worth the try. Ever since then, I’m just riding the current.That’s what it really is; something leads to another, leads to another and another. I’m not making any real efforts to be an artist but it seems I’m one despite myself, somehow. So it's a bit like that. That's the only way I can see myself answer this question.