Nicole Jolicoeur

8 February 1990 - 10 March 1990
Opening Reception 8 February 1990 8pm


La Vérité Folle

This recent body of work developed by Montreal artist Nicole Jolicoeur is one which undermines, through the use of drawing, the effect of reality and truth deriving from the ‘objective’ character of the photographic image. This work represents part of an ongoing investigation which concentrates on the ideas of Jean-Martin Charcot, a French neurologist famous for his research into female hysteria in the 19th century.

Charcot developed, through studies of photography and painting, a theory of hysteria based primarily on the act of looking, and formed an important collection and concept of the clinician’s art. Nicole Jolicoeur directly references his theory that the ‘human body constitutes by right of nature, the place of origin and distribution of disease’. Through the appropriation of Andre Brouillet’s paintings, ‘Une leçon clinique à la Salpetrière’ and excerpts from ‘Iconographies photographies de la Salpetrière’ (1876-1880), Jolicoeur creates links that articulate and organize this archival material into a narrative, as did Charcot. By distorting the images through photographic devices, the artist makes reference to the religious foundations of medical power and the control it exerts, through discourse, on the bodies of women.

Nicole Jolicoeur has participated in solo and group exhibltions in Canada and the United States since 1972. This installation, in Mercer Union’s West Gallery, entitled ‘La Verite Folle’ represents her first solo exhibition in Toronto since 1986.