Art Souterrain



Localisation : 800, rue du Sq. Victoria


Michelle Lacombe lives and works in Montreal. Since obtaining her BFA from Concordia University in 2006 she has developed a unique body-based practice that is located at the intersection of visual arts and performance. Her work has been shown in Canada, the USA, and Europe in the context of performance events, exhibitions, and colloquiums. She is the recipient of the 2015 Bourse Plein Sud and exhibited her work in the 2017 edition of Art Encounters Contemporary Art Biennial.

Her practice as an artist is paralleled by a commitment to supporting action art and other undisciplined practices. She is currently the director of VIVA! Art Action.


This photo is a documentary portrait taken to mark the ending of a one-year performance action executed by the artists between 2013-2014. Concretely, the project consisted of getting bloodlines (inkless tattoos) drawn on her legs on every one of the thirteen full moon that occur over a twelve-month period. The height of the lines measured the volume of blood in her body; marking the top of the fluid, were it to pool inside her body. The ephemeral marks accumulated over time, eventually scarring where they overlapped most often. 

This work creates a poetic intersection between the fertile but barren female body and the ocean. These bodies are linked by their linguistic similarity (la mère/ la mer), as well as by their shared relationship to the moon, a celestial body that both factually and mythically sets their respective cyclic rhythms (tides and menstruation). As such, this work addresses constructed and embodied notions of fertility, feminine ritual, and transcendence. It is also a reflexion on the un-reproduced female body as dying.

Michelle Lacombe
Of all the Watery Bodies, I Only Know My Own (2013-2014)
Impression sur plastique translucide pour boîte lumineuse, 2016
Photo : Sarah A. Tremblay


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