A SHRINE FOR MARIE-JOSEPHTE CORRIVEAU
Storytelling, as a form of transmission of truth that gains weight and permanence with repetition, interprets and reshapes pieces of history, which, with this reinvented relevance and authority, become folkloric monuments of collective memory. The story of Marie-Josephte Corriveau is a part of Québec history that has spanned centuries and persists to this day in folklore and popular culture.
In 1763, in New France, Corriveau was found guilty of the murder of her second husband. After years of domestic violence and after her petition for divorce was declined by the Church, she was sentenced to death by hanging, followed with the gibbeting of her body. The recent discovery of the cage that held her body coincides with a period of profound upheavals in the practices of recounting our past. Environmental, feminist and indigenous issues are at the heart of a movement towards a critical re-visiting of history.
Political actions are taken, such as the removal of statues of our historical “heroes” or the creation of new monuments to honor important figures who had never been recognized as such. Values are changing and so are the ways we understand history. The newly found artefact, the gibbet, appears as a symbolically charged piece of history that has the potential to be a part of these reflections. This project questions the place of women in Québecois collective memory through the proposal of a shrine located at the site of Corriveau’s gibbeting, in Lévis.
Leslie Van Duzer [CHAIR]