Ciel

Arbour-Boehme

 

Cannibalism: a Self-Portrait.

Ciel in her UVIC Campus Studio.

Ciel in her UVIC Campus Studio.

"Sometimes you feel good."

“Sometimes you feel good.”

Biography

Ciel Arbour-Boehme is a young woman artist living in the Pacific Northwest Region of Canada. She was born and raised in Victoria, B.C., and attended boarding school at Brentwood College School in Mill Bay, B.C.. Ciel played rugby for thirteen years. Her past teams include: Victoria’s Viloux, Cowichan Piggies, Brentwood College School, Team BC, and the UVIC Varsity Vikes. Ciel has competed on the international scale four times with Team BC at the Las Vegas Sevens Tournament. She has also competed at Nationals with UVIC’s Varsity Vikes, as Inside Centre. Ciel is currently in her last year of studies at UVIC as a Political Science Major, and a Visual Arts Minor. Ciel ran under the Purple Party Slate in UVIC’s student UVSS elections last spring, 2018. She ran for the position of Lead Director of Campaigns & Community Relations. She also assisted on multiple Municipal election campaigns for the City of Victoria this fall, 2018. Both of Ciel’s parents are artists. She travelled to Europe at the ages of 8, 10 and 12 with her father, while he was on performance tours. Ciel has been to France, Belarus, Romania and Poland. She lived in Paris for a year. Ciel is also a performance artist. After painting for some time, she switched her focus to video and installation art. Following graduation from UVIC, Ciel plans to travel abroad to Latin America, and live and work in Berlin.

Selected Excerpts

The artist featured on this page is a performance artist, therefore their voice is a an extension of their art. Listed below are highlighted quotes, represented in visual text.

“I kind of defined art on my own terms. And that kind of spurred on a new kind of love for it. In my own kind of language, and my own kind of understanding with lots of gender studies influences and political theory. So it was art in my own terms.”

“Sometimes I am just sitting down with my friends and it’s just the most beautiful moment I’ve ever been in, and I shoot an entire video… Just with facial expressions and just with beautiful people, and smiles, and the setting… And with other times where I’ll spend a month thinking of the idea in my head, and then manifesting that. And sometimes it will take a month to shoot. And then I’d say the most I’ve ever spent editing is, ‘cause I am very experimental with editing, is like a week… With a few hours every day on my computer or in the SIM lab.”

 

“This painting that I sold pops into mind and I was in grade eleven I think… it was… very abstract…, so I was working on a canvas that someone had painted on without my permission. And it had been sitting on my desk, and I was really upset about it, and then I looked at it and thought: ‘Perfect! Now I don’t have to work from a white canvas, because that’s so stressful!’[…] So I just started collecting tape that was left in the garbage from my fellow classmate, and it had her colours on it, so I just was layering it on, and just adding scrapes of paint onto the canvas, and just really experimenting. And it was every colour of the rainbow almost!”

In Conversation with Ciel Arbour-Boehme.

Full Interview Transcription

Edited and transcribed by Cameron Leckenby in consultation with Ciel Arbour-Boehme.

Text in square brackets [ ] indicates additions or subtractions from original interview as recorded in the audio file above.

Triple dashes — indicate an interruption in spoken speech.

Stars * indicate a sound or action that occurred. 

Cameron: So that’s one going. These are the backups that should be the master copy. Actually, because I’m a professional. Do you want anything to eat? Crackers or something?

Ciel: I’m Okay.

Cameron: I thought I should offer.

Ciel: Thank you.

Cameron: Cool, I’m gonna put this stuff there, so that one’s going too. And that one’s going too. So there, that’s our setup. Cool, umm, so this is October 25th, 2018. Uhh… my name is Cameron Leckenby. I’m in Dr. Carolyn Butler-Palmer’s art history seminar on the Williams Collection, which is UVIC’s art collection at the Legacy [Art Gallery], but this semester we are focusing on, uhh, female and indigenous artists of the Pacific Northwest. And ya, we’re interviewing Ciel Arbour-Boehme — (Questioning intonation, regarding name pronunciation.)

Ciel: Boehme.

Cameron: Boehme, today. Cool, so, to get started, where do you come from?

Ciel: I’m from Victoria.

