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This program brings together eight short films that, in a striking, playful or sensitive way, address the issue of language or identities, particularly Francophone identities living in linguistic minority situations. These videos are a limited sample, but they nevertheless bear witness to an elusive hybrid history and give us a glimpse of the possible third tongue that can exist. La troisième langue / The Third Tongue is a project born at Le Labo, a francophone art media center in Toronto that has been supporting and presenting the work of francophone artists from Ontario and elsewhere since 2006.


VUCAVU et Labo presents:

The Third Tongue: 

Virtual Screening 2022

Curated by : Carolina Reis


The Third Tongue

Curator: Carolina Reis


The Third Tongue is a language that emerges from the coexistence of two languages. This language can only be spoken and understood by individuals living in a bilingual context and knowing, at least partially, these two languages. Whether it comes from a binary system, or is influenced by multiple expressions and identities, the third language is definitely hybrid. It breaks free from the boundaries imposed by the institutions that dictate and impose the way of speaking and using the official language, for example, the so-called good, or bad, French (or English). This project stems from research on Francophone artistic production with a particular focus on Francophone artists living in linguistic minority situations and aims to shed light on the issue of Francophone identity and art.

Art is also an independent language. Therefore, the works presented in The Third Tongue also expose us to another language: that of images, movement and sound. Together they form an additional vocabulary. The artists appropriate technologies, invent their own techniques by combining different media to tell other narratives, sometimes contradictory, sometimes analogous to their experiences. Rather than supporting a construction of identity, the participating artists scoff at stereotypes and binaries, reject artistic standards, appropriate the materiality of the media and offer us a space outside existing geographies.

It breaks free from the boundaries imposed by the institutions that dictate and impose the way of speaking and using the official language...

In its first public presentation at Le Labo in 2018, The Third Tongue offered audiences three types of experiences: a screening, an installation and a panel discussion. The current virtual screening includes a talk, a programme of short films and a mini-documentary around the issue of the third language, all of which are accessible online during the screening period.

For the virtual talk, Le Labo invited Marie Dauverné and Denis Bradette who had presented their work in our gallery in autumn 2018. The two artists have very different backgrounds and experiences, but their aesthetic approaches and the nature of their work seem to be linked by a common affinity. Dauverné is an artist who creates video micro-narratives whose personal subjects and DIY aesthetics have universal resonance. Denis Bradette is a multidisciplinary artist from Northeastern Ontario with a rich and engaged narrative approach, whose plastic and humorous works are similar to Dauverné's language.

"Hatchet, third sex, History makes possible, spits out its exquisite corpses, it’s the oil languor, the blackness of the diamond, the weapon edge ; I shoot"

- Excerpt from “Crevasses abound in heretic miniatures”, 
Marie Dauverné, Spoken word (slam), 2015-2018, V-Tape

The two artists have very different backgrounds and experiences, but their aesthetic approaches and the nature of their work seem to be linked by a common affinity.
An image of a child surrounded by yellow and green.

Still image from: Des poussières de toi , Jean-Marc Larivière | 4:00 | 2012, Self-distributed

The screening brings together eight short films produced by seven Francophone media artists, and one Anglophone artist that also addresses the issue of language, this time from the perspective of the dominant language. The participating directors are Marie Dauverné, Nadine Valcin, Maria Legault, Jacquelyn Hébert, Daniel Cockburn, Lise Beaudry, Jean-Marc Larivière and Louise Bourque. One characteristic that unites many of these works is their approach to the medium. All of the films, in their own way, reveal the materiality and texture of film or pixels through collage, photos, screen resolutions, the use of aged archival images and surveillance camera footage. The love of the medium can be seen in these artists. This aesthetic, which is very present in the short films, gives us the impression of a physical, tangible and perishable materiality of a medium that is often perceived as immaterial and immutable. The deterioration of film, the corruption of digital files or the incompatibility of formats is an intrinsic reality of media art and this aspect becomes very palpable in the selected films.


...gives us the impression of a physical, tangible and perishable materiality of a medium that is often perceived as immaterial and immutable.

