JuJe is the inter-conceptual journey of two artists—Julie René de Cotret and Jefferson Campbell-Cooper—as they live, discuss, and support each other in research and production, sustain individual visual art practices, and make works in conversation or fully in collaboration. They are based in Hillsburgh, Ontario.
In the context of a virtual, long-distance residency at ID:I Galleri in Stockholm, JuJe will develop bodies of work that address our complex relationship with the lands on which we reside, as well as the surrounding locales. Thus far, our collaborative work has been concerned with the extractive agenda of our country, Canada, and the reality of climate change. Works like Terrestrial Nautica (2017-2019), and Rock Extraction (2019) illustrate the absurdly unsustainable extraction occurring on a large scale in the small community of Hillsburgh, Ontario, where we live, one hour outside of Toronto.
Often sprayed with chemicals, these monocropping lands form the ad hoc stage for a frenzied, fast-paced, site specific intervention. Living and practicing on the parcel of land they inhabit, JuJe Collective often produces work that consists of absurd, disruptive gestures that challenge our idealized conception of bucolic living and agricultural landscapes. They highlight the environmental and sensorial turbulence that humans enact upon their natural surroundings in quick, highly theatrical performances.
Laura Demers, 2021
In March 2020 as the pandemic became reality, our focus centred more attentively on the place that we inhabit. Every work we had produced in collaboration prior to the pandemic was inspired and completed here, on this one acre of land. These works were exhibited internationally, but there is more here than we had considered. In isolation, the trace of light in time became the true indicator of the moment, connecting us to reality. We are entering a new phase in our practice, one with a heightened consideration for this place.
Between August 6th and 15th, 2021, we will produce and present new works in the form of video, photography and also drawing. The works produced during this period, though a continuation of our focus on this one acre, will take our gaze and considerations to its periphery, as we examine, investigate, and study the unsustainable growth of this rural region as development and extraction depict the cannibalistic reality of the colonial way of life.