(Français) Prix Garde-fou 2023- Jessy Thériault

Since 2010, Folie/Culture has been supporting emerging artists by awarding the “Garde-fou” prize to a graduating student from the Bachelor’s program in Visual and Media Arts at Laval University.

The prize, a grant of $750, is awarded to an individual whose work is the result of unconventional research aligned with the mission of Folie/Culture.

It is with great honor that we award the 2023 Garde-fou prize to artist Jessy Thériault for their artwork La roche.

Jessy Thériault, La roche, 2023, présentation en mono d’un ouvrage filmique 5.1


A humble crayon scrawl taped to the mat, just like that. Resembling a childhood memory that refuses to say its name: 2003… Though childish and cockeyed it may be, it was drawn so deliberately, almost arrogantly, saying, “Look down on me.” This jumbled, crumpled car thumbs its nose (its hood?) at conventions and expectations of reality as it aims to fill its plain oversized frame—a frame chosen to accentuate, or maybe exacerbate, the paltry shape that came to be on a notebook sheet. Is there a message behind this impish image? What lies behind this meagre, almost maligned outline? In other words: Why? The question persists, defying our tries. And yet an invitation to interpret is declared. Before the image sits a simple basic chair, seeming to promise clarity, and somewhere an answer, to anyone aware who sits and stares.

They find nothing there. In fact, the invitation only brings complication and obfuscation: a nebulous wide-open space that leaves the mind blank. Or are we not meant to find the meaning, but rather appreciate the silence despite the surrounding sound? After all, according to Rumi, “in silence there is eloquence.” And like the opening of a story, Jessy Thériault inked “Little Red Car, 2003” on the long white sheet placed in proximity. The tale’s up to us to complete. Maybe. Folie/Culture fell in love with the silent promise of a story where the specific stumbles into the subjective.

Layna De Roy
For Folie/Culture