heidi j. boisvert


Artist Statement

For me, an artist must be actively engaged in teaching, exchanging knowledge, and broadening consciousness somehow, so that we as human beings can evolve beyond the mental entanglements and physical depredations that disallow us from fully experiencing our humanity. Awareness often serves to eradicate difference and carries the potential to dissolve the variegated “isms” that cause oppression. The instigation of dialogue and the re-cultivation of public space are critical to this process.

Like Tom Stoppard, I believe art should exist as a “moral matrix;” as an indirect force motivating people to change, to question, to grow, and most importantly to imagine. For me, my work is about rendering the invisible visible, in serving as a gadfly, prodigiously exposing the difficult issues people do not want to see or talk about. I also hope to inspire non-schematic thinking; a return to the pre-semiotic, jouissance of existence.

In the past, my work focused upon a thematic “obsession” with mental colonization and the ways in which society threatens our ability to simply be, to experience our own thoughts, sensations, and imagination free of advertising, pharmaceutical and political rhetoric co-optation. In various projects, my future anxiety found a natural outlet in science fiction and interactive re/presentations of media over-saturation, a fear of further complacency—zombification—of humanity, and role that restoring agency through gaming/interactivity/collective filmmaking can have upon rebuilding a democracy silenced by passive consumption.

My recent work, however, is less didactic and reflects a strong desire to inhabit, to enter into another culture, human psyche or time period to cultivate a deeper understanding of human behavior and of the socio-political forces that underlie cultural practices and social development through a blurring of non-fiction with fiction. These elements continuously surface in both my documentary and multi-media theatrical work where disenfranchised individuals and under-re/presented groups often find expression. Non-traditional documentary, sound installations and theatre offer un-edited spaces for the voiceless, especially if those being re/presented are intimately involved in the projects creation. I encourage this.

As I grow into my practice, I’ve come to discover that my process is extremely organic and slow. I enjoy allowing ideas to wash over me, so that I can prismatically observe a subject, and then a dialogue with myself generally ensues. My work stems from a strong connection to words and then images emerge associatively, engaging in a conversation with the words. Often my work may be perceived as poetic or philosophic, and perhaps too rigorously academic at times, yet I sense this may be a way my work is distinguished from others. My macroscopic expressions are, therefore, thoughtful, reflexive meditations that typically enable me to explore the wider meanings/interconnections of the uni/verse through the integration of video/film, photography, new media, games, sound and theatre.