The Laboratory of Feminist Pataphysics
Digital photographs documenting Mireille Perron's exhibition "The Laboratory of Feminist Pataphysics." The exhibition was an installation that was displayed in the New Gallery's location at 516d 9th Avenue S.W., Calgary. It ran from February 24 - March 31, 2007.

A fictitious laboratory created by Perron, "The Laboratory of Feminist Pataphysics" consisted of five "Emergency Mobile Units": Anatomy, Identity, Transgenetics, Incorporation and Toxicology. These mobile sculptures/lab spaces were described as "...a series of social experiments that masquerade as works of art." Perron states that "[e]ach mobile unit can easily be set up wherever there is an urgent need for feminist interventions." The Laboratory also presented three auxiliary institutes: the Institute for Confounding Pretension, the Institute for Cosmic Procrastination, and the Institute for Corporate Pudding.

"Pataphysics," a term created by the French writer Alfred Jarry, is "the science of imaginary solutions." Like other sciences, and despite significant inroads, pataphysics remains a predominantly male practice. Practitioners of feminist pataphysics, known as pataphysiciennes, work to remedy this situation, and " to think of their work as the reinvention of gendered science through fictive narratives."

In addition to drawing attention to the lack of female presence in science through parody, the "Laboratory of Feminist Pataphysics" was also a form of commentary upon current events and practices. Perron, a long time teacher at the Alberta College of Art and Design (ACAD), used her work to satirize corporate institutions, and specifically, ACAD's Institute for the Creative Process (ICP). Perron created her own ICPs, each described in a pamphlet that accompanied the exhibition: the Institute for Confounding Pretension; the Institute for Cosmic Procrastination; and the Institute for Corporate Pudding. Each institution was a humourous examination of the bureaucracy and that plagues many real-life institutions.
Description Sources
"The Laboratory of Feminist Pataphysics," pamphlet by Mireille Perron, 2007
Id number
exhibition image > digital photograph
Year 2007
Coverage (yyyy-mm-dd) February 24 to March 31 2007
Permissions Image reproduced with the artist's permission. This image is displayed for reference purposes only. Read more about our copyright policy here.
Credit line Images from the collection of The New Gallery
Related entities
Mireille Perron, individual (was created by)
Rebecca Rowley, individual (was photographed by)
Related places
Main Space (was exhibited in)