Cameron: Ya.

Ciel: Grew up, I was raised here. Spent most of my life here.

Cameron: Cool, groovy, so Island-born.

Ciel: Mhhmm-hmm.

Cameron: And, umm, also just to state for the audio-record, you can feel free to not answer any questions, deflect, ya, tell me off. It’s all cool. Umm, how, or what do you identify as?

Ciel: Ummm.

Cameron: Just for simplicity when I —

Ciel: For gender pronouns?

Cameron: Ya, for transcribing.

Ciel: Umm, definitely a woman, but I’m also okay with being gendered as like non-gender conforming.

Cameron: So like he — err, sorry: she, her, they?

Ciel: They, them, ya, whatever, I’m flexible.

Cameron: Groovy, awesome. Umm, just to like get into some stuff I found online. How long have you played rugby for?

Ciel: I played rugby for thirteen years. I played for UVIC Vikes, as Inside Centre for two years.

Cameron: Groovy.

Ciel: For first and second year. Ya, and highschool, Team BC.

Cameron: Team BC? Did you play for like the Riptide or anything?

Ciel: I played for — who did I play for…Tsunami.

Cameron: Oooooo, same.

Ciel: For four years. Ya, ya.

Cameron: Groovy. And did you play for like Casteways or Viloux? [Pronounced: Vee-lox.]

Ciel: I played for Viloux and Cowichan, cuz I went to a boarding-school closer to Duncan.

Cameron: Cool.

Ciel: And, ya, I think that’s everyone. Brentwood, [Team] BC, those two clubs [listed previously].

Cameron: So was Brentwood Bay your boarding school then?

Ciel: Ya.

Cameron: And you went there from what grades?

Ciel: Grade nine to grade 12.

Cameron: Okay. And did they have their own rugby team, or?

Ciel: Ya, we actually did so well, that, umm, we — my grade twelve year won Provincials for Sevens and Fifteens. [Game types of rugby.]

Cameron: Damn.

Ciel: And it was an amazing time.

Cameron: Sweet.

Ciel: Ya. Oh, and I also went to with, ya, Team BC to Las Vegas and competed internationally.

Cameron: Crazy, you went to Vegas!?

Ciel: Ya, for like four years.

Cameron: Was that for Sevens then?

Ciel: Ya, for Sevens.

Cameron: Four years!?

Ciel: Mhhmm-hmm.

Cameron: Dang, so you were living the dream!

Ciel: *laughs.

Cameron: So you were a Cowichan Piggy too though?

Ciel: Ya, both, just cuz it was closer. It’s a really nice club.

Cameron: Sick. Umm, did you get into like art and stuff at Brentwood, or like before that?

Ciel: Umm, at Brentwood, well both my parents are practicing artists.

Cameron: Okay, that’s sick.

Ciel: So I’ve been travelling. I’ve travelled to Europe, when I was like eight, and then ten again, and then twelve for art specifically. For performance art. And so I’ve been practicing art, ya know, my whole life pretty much, with my parents.

Cameron: Longtime.

Ciel: And ya. So then I went to Brentwood and I kind of narrowed down my focus to painting. Umm, which was amazing. I had amazing profs there. John Luna in particular. He’s a local artist as well. And since then I’ve kind of opened my area of interest to video art and installation. It’s definitely been a progression of my interests in the Visual Arts.

Cameron: Groovy. So when you came to UVIC, did you know Arts was gonna be a major thing?

Ciel: No, actually I had no idea. I was adamant to kind of work on other things, because both my parents are practicing artists. And I do have a passion for Political Science, that’s my Major. [Degree Focus.]

Cameron: Ya.

Ciel: And I got here, and I met the profs. And I kind of defined art on my own terms. And that kind of spurred on a new kind of love for it. In my own kind of language, and my own kind of understanding with lots of gender studies influences and political theory. So it was art in my own terms.

 

“I kind of defined art on my own terms. And that kind of spurred on a new kind of love for it. In my own kind of language, and my own kind of understanding with lots of gender studies influences and political theory. So it was art in my own terms.”

Cameron: So, like, has politics always been a major interest? So like, since high school, or before?

