Public Office – 2014 to 2016
Campaign posters, 104 signatures, a website, a public debate, three oil paintings and a memoir
During the 2015 Canadian federal election I ran as an Independent candidate in the Papineau riding. After working with self-representation for more than a decade, with this project I decided to question the role of images in contemporary politics. I launched my campaign while eight months pregnant. A year before the scheduled election I opened a campaign office on St-Hubert street and began to collect signatures. I had to begin early, as I had an artist residency in China that year. The campaign office was a pop-up exhibition organized by Galerie Thomas Henry Ross art contemporain and funded by the City of Montreal through the Pierre-Ayot Award.
The project allowed me to propose my personal politics in a public forum while putting the construction of my public persona on display. To facilitate a connection between my personal and public personas, I published a memoir, funded by the Claudine and Stephen Bronfman Fellowship in Contemporary Art, so that constituents of the Papineau riding could know me better.
While artists have run as candidates mostly as a form of satire, in running as a year-long performance, I was proposing that a professional artist could be an effective representative. The artist-run centre Optica hosted The Papineau All-Candidates Debate 2015 as part of the VIVA performance art festival. Seven of the ten candidates in the riding took part at a community centre in Parc-extension, including the NDP and the Bloc Québecois.
One month before election day, I opened a show at Galerie Thomas Henry Ross titled La très honorable Kim Waldron. The exhibition consisted of three paintings of myself painted by Wang Wei while in residency in China, and I staged a couple of interviews in the gallery, using my status as a professional artist to frame myself as a credible candidate.
Acknowledgments: The Claudine and Stephen Bronfman Family Foundation, Ville de Montréal, AGAC, Optica, VIVA! Art Action, Jean-Michel Ross, Thomas Henry Ross, Margot Eleanor Ross, Jim and Ann Waldron, CEAC, Ineke Gundmundsson, May Lee, Li Li, Wang Wei, Red Gate Residency, Emmanuellle Léonard, Emily Southwood, Jenn McIntyre, Catherine Bolduc, Concordia University Translation Services, Jennifer Dorner, Chris Lloyd, Marie-Ève Charron, Jean-René Dufort, Joseph Elfassi, Mathieu St-Onge, Jean-Christophe Laurence, Fortner Anderson, Sarah R. Champagne, Catherine Lévesque.
Video: « Vice du Jour »
Video: « Trouble électoral : les artistes de Papineau »
Video: « Miss Candidat 2015 »
Video: Papineau All-Candidates Debate 2015 – 1
Video: Papineau All-Candidates Debate 2015 – 2
Video: « Daily Vice »
Video: « Vice du Jour »