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Emilie Crewe
courtesy of the artist
1001 Pl. Jean-Paul-Riopelle, Montréal, QC H2Z 1H5


Emilie Crewe is an interdisciplinary artist based on the unceded, sacred and ancestral territories of the Coast Salish people (sḵwx̱wú7mesh, sel̓íl̓witulh, and xʷməθkʷəy̓əm nations), also known as Vancouver. Her artwork often takes the form of single or multi-channel video installations, as well as sketch works, such as drawings, collections and archives. She holds an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and a BFA from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design University. Her work is exhibited internationally in galleries, museums, artist-run centres, experimental film/video festivals, and as public art. She was long listed for the 2020 Aesthetica Art Prize, and one of the Canadian artists to receive a City of Vancouver Public Art Commission as part of the Reconciliation Platforms (2013/14).

Approach and works on display

Emilie Crewe’s current research is focused on the neuroscience of music, and how our bodies respond to elements such as tone, timbre, rhythm and contours. Inspired by musical structure and form, her recent projects are composed using constructs such as harmony & melody, repetition, variation and inversions. Many of her videos are edited to the beat of a metronome, in order to evoke an internal rhythm for the viewers. Her practice is in a constant endeavour, as she considers everyday moments, the in between and intervals, to be part of her art making. She sees her working process as a detective, an archivist, a scientist and a storyteller, as well as an archaeologist uncovering the smallest details. Her sketch-work and artistic investigations take into consideration the materiality of the collection and the archive such as libraries, taxonomy, schematics, diagrams and maps.

The Art of Fugue (2019)

The Art of Fugue is a multi-channel video featuring five women working in trade industries. The artwork constitutes a chorus of female performers telling stories through the repetitive actions and movements of skilled work. Similar to a musical composition, the videos harmonize in tones, textures, colours, rhythms and contours. Edited using the traditional musical structure of a fugue, each screen acts as a singular voice, contributing to the artwork as one polyphonic composition presenting multiple “melodies” simultaneously. Highlighting women in trades is both an aesthetic decision and a symbolic choice. There is strength and resilience to be found in a performer whose work is in a typically male-dominated field. This contributes to the spirit of the video, with the intention of authentically capturing the tenacity and power of the female voice.

The artist acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts.
Conseil des arts du Canada - Canada Council for the Arts

Featuring: Chelsea Barron – Machinist / Mary-Anne Bowcott – Plumber / Meg Iredale – Arborist / Katie Stockford – Mechanic / Brandie Doucette – Painter
Production Assistance: Sebnem Ozpeta
Camera: Sebnem Ozpeta / Emilie Crewe
Video + Sound Editing: Emilie Crewe
Equipment + Technical Support: VIVO Media Arts Centre, Vancouver, BC

Works by the artist

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