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Raphaëlle de Groot: The Summit Meetings

October 3, 2015 - January 17, 2016

AWE Gallery

Unknown (Chinese), Bowl, date unknown, fired clay, 25.0 cm x 6.0 cm, Purchase, 1977

The Summit Meetings is a large-scale installation by Montreal-based artist, Raphaëlle de Groot, that stages gatherings of objects from diverse sources and origins, presenting them as if they were the protagonists of an important gathering of leaders. Composed mainly of items the artist collected herself as part of an artistic investigation called The Burden of Objects, the installation will include elements borrowed from ethnographical, historical and community museums.

In 2009, Raphaëlle de Groot set in motion her long-term project, The Burden of Objects, inviting communities within Lethbridge, Alberta to donate personal items that have been stored away and bear an emotional or mental ‘weight’ – to free themselves of these loaded objects and transfer their burden to her. This burden became the catalyst for de Groot’s creative process. For the next five years, de Groot’s collection would grow as she travelled throughout Canada, the United States, Mexico, and Italy, using her objects to produce installations, performances, video, and photographs. Coming full circle, de Groot brought together her multi-faceted collection at The Summit Meetings that opened at the Southern Alberta Art Gallery (SAAG) in September 2014. Mimicking the countless global summits that bring powerful leaders together to discuss issues, The Summit Meetings evolves as the work travels from one venue to the next in intriguing and playful ways.

In Windsor, The Summit Meetings will include objects from collectors in Windsor, Windsor’s Community Museum and the AGW, The Summit Meetings travels to Quebec City and will be presented at the Musée National des Beaux-Arts du Quebec in Spring 2016. De Groot sees the project as a collection of events; at each venue performances allude to different phases in the meeting – from inauguration to closure – and promises to generate lively and energetic discussions locally and nationally.  

The exhibition is curated by Ryan Doherty, Bernard Lamarche and Srimoyee Mitra, and is organized in partnership with the Art Gallery of Windsor, Southern Alberta Art Gallery and Musée National des Beaux-Arts du Quebec.

WATCH the Opening night performance for the exhibition, The Summit Meetings, by Raphaëlle de Groot in collaboration with Christina Cuthbertson, Srimoyee Mitra, Stephen Nilsson and Katie Whitehead at The Art Gallery of Windsor on October 2, 2015. 

The Artist is grateful for the support of the Canada Council for the Arts.

Read reviews and more:

Raphaëlle de Groot: le génie du hors-norme Éric Clément, La Presse

Raphaëlle de Groot by Heather Saunders:

Video interview with Raphaëlle de Groot by Paige Rosner, SAAG Gallery Educator:

In this exhibit

Unknown (Chinese), Bowl, date unknown, fired clay, 25.0 cm x 6.0 cm, Purchase, 1977

Sidney Howard, Three Figures, date unknown, carved and painted wood, with metal, wood and plastic elements, 50.0 cm x 259.0 cm, Gift of Mira Godard, 1985


The Summit Meetings, stop motion photogram, 2014.

The Summit Meetings, stop motion photogram, 2014

The Summit Meetings

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