Updated: Jun 28, 2019
Olivia Faye Lathuillière is a Canadian visual artist, performer, and choreographer. Her work is placing the body and the movement in the center of the artistic approach.
Lathuillière constantly juggles between photography, video and physical work. It usually starts with a single image, a photograph, a song that inspires her or just a shape, it also can be even just a mind-state or a thought, any of these can be a generator. "I play with it and stretch it into an atmosphere or into movement and that's how it can slowly become either a video, a choreography or a photo series, depending on what comes out of that exploration.”
She rarely works with a preset idea, "I believe if I listen to the material, let it be and push it through its own way it could bring us to someplace we will never think of at first. By pre-conceiving the result, we might miss an opportunity to discover something our mind could have not pre-created."
For Lathuillière it’s all about the moment of the process. "Within the past few years, I have been enjoying playing in situ. I travel very much for work and because of that, I can find interesting spaces to get into and reflect on how you can still perform and move when you are out of the stage or out of the studio, and without an audience. It’s a challenge that brings a lot of intimacy in the work."
Strongly passionate about music and sound, Lathuillière likes how music can go inside the mind, "by closing our eyes, we can connect and make the sound our own, like an extension of our minds. The sound becomes a continuity of our souls. We can listen to music at home, at work, it’s our best friend and I feel, with physical performance, I am trying to find this as well."
"By closing our eyes we can connect and make the sound our own, like an extension of our minds"
Lathuillière is researching immersive visual choreography. "I like to challenge myself and I feel theater has a strong capacity of being boring. Most of the time it’s because of the gap between the piece, the performers and the audience. Sometimes, as an audience, we can feel as taken hostage, which is not necessarily a bad thing, but most of the time it creates a reaction of opposition and this can prevent us from diving into the show and we cannot relate and end by dropping out."
"Installations that englobe the whole space are awesome cause we can hang out and feel this atmosphere and leave whenever we want, we spend a moment there inside the piece. With new technologies, we can maybe deepen this aspect."
The body is a center in many of your works, how do you perceive the human body and it's role within the arts? are there any feminist concepts in your works?
“The body is our very first way of reception and expression with what surrounds us. I am passionate about decomposing movements, as it is infinite. Most of the time I work alone, and I relay easily with the work as soon as a body or person is suggested. I use my own body because it is the one the most available around to work with. Not because I want to make the work about me. It’s just easier to put myself in pictures the way I want since I am as well a physical actor and also, I can skip all the explanations and go straight to the point.
Since 2017 I've been working exploring the concept of ghosts. Not in a mystical way but in its philosophical aspect, on our own ghosts. The suggestion of the mind, its projection in space as an atmosphere. I like to research how an empty space can create the feeling of a presence and try to work that way. And then play with the relationship within our physicality of it. Playing in space with a body, lights, and sound is my favorite thing to do.”
Her work can be seen as feminist from the only fact that she is a professional artist who turns out to be a woman.
"I think it is possible to be a woman and not make it a point in the artwork. I do have a deep respect for women who make feminism their principal subject in their art process, as I think it’s necessary. However, this is not part of my artistic preoccupation for now.
I work with a lot of women, the administration of the company I created, is essentially composed of women."
Lathuillière is based in Montreal, an amazing and diversified city, especially in Music and Dance. "It’s the perfect city to explore and create. A lot is going on. I like Montreal because it is very supportive, people are always friendly and supportive of new works in progress."
Lathuillière is developing a new show about ghosts and voids called OMISSION that mixes sound installation, a 360 video, and performance.
She is also participating in an upcoming residency in collaboration with Montreal-based multidisciplinary visual artist Maryse Arseneault.