La Parole entravée

Alain-Martin Richard


For the project Yahndawa’, initiated by VU, Avatar is supporting artist Alain-Martin Richard in the production of La Parole entravée.

The interactive installation, La Parole entravée, proposes a geography that we, the fourteen artists of Yahndawa’, have been tracing since we first made contact in spring 2021.

The climate at the time was full of Joyce Echaquan’s death, residential schools and the discovery of hundreds of unmarked graves of children, and children who disappeared in hospitals without a trace. All of a sudden, the shackles of speech that keep truth under a lead weight, like a conspiracy of colonial, Christian, and racist power, broke apart, freeing a torrent of pain and suffering. The media was saturated with the noise of the chaos. Reverberating in our heads, this noise was unutterable because it was shameful, cursed. We walked on eggshells.

I took up a contact stick that I’d already used in a previous maneuver to begin the contact between the Wendat and the Québécois. La Parole entravée emerged like clay to be re-shaped. Now the contact sticks have become a suspended forest beneath which the Pleiades glow. There is yahndawa’, the river that flows from Wendake to Vieux-Port. And in this diminishing and regenerating flow, there is the shackled/freed speech that calls out to us.


– Alain-Martin Richard


Yahndawa’ is a project of sharing between the art communities of Wendake and Québec City. The participating artists share their practices and collaborate, supported by art organizations that jointly disseminate their work. Following the Akiawenrahk/Saint-Charles River (yahndawa’) that connects the two communities and in keeping with the idea of portage, the artists come to the project with their baggage and in camaraderie with each other take it to new territories.

Exhibition in Québec City, September 9 to October 16, 2022
Opening on September 9, 2022 at 5 p.m.

Artists : Annie Baillargeon, Aïcha Bastien N’Diaye, Anne-Marie Bouchard, Dgino Cantin, Philip Després, Alexis Gros-Louis, France Gros-Louis Morin, Érika Hagen-Veilleux, Andrée Levesque Sioui, Jeffrey Poirier, Nicolas Renaud, Alain-Martin Richard, Teharihulen Michel Savard, Manon Sioui

Authors : Guy Sioui Durand et Anne-Marie Proulx

Organisations : Avatar, La Bande Vidéo, La Chambre Blanche, Le Lieu, L’Œil de Poisson, Rhizome

This project is an alliance between the Wendat collective and VU to foster relationships between the non-Indigenous and Indigenous artistic communities of the Québec City region located in Nionwentsïo, Wendat territory.

Alain-Martin Richard

Alain-Martin Richard has developed a multidisciplinary practice based on action art, maneuver, interactive installation, writing, and editing. He has created and organized events such as the Marathon d’écriture (1983), NeoSon(g) Cabaret (1984), Symposium d’Amos (1997), and Symposium de Moncton (1999). A co-editor and writer of Performance in/au Canada,1970–1990, he has also edited the catalogues Territoires nomades (1996) and 3e Symposium en arts visuels de l’Abitibi-Témiscamingue (1998). From “dialogue acts” to maneuver, his action art practice is based on “the human landscape,” which is both the material and place of its fleeing presence. He has been a member of the collectives The Nomads, Inter/Le Lieu, and Folie/Culture. The maneuver is his most important field of exploration. His main productions unfold across several planes of reality: L’Atopie textuelle (with Les Causes perdues, 2000), Le chemin pour Rosa (2006), Le bloc que j’habite (2014), Trou de mémoire (2015­–2017). Besides working as a solo artist, he remains an active member of Les Causes perdues. He regularly publishes articles in journals such as Jeu, Inter, art actuel, Esse, and Espace.

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