April 27 – June 11, 2022
Opening reception: Saturday April 30th, from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Renée Condo: Sisip-Sipu
Galerie Laroche/Joncas
Satellite space organized by Galerie Laroche/Joncas
La Biennale d’art contemporain autochtone (BACA) – 6ème édition

Galerie Laroche/Joncas
372 Ste-Catherine O. #410
Tiohtià:ke / Mooniyang / Montreal, QC, H3B 1A2

On the summer of my 12th year, I started and stopped the rain at will. I did this on numerous occasions, and every time I made the request, the sky complied. I wouldn’t say that I was surprised. I had such a confidence at that age. But I did feel grateful and delighted. I was often in the presence of my childhood best friend. I tested my ability on a sunny day, clear sky, and I was able to bring in the rain. After my 12th year, I never attempted to call the rain again. I was afraid that I wouldn’t be able to recreate the phenomenon, and that would mean that it didn’t truly happen.

Four to five years ago, while working in the old port of Montreal, I encountered a situation where I felt safe enough to test this power once again. I felt safe because I had a good relationship with my colleague Patrick. I felt safe enough to accept failure. That morning I got a ride to work with a large painting that I had to bring to school in the early afternoon; I was also a student. It started raining heavily, and when we looked at the weather forecast for the day, it was heavy rains at 100%, hour after hour, late into the evening. Patrick teased me about my predicament. Since the mood was playful, I said to him, “Oh yeah, well when I was 12, I stopped and started the rain at will”. I recounted the story in a way that implied that of course this must have been a peculiar coincidence, an anomaly. We both laughed at the idea. And then he challenged me: “Ok Renée, get the rain to stop!” Since it seemed so unlikely, and I felt that there wouldn’t be a real expectation that I would stop it, I decided to give it a try. I placed myself in front of the large window and sent out my request. I repeated the request a few times in between taking calls, Patrick reminding me along the way that the outcome was not looking good. Just before 1:00, as I was leaving work, I laughed with Patrick as we looked outside at the rain, or I should say non-rain. It had halted, in its place a dense mist. He couldn’t believe it. I made my way to school under the cease-rain, and minutes after I entered my destination, the rain started pouring down. I texted Patrick to let him know that I had made it, and that the rain just started back up. I still don’t know what he really thinks of the incident. I felt grateful. I haven’t made another request since.