Project carried out as part of a residency at Praxis artist-run centre (Sainte-Thérèse, QC).

It is 2012, and a student strike of unprecedented proportions shakes the province of Quebec. Students take the debate to the courts, who order them to return to class despite the votes held in support of strikes in different institutions. On May 15, 2012, the forced return to school at the Collège Lionel-Groulx (Sainte-Thérèse) degenerates and serves as a pretext for a law restricting the freedom of assembly and expression in Quebec. Consensus set out to build a consensual narrative of events – an “official” aim, which I used as a pretext to organize a meeting between the representatives of each of the factions present on May 15: student demonstrators, students petitioning the courts for an injunction, teachers, parents, police officers and school administrators. The main point was to examine how each individual and institution chose to express their opinions and political actions in a public setting (or not): under the cover of anonymity, on the condition that they retained the right to examine the final result, even under the threat of injunction. Each of these gestures helped to reveal political, legal and possibly imaginary limits placed on public speech in an allegedly democratic society.

The participants in the final meeting were Sergent Martin Charron, Carol Gélinas, Alex Kemp, Yan Lanciault, Nathalie Larouche, Annick Rouleau.

Images of the final meeting: David Ferron and Alexandre Jimenez

[text by Dominique Sirois Rouleau − catalogue d’exposition Praxis – in French]