Similarly, the stories told in this screening show, each in their own singular way, a search for identity which in turn has no graspable substance. Identity is an ever-fluid and ever-changing concept, evolving through the interactions and experiences of each individual as they navigate through various communities throughout their lives. The diversity of approaches testifies to an identity that is as fluid and elusive as the material that makes the film. Whether in French, English or non-narrative, each work shows a unique point of view that defies any absolute categorization. Far from being a complete compilation of the Franco-Canadian media arts landscape, these short films present a variety of aesthetic approaches and points of view that, together, will provide a condensed, partial overview of existing works and possibilities for emerging artists.

The films presented in this project expose the multiplicity of facets of media art and will provide material to create another story, whether it is the third, the fourth, or even more. Between fiction and reality, these hybrid narratives invite us to imagine other identities, other ways of communicating, other spaces, and to take a third look at the world.

- Essay written by Carolina Reis


Whether in French, English or non-narrative, each work shows a unique point of view that defies any absolute categorization.



Louise Bourque is a filmmaker recently returned to her native Edmundston, New Brunswick after 30 years in the US and elsewhere. Her films have been screened in more than forty-five countries and broadcast on PBS and the Sundance Channel in the US as well as on Radio-Québec in Canada and SBS in Australia. Her work has been presented at major galleries and museums worldwide, including the Musée de la Civilisation and the Galerie nationale in Québec, the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., the Museum of Modern Art and the Whitney Museum of American Art in NYC.

"[...]what is special and valuable about Bourque's films as a whole[... she] has moved through numerous strands of experimental film and video history, grounded herself in practices and traditions that once seemed incompatible, and is now pointing the way to something new.”

- Excerpt from "Impossible Trips Back Home: The Films of Louise Bourque", Michael Sicinski, Images Festival, 2009


Born and raised in the Alps, I and work in Tiohtiá:ke (Montreal) since 2003. My video work is regularly screened in local and international festivals (Rotterdam International Film Festival, New York MIXNY, Festival du Film court d’Angoulême, Fantasia, Québec Cinéma, FIFA, M.U.F.F., F.F.F, Queer City Cinema...). Since 2012, my multidisciplinary projects have been exhibited in Montreal, Toronto and Sarajevo. Alongside theses activities, I teach visual arts in post secondary institutions, I facilitate art workshops in the community and I take car of my young family.


Jean Marc Larivière was born on January 31, 1955, in Hawkesbury, Ontario. After studying mathematics and physics at university, he became involved in writing, music, theatre and film, first in Toronto for some thirty years, then in Ottawa since 2006.
A self-taught filmmaker, his work has been shown at the Toronto International Film Festival, the Montreal World Film Festival, the Cinémathèque Ontario, the Rendez-vous du cinéma québécois, the Cinémathèque française (Paris), and the American Film and Video Festival (New York), among others. When he is not behind the camera, he contributes to projects by other artists such as Peter Mettler, Barbara Sternberg, Marie Cadieux, Robert Dickson and Patrice Desbiens. Since 1979, Jean Marc Larivière has run his own production company, Les communications osmose. He has three children.


Lise Beaudry is a Franco-Ontarian artist originally from the rural region of Témiscamingueon the Ontario-Québec border.  As an artist, she seeks ways to do and think with photography as a platform for experimentation.She holds a BFA from Concordia University (1997) and an MFA from York University (2006). Her photographic and video work has been presented across Canada and internationally, including Les Rencontres Internationales de la Photographie, Arles (1997), Grunt Gallery, Vancouver (1999) A Space, Toronto (2000), Biennial of Young Artists, Romania (2004), Ice Follies, North Bay (2006), AXENÉO7, Gatineau (2010), Art Gallery of Hamilton (2011) and Art Gallery of Mississauga (2012), Pierre François Ouellette Art Contemporain, Montréal (2017) and Koffler Gallery, Toronto (2018).  In 2012, Beaudry won the BMW Exhibition Prize at the Contact Photography Festival. Her works are in private collections including TD Bank Art Collection. Now residing in Toronto, she is a professor in the Art and Art History program at the University of Toronto in Mississauga.


Daniel Cockburn plays at the intersection of avant-garde and narrative cinema. Bringing together innovative storytelling strategies with structuralist experimentation, he breaks open day-to-day reality to reveal the strange codes beneath. Self-reflexive to the point of neurosis, Cockburn is fascinated with how moving images can illuminate the structures and rhythms of our lives; he is forever looking for hidden meaning in randomness and patterns in chaos.


