Patrick Blenkarn

Artist Statement: Pas de rendez-vous

My recent work, moving from a background in theatre to a more interdisciplinary practice, frequently explores the ways in which repetition structures relationships. In these drawings, I explore film (and cinema more broadly) as a space in which we inhabit by means of mapping the moving image through our attention. In 2013, I set out to adapt Chantal Akerman’s 1978 film, Les rendez-vous d’Anna, into a stage play. The film explores a filmmaker’s various disconnected rendezvous with family, friends, lovers, and strangers while travelling from Germany to Belgium, and finally France. In 2015, after Akerman’s death, I started to work on the film again, this time with a black marker on a piece of foam core and tracing parts of the film’s projected images as they passed.

These four drawings are presented alongside the film’s soundtrack to create another form of cinematic experience, one that emerges from my own navigations of Akerman’s images and their sounds. I understand this act of navigation within the context of the concept of territory as articulated by Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari. A territory, for them, is something in process. It is constructed through the repetitive assembling of components. And while a territory has a provisional, ‘frame’, its shape changes over time. The navigation that makes up Pas de rendez-vous constitutes a (re)territorialization of a territory in motion through my own spectatorship. The work is a copy that recognizes the variation and difference that every repetition depends upon and it seeks to affirm the play that makes all ‘copying’ possible.

Put another way, by tracing the film, I make visible a second ‘film’, another possible cinema, one with a relationship to Akerman’s film that is made possible by a disconnected rendezvous—between spectator and image, between student and mentor.


Patrick Blenkarn is a Canadian artist. His artistic projects are predominately, but not necessarily, performance-based—and they frequently emerge from his thinking (and writing) about theatre, philosophy, and cinema. He is interested in subjects as diverse as repetition, pedagogy, labour, digital performance, and multilingualism. His theories on political theatre have been published in Theatre Research in Canada and he has also presented other writings at international conferences, including the Derrida Today Conference in 2014. Patrick has a degree from the University of King’s College in Halifax, Nova Scotia and is currently completing his Masters of Fine Art in Interdisciplinary Studies at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, British Columbia.

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