Richard Ibghy and Marilou Lemmens
Stonecroft Artist-in-Residence

The acclaimed Québec-based collaborative duo Richard Ibghy & Marilou Lemmens was the Agnes Etherington Art Centre’s inaugural Stonecroft Foundation Artist-in-Residence. Their residency was hosted in collaboration with the Department of Film and Media Studies and supported by the Stonecroft Foundation for the Arts and the Queen’s Arts Fund – Visiting Artist in Residence.

The residency presented a chapter of the artists’ ongoing research-intensive project The Golden USB, that raises timely questions regarding the limits of commodification, including the ownership of Earth and the life forms that inhabit it. The residency was a pointed cross-fertilization between several disciplines, research-creation practices, and scholarly pursuits. Over the span of three months, the artists undertook research and production that responded to the cultural, historical and social landscapes of Queen’s University and the city of Kingston. They developed and invited a diverse committee of regional artists, technicians, poets and scholars to contribute, advise and organize “entries” into the Trade Catalogue of Everything, a digital file listing everything and anything—land, water, air, plants, animals, fragments of nature, but also the products of human culture, industry, invention and know-how—that may be of interest to alien life. Many of these entries resulted in new video works and installation features within the artists’ exhibition, The Golden USB, curated by Sunny Kerr, which, in turn, complemented and deepened the impact of their residency at the Agnes.

The Isabel Bader rehearsal room

Video still from installation of The Golden USB. Photo: Paul Litherland

Installation view, The Golden USB: Richard Ibghy and Marilou Lemmens, 2017



Installation view, The Golden USB: Richard Ibghy and Marilou Lemmens, 2017

The unique framework of this residency allowed for the artist-in-residence to reach out to local museums, scholars, artists and poets and benefit from support for focused time to create new work in correspondence with the socio-political and geographic context of Kingston and Queen’s University. The artists worked closely with Geophysicist, Dr. Alexander Braun and the Miller Museum of Geology on several projects. The Museum of Health Care made its collections available for research and the loan of rarely-exhibited wax childbirth models. Other faculty collaborators were Allison Goebel and Mark Epprecht. The artists initiated a key collaboration with seniors at the Kingston Senior’s Centre that resulted in a new video work. While the residency encouraged networking with peers and the research environment of Queen’s and Kingston, it also allowed them to develop a new project in our galleries using a theatre performer to question gallery-disciplined behaviours, a project later exhibited at SFU’s Audain Galleries. The partnership with the Film and Media Program at Queen’s University gave the artists’ access to the state of the art film production equipment, expertise and venues at the Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts for the creation of new content for their exhibition at the Agnes, The Golden USB. This partnership extended both the production value and reach of their work, facilitating work with students, especially through classes run by Emily Pelstring and Gary Kibbins.

Curator Sunny Kerr captured this view (above) of the artists working at Queen’s University’s Department of Physics, Engineering Physics and Astronomy in consultation with Bernard Ziomkiewicz, Electronic Technologist.

Richard Ibghy and Marilou Lemmens at the Museum of Health Care.

Artists' Biographies

Richard Ibghy and Marilou Lemmens have developed a collaborative practice that spans across multiple media, including video, performance and installation

Their work explores the material, affective and sensory dimensions of experience that cannot be fully translated into signs or systems. For several years, they have examined the rationale upon which economic actions are described and represented, and how the logic of economy has come to infiltrate the most intimate aspects of life.

Most recently, their work was presented in solo exhibitions at the Jane Lombard Gallery, New York (2017), Owens Art Gallery, Sackville, Canada (2017), Louise and Reuben Cohen Art Gallery, Moncton (2017) the International Studio & Curatorial Program, New York (2016), YYZ Artists’ Outlet, Toronto (2016), Esker Foundation Contemporary Art Gallery, Calgary (2016), Leonard & Bina Ellen Art Gallery, Montreal (2016), VOX – Centre de l’image contemporaine, Montreal (2014), Trinity Square Video, Toronto (2014), Monte Vista Projects, Los Angeles (2012) and G Gallery, Toronto (2012).

They have participated in a number of group exhibitions including at venues such as the Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery, Vancouver (2017), XIII Bienal de Cuenca, Cuenca Ecuador (2016), Blackwood Gallery, Mississauga (2016), Art Gallery of Guelph, Guelph (2016), Postmasters Gallery, New York (2016), 14th Istanbul Biennial (2015), La Biennale de Montréal (2014), Manif d’art 7: Quebec City Biennial (2014), Herbert Read Gallery, Canterbury (2014), La Filature, Scene Nationale and La Kunsthalle, Mulhouse (2013), Henie Onstad Kunstsenter, Høvikodden, Norway (2013), Centre for Contemporary Arts, Glasgow (2012) and 10th Sharjah Biennial (2011).

Their writings have been published in Le Merle, C-magazineNew Social Inquiry and Pyramid Power. They have published two artist’s books Tools that Measure the Intensity of Passionate Interests (2012) and Spaces of Observation (2012). Recently, they contributed a catalogue essay for the publication accompanying La Biennale de Montréal (2014). The artist duo lives and works in Montreal and Durham-Sud, Quebec.

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