VIVO Media Arts Centre Archive > Marc Paradis Retrospective

Marc Paradis Retrospective

A Project of Vidéographe, Montréal, & Co-Presentation with VIVO, Vancouver.

Program 2: Friday, May 7

Streaming ends at 11pm PDT.
Program: 65 minutes
French with English Subtitles.

L’incident “Jones”, Marc Paradis, Québec, 1986, 7 min.

A short video in three acts that tells the story of an encounter between three men. Possibility, certainty and reality. The place: between Montreal and the Laurentians in the autumn of 1984. The misty and damp atmosphere of late November.

Délivre-nous du mal, Marc Paradis, Québec, 1987, 9 min.

Close-ups of lovers caressing and images of nearly motionless nude males are presented as a collage. A young man feverishly comments upon le mal d’amour by confronting desire and disappointment, including moments of his everyday life and moments which occur in a dream-like state. This results in an opposition between the primitive simplicity of sexuality and the complexity of love to which we traditionally associate it. This work focuses upon the omnipresence of sexuality and its inevitable changes and ramifications in long-term relationships.

Lettre à un amant, Marc Paradis, Québec, 1988, 10 min.

Lettre à un amant is the final chapter of Paradis’ video trilogy. It deals with a couple’s break-up. It is both a letter and a reflection, and it concerns giving of ones self, sharing and exchanging. It is also a response to the other person’s flight, the absence, the void. The images attempt to replace the fear and silence. A need sublimated in the exacerbation of pleasure conveyed by images and sounds.

Réminiscences carnivores, Marc Paradis, 1989, 19 min.

Memories of an incestuous relationship come to the surface as the apprehensive narrator waits for a reunion with his brother. With readings from Augustin Gomez-Arcos, Gide and Verlaine, the work has the rich texture of a cameo.

La cage, Marc Paradis, 1983, 20 min.

La cage is divided into two parts: a homosexual writer visualises his fantasies and a group forms around what seemed to be the story of an encounter between two men. Thus, with recurring visions and a camera that insists on quotidien objects, the first part is displaced. The audience becomes immersed in a magical atmosphere where the story that exists is that of men among themselves.

Marc Paradis

Born in Montréal, Marc Paradis (1955-2019) studied drama and visual arts. Between 1978 and 1990, he also trained with the likes of Józef Robakowski, Bruno Bigoni, Jerzy Grotowski- and Michael Kriegman. Paradis became interested in video in 1981, when he did a screen test for French filmmaker Jean-François Garsi, for whom he worked as an assistant. He went on to make Le voyage de l’ogre, the first of his 17 productions. His works question and consider romantic relationships between men, desire, fantasy, and the representation of sexuality, at times playing with the borders of pornography. In 1984, he made Schème video [Video Scheme] with Luc Bourdon, followed by Say Cheese for a Trans-Canadian Look the following year, two works that look at video art in Canada. He also made portraits and video recordings of artists such as Denis Lessard, John Mingolla and Yves Lalonde. His work has received national and international recognition. His work has received both national and international recognition. Marc Paradis died in Montreal in the summer of 2019.


Marc Paradis was a pioneer of queer video in Quebec and Canada. From his first work, Le voyage de l’ogre (1981), he questions sexuality, the homosexual body and identity. Obsessive and transgressive, her aesthetic oscillates between a raw and explicit realism (The cage) and a certain classicism, in the representation of bodies in particular (Harems), and pictorial references. The texts, their literary quality and their declamation play a central role (Reminiscences Carnivores) giving a tragic resonance to these stories of love, ass, breakups and death. The “Jones” Incident, Letter to a Lover and Deliver Us from Evil form a triptych that condenses these intimate and plastic questions.


These two programs bring together 7 titles produced between 1981 and 1991. They support the launch by Vidéographe of the bilingual digital publication Marc Paradis, un désir d’ogre [English version], which brings together three new texts by Luc Bourdon, Alexis Lemieux, and Denis Vaillancourt, the 17 videos produced by Paradis, including two unpublished works, and a rich selection of personal documents – scripts, notes and photos.

Click on image to open publication.