“There is no such thing as society: there are individual men and women, and there are families.”
Lurking in the background of this statement by Margaret Thatcher is the expression of what would be the preeminent clan: the nuclear family. For the project La famille (the family), artist Christian Bujold aspires to live in the home of a family he does not know and that does not know him personally, periodically over the course of a year, remaining all the while entirely anonymous.
The project is a starting point for the collection of images, reflections and notes that take the private residence as representative of its occupant’s identity. How is this vulnerable, “collectively intimate” site related to individual and family identity? With this question in mind, the artist looks to immerse himself in a residence that is utterly unfamiliar to him and that is laden with elements (objects, furniture, smells, photographs, etc.) and codes that exceed the his own, private frame of reference. At the beginning of the occupancy period, he envisions just living passively in the space, like a ghost, intervening only by observing, keeping notes, taking photographs and drawing. The documents, observations and reflections so gathered will form the basis of a performative creation or a multidisciplinary body of work whose shape will emerge in the course of time.
All of the performative visits take place anonymously. All information disclosing the identification of the participants and the precise address of the residences is forbidden and will not be transmitted. All research carried out with the aim of identifying the residents or the artists is equally forbidden. The occupation takes place during working hours or while the residents are away. Artist and residents do not meet before or during the occupancy period.
There will be no direct communication between residents and artist in the course of the residency. All necessary exchanges related to coordination (like the exchange of keys and the hours they will be away) will occur through a third party (shared contact). The artist commits to leaving the residence in exactly the same state that residents left it in.