Chloë Lum and Yannick Desranleau

Chloë Lum (born in Sudbury, Canada; lives in Tiohtià:ke / Mooniyang / Montreal, Canada) and Yannick Desranleau (born in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Canada; lives in Tiohtià:ke / Mooniyang / Montreal, Canada) are a duo of artists who explore relations between bodies and objects, both of which are considered to be sentient and performing subjects. Lum and Desranleau’s works, currently in the form of installations, are situated at the intersection of performance, dance, theatre, music, and literature. The question of chronic illness—long-term illness that often gets worse over time—has recently permeated their work, as they approach reciprocity and engagement from the perspectives of restriction, time, and alienation.

Countries / Nations


Chloë Lum and Yannick Desranleau: Crushed Butterflies Dream Too

In the video installation The Garden of a Former House Turned Museum, Lum and Desranleau feature a sung and danced correspondence between an anonymous contemporary interlocutor and the Brazilian author Clarice Lispector (1920–77), an important twentieth-century literary figure. Epistolary “Dear Clarice” prose poems guide us through Rio de Janeiro, here covered with lush nature as if human activity had simply ceased. Played by different performers, the protagonist addresses Lispector in the beyond; there’s no response but the whispers of orchids filtering through the urban jungle. In this materialist hymn, the performers interact with inanimate collaborators, objects that are somehow both strange and familiar. Attending to the themes of language, nature, urban-ness, and illness—which the protagonist and the author have in common—the work probes the porous boundaries between humans and the material world. The Garden of a Former House Turned Museum explores the gestural, aural, and narrative potential of bodies and objects by highlighting the alienation experienced when the former become carapaces and the latter come to life. In this musical taking place between the worlds of the living and the dead, bodies and objects take on an inebriating sensuality, both tender and dark, like the stifling heat of a tropical city.