Jacquelyn Hébert‘s is a Winnipeg-bred, Toronto-based interdisciplinary artist whose work stems from an interest in historical, cultural and imagined narratives. Her recent artistic focus deals with the complexity of Canadian and Franco-Canadian identities. She is interested in the spaces between cultural expectations and the reality of lived experiences. Hébert has shown her work both nationally and internationally and in 2014 she completed a Masters of Fine Arts from Concordia University in Montréal.


Maria Legault is a performance artist that has hidden in paper bags, married a doll and stuffed crevices with pink icing. She holds a BFA from Concordia University, an MFA from the University of Guelph and a PhD from the Université du Québec à Montréal. Her work has been exhibited nationally at Forest City Gallery, Inter-Access, Mercer Union, Nuit Blanche, Print Studio, Rodman Hall, Galerie Sans Nom, Galerie du Nouvel Ontario, Saw Gallery, Western Front et 7a11d. She has also exhibited internationally at Castle of Imagination Performance Festival in Poland , at the Balkans Biennale in Serbia, Reinraum in Allemagne, Pow-Pow Performance Festival in the United-States and the Musée d'art moderne et contemporain de Strasbourg in France. She was awarded the Best Emerging Artist Award at the Untitled Art Awards in Toronto in 2005, the People’s Choice Prize for Nuit Blanche in 2009 and funding from the Toronto, Ontario and Canada arts councils. She has worked in various artist run centers and been a cultural reporter for TFO’s Panorama. Her work has been widely exhibited in Canada and internationally. She is also the recipient of numerous awards and grants.


Nadine Valcin is an award-winning bilingual producer, writer and director. Her factual and documentary work has been shown in Canada on CBC, CBC News Network, TVO, W, Artv, Réseau de l’information (RDI), Société Radio-Canada (SRC), TFO, as well TV One and the History Network in the United States
She has directed four documentary projects for the National Film Board of Canada, including the critically-acclaimed Black, Bold and Beautiful (1999) and Une école sans frontières (A School without Borders, 2008). In 2016, her short experimental film Heartbreak was one of 20 finalists among over 1700 submissions to the inaugural TIFFxInstagram Shorts Fest in 2016. Her current focus is on dramatic projects. She has written and directed three short narrative films and is developing two feature films as well as the virtual reality experience Ghosts of Remembrance about the forgotten history of slavery in Canada. 
Nadine has been awarded numerous grants and prizes including two prestigious Chalmers Arts Fellowships and a Drama Prize from the National Screen Institute for the short film In Between. She holds a professional degree in architecture from McGill University and is an alumna of Doc Lab, Women in the Director’s Chair, and the National Screen Institute.  She was an artist-in-residence for the 2015-16 academic year at Osgoode Hall Law School at York University and the recipient of the 2016 WIFT-T/DGC Ontario Director Mentorship.



Carolina Reis is a Francophone visual artist, designer and curator based in T'karonto. She was born in Portugal and has been living in what we now call Canada for over 25 years. Her curatorial work is motivated by the desire to share stories and showcase artists who are underrepresented in the art scene, whether they are emerging or established, and to disseminate their work in order to keep the art production alive. Being strongly committed to the Francophone community in Ontario, it is important for her to include artists who are marginalized by their gender, appearance, language or abilities.



A big thanks to Alissa Firth-Eagland for her generosity and her dedication as a curatorial mentor to me in this project. I would also like to recognize Barbara Gilbert for initiating this mentorship and for her invaluable support. Finally, I would also like to mention all the people who have agreed to reread my text and give me their comments in all frankness including Jacquelyn Hébert, Francis May, Anouk Desloges, Nadine Valcin, Paul Walty, Samuel Choisy, Lise Beaudry et Salomé Viguier. Thanks to Erica Chi for translating the original version of this text into English. Finally, I would like to thank Miriam Ginestier, Dyana Ouvrard and Jocelyn Pogorbsky for their valuable feedback on this new edition of the text.

The Labo also thanks the following individuals for their support: 

Denis Taman Bradette
Zoong Nguyen
Laura Demers
Claudia Bernal
Lou-Anne Bourdeau
Rémi Belliveau

This program is co-presented by VUCAVU and Le Labo.


The Labo thanks the Canada Council for the Arts for its support,

as well as its valued partners:


This curated program is part of the VUCAVU Expanded project.
We acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts.​