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Luc Courchesne

(Montreal, Quebec, Canada)

Luc Courchesne, Panoscopic Image (2005)
Luc Courchesne (2003) Luc Courchesne, Portrait One (1990)
Luc Courchesne, Horizons (2007) (video)
Luc Courchesne, Horizons (2007) (video)
Luc Courchesne was born in 1952 in Saint-Léonard d'Aston, Québec, Canada. In the 1970s, he obtained a BA in Communications Design from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, during the period when Gary Kennedy was director and Les Levine, Robert Frank and Michael Snow occasionally passed through. In the 1980s, he graduated with a Master of Science in Visual Studies from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), with a thesis on light (1). During the same period, he produced a series of short videos, primarily portraits, of women friends, his daughter or classmates: Marie à New York (1982) with the choreographer Marie Chouinard, Twelve of Us (1982), Paula (1983) with actress Paule Ducharme, who would later reappear as Marie, a virtual character in Portrait One (1990). (2)

In 1984, still at MIT, he tried interactive video for the first time, collaborating in the production of Elastic Movies with Ellen Sebring, Benjamin Bergery, Bill Seaman and others. In 1987, he directed the interactive videodisc Encyclopédie clair-obscur. But it was Portrait One that first earned him recognition in the contemporary art community, in exhibitions in 1993-1994 at the National Gallery of Canada (3), and at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, also in 1994. He was awarded several artist-in-residence positions, one in 1992-1993 at the Institut méditerranéen de recherche et de création (IMREC) in Marseilles, where he produced Portrait de famille (1993), in 1993, and others at the Zentrum für Kunst und Medientechnologie in Karlsruhe in 1995, and at the Museum of New Zealand in 1997-1998, where he created Passages (1998).

In 1997, he won the Grand Prize of the 1997 Biennale from the InterCommunication Center (ICC) in Tokyo, for which he produced a new work, Lanscape One, which was screened in 1998 at the Cinémathèque québécoise in Montréal.

Portrait One (1990) and Horizons (2007) were shown at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts from September 20 to December 9, 2007, for the exhibition e-art: New Technologies and Contemporary Art, Ten Years of Accomplishments by the Daniel Langlois Foundation.

Jean Gagnon © 2000 rev. 2008 FDL

(1) See "Le jour se lève, la lumière paraît, ouvrons l'œil," in catalogue Lumières. Perceptions, projections (Montréal: Centre international d'art contemporain [CIAC], 1986): 35-48.

(2) Blind Date in Cyberspace or the Figure that Speaks by Jean Gagnon

(3) Luc Courchesne. Portraits interactifs (Ottawa : Musée des beaux-arts du Canada, 1993).