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Marjolaine Bourdua
Emma Haraké
Kama La Mackerel
Helena Martin Franco

Curator: Daniel Fiset

Projet engagement public lee bae 1
Lee Bae, Issu du feu ch-66 (detail), 2003. Charcoal on canvas, 260 x 170 cm. Courtesy of the artist and Perrotin

Incandescences stems from an invitation to Helena Martin Franco, Marjolaine Bourdua, Emma Haraké, and Kama La Mackerel to carry out research-based micro-residencies in the archives of the PHI Foundation’s Education Department in the spring and summer of 2021. From this collection of objects, documents, ideas, questions, and experiences, the four artists imagined projects that take on a multiplicity of forms, allowing us to see this archive in a different light.

The title of this project is a nod to charcoal, a material that was integral to the exhibition Lee Bae: UNION (2021), which was presented at the Foundation the same year we welcomed Martin Franco, Bourdua, Haraké, and La Mackerel. Obtained from the burning of matter, charcoal is both the result of what has been consumed and what ignites other fires. In a similar way, Incandescences invites us to reactivate and reuse the things around us, reinvesting their creative potential.


During her micro-residency, Helena Martin Franco created a cartographic intervention on the floor of the PHI Foundation’s Education Room. On long strips of beige cardboard, the artist traced the outlines of objects from our past educational activities, mixed with words taken from our archives or from the news at the time. Choosing to involve herself directly in the process, Martin Franco also traced the outline of her body repeatedly on the cardboard, linking the objects to the gestures and movements that carried them, and simultaneously witnessing their presence and absence. Martin Franco then produced a video testifying to her process, as well as an online performance, entitled Absence à main levée/Freehand Absence/Ausencia a mano alzada.



From the beginning of the residency, Marjolaine Bourdua was interested in the act of sorting things, which was at the heart of the constitution of our archive—a place where documents, traces of past projects, and various materials are mixed together. How do we distinguish between what to keep and what to discard? Do these things have a life beyond their original use? To explore these questions, Bourdua designed Joining Barriers, a large ephemeral installation placed in the center of our Education Room, that brings together objects from her studio and our archives. Now dismantled, the installation can be accessed through its documentation in the form of a video narrated by the artist.

In response to the amount of text accumulated by the Foundation’s team over time, text that lives as part of the materials and artworks stored in our Education Room, Haraké designed the audio piece Four Texts To Listen To Your Inner Voice. It brings together four texts found inside of the Education Room’s closet, carefully read aloud by the artist, that reveal how the intimate and the collective are interwoven in our archive.

Kama La Mackerel
«Parfois, elle fait de l’art!»

On the untold stories de la médiation culturelle

The micro-residency allowed Kama La Mackerel to explore various magnetic objects in our archives that became part of a site-specific installation: in particular, words from a set of poetry magnets designed by the PHI Foundation’s Education Department for a public activity. The research conducted during the micro-residency inspired a performance by La Mackerel, that took place at an event celebrating the 15th anniversary of the PHI Foundation on October 5, 2022.


Conceived in dialogue with the project’s artists, as well as artists Jenny Lin and Eloisa Aquino, this publication regroups four creative activities to make at home, alone, or in a group setting. It imagines itself as a kind of lump of coal: a material and conceptual repository that responds to what has been discovered by the artists during their research. The publication invites us into a state of discovery that echoes the artists’ processes.

Thus, it presents the reader with a different look at the objects that surround us, considering them as archives in themselves. This publication also asks us to visit that which we no longer look at because they are so common; to create new conversations between things; to link materiality and immateriality; to tell the story of our worlds again, inspired by what surrounds us.


This video marks the first time that the four artists from Incandescences get together to talk about their respective processes, and exchange on the projects they developed during their 2021 micro-residencies.


Related Exhibition

Lee Bae


Lee Bae: UNION

February 24 June 20, 2021

Lee Bae’s dedication to presence requires our own, offering a moment of respite and contemplation

Exhibition Contemporary Art