VOX — Centre de l’image contemporaine

Jean-Marie Delavalle


Interview with Jean-Marie Delavalle on the occasion of his exhibition at VOX.

Jean-Marie Delavalle’s work has been widely shown as part of group exhibitions and has been featured in a few solo shows in Toronto, but in Quebec, the artist has kept a relatively low profile for the past twenty years. Working initially in sculpture, Jean-Marie Delavalle produced a few experimental works between 1970 and 1975: a select corpus of conceptual pieces that were anything but eclectic, exemplifying a rigorous research process that investigated colour and perceptual phenomena. This practice is characterized by originality, and is decisively open-minded aesthetically.

He began working with photography in the summer of 1970, producing a series of images on wave motion, then self-portraits, and finally a series dedicated to different times of day. This led him to incorporate a number of variables into the work: different light, places and times, but also shifts dependent on specific features of the photographic apparatus and its functions (focus, infrared film, colour filters, etc.). Jean-Marie Delavalle also moved from purely visual experiments to works incorporating sound, creating a series of transcriptions of auditory phenomena heard during various travels (by car, by bicycle and on foot). By limiting visual clues to the nature of his creative process in this way, the artist forces us to invoke our imagination to grasp, for a moment, the “surrounding reality.”