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Hannah Jickling & Valerie Salez

Snow shoveling

February 13, 2005 - February 27, 2005


February 13 to 27, 2005
in Viger Square and in the city
Family event on Saturday, February 19th from noon to 5 pm
White Night event on Saturday, February 26 from 9 pm to 3.30 am
Organized as part of Nuit blanche, part of the Festival Montréal en lumière
The events took place at Viger Square
The artists made daily trips to Viger Square and elsewhere in the city
The public was invited to bring a shovel during the events at Square Viger

Hannah Jickling and Valerie Salez apply to the task of shoveling snow like most people in the Nordic countries do. Except that they leave the "management and maintenance" aspect of it to propose a very different approach.

Jickling and Salez explore the outdoor possibilities of artistic creation in winter with, as their only tool, the shovel and, as their only material, snow. The artists use this activity as a pretext to spontaneously meet the public by proposing actions of kindness, by presenting patterns and shapes and by using found objects. Between the sculptural and the performative, they explore relationships with the public and offer a surprising transformation of the landscape.

For both artists, " snow shoveling " is an activity that allows them to interact with the community and the immediate environment. Shoveling the snow also serves as a means of questioning the more traditional forms of artistic creation. Their performance project fits freely into the contextual public art and tradition of action art, between the writings on Mierle Laderman Ukeles on « l’art de l’entretien » and the « collaborations avec la nature » of Andy Goldsworthy, or between the movement of the Internationale situationniste and the field of psychic geography in contemporary art.

During their studies, Hannah Jickling and Valerie Salez began their project of shoveling snow. Last year, they repeated the experience at the Klondike Institute of Art and Culture in Dawson City during a residency. They wonder about what constitutes materials and the vehicle of artistic expression, not to mention the notions of leisure and toil so important to this project presented in Viger Square.

Hannah Jickling (Whitehorse) advocates the use of video, performance and print. She completed her studies at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design (NSCAD) in 2003. Valerie Salez (Whitehorse-Dawson City) creates in situ installations in both public and secret locations. She completed her studies at NSCAD in 2002 and presented her work in Canada, Japan and England.

Past Projects