Ciel: Mhmm-hmm. Ya, I think — well probably before. In grade ten I had an international relations class, and in that moment we were learning about macro-economics and the United Nations, and international, umm, relations in general. And it just sparked a passion in my head immediately, and I remember one class I realized: “this is what I want to study in university.”

Cameron: Cool. So like, what was like the first election of any level of government that you were like super into? That you can remember.

Ciel: I think, ya know, it wasn’t super interesting in Mill Bay, which is where my boarding school was.

Cameron: Totally.

Ciel: Umm, so the first real interesting event was when Stephen Harper came to, I believe my boarding school and next to my boarding school. And there was big protests, and that was really political. Right in my face. And it was really interesting. And I k new that I wasn’t for Harper.

Cameron: Ya.

Ciel: Umm, so ya, that was really in my face. But flashforward to Lisa Helps first election, and when I heard that she pledged allegiance to — orr, err, rather than —

Cameron: Rather than..?

Ciel: — Pledged allegiance, she kind of did a territorial acknowledgment to indigenous people. On the land that she would be governing, rather than pledging allegiance to the Crown. In that moment I was immediately fascinated by diverse politics, and I didn’t feel like I had known about politics of such a nature before. Ya.

Cameron: So when you said you were working on Municipal campaigns for Council and Mayor, was that like Victoria, Saanich, Oak Bay?

Ciel: Mhmm-hmm, ya. So this year, in the 2018 Municipal Elections, I’ve been working with mostly Grace Lore. She was a prof of mine last year in Gender and Politics. She’s and incredible person, so I was her social media coordinator. Umm…

Cameron: And just to clarify: was that in Saanich or..?

Ciel: Victoria.

Cameron: Victoria, okay.

Ciel: Yuup, and umm, I was doing a little bit of work together with “Together Victoria,” Sharmarke Dubow in specific — in particular. Umm, and I was —

Cameron: Those were the colourful people? The three colours? [Reference to campaign signs’ designs.]

Ciel: Ya.

Cameron: Groovy.

Ciel: So Laurel Collins, Sarah Potts and Sharmarke Dubow. And I was also working with Helps doing campaigning.

Cameron: Awesome:

Ciel: Doing little bits there, here, and there.

Cameron: So you’re pretty stoked that four more years of Helps?

Ciel: Ya, sooo-sooo excited!

Cameron: Groovy-groovy. Umm, then just to backtrack, umm. So you are a Poli-Sci Major, and a Visual Studies Minor?

Ciel: Yuup, you got it.

Cameron: And last year, you ran under the Purple Party slate for UVSS, uhh, lead-Director of Student Affairs?

Ciel: It was Campaigns – Director of Campaigns and Community Relations.

Cameron: Which is, no. Campaigns and Community Relations is just…?

Ciel: It’s just UVSS.

Cameron: And you ran against the Envision slate?

Ciel: I did. I ran against one person, umm, and it was a really-really exciting race. I learnt so much, and I was supported by so many incredible people. Umm, and it was really amazing.

Cameron: Ya. And I just remember from your Purple Party website you had like a Visual Arts video, as part of your campaign, like of you making stuff.

Ciel: Ya, ya, mhmm-hmm.

Cameron: Do you wanna like comment on the processes of making that and like what it meant real quick?

Ciel: Ya, I don’t usually do — My interest right now is particularly in vis-, video art, but umm, this is, that was a type of video art that I have never really done before. Where its kind of following a narrative, following like the makings of something. I was making patches. Umm, so I just video-taped myself dancing a little bit to a really great song by Rihanna: “Nerd.”

Both: *simultaneous laughter.

Ciel: And umm, just spray-painting, which was really cool. And ya, process-orienting. It was really interesting. And umm, ya, I was on a single-person slate, so.

 

 

“My interest right now is particularly in… video art. This is… a type of video art that I have never really done before. Where it’s kind of following a narrative, following… the makings of something. I was making patches… So I just video-taped myself dancing a little bit to a really great song by Rihanna: “Nerd.” … Just spray-painting, which was really cool, and… process-orienting. It was really interesting”

Cameron: And, so , I read into it, and just from memory, you were supposed to have a co-slate-mate? Slate-mate.

Ciel: *laughs.

Cameron: Umm, so was that hard that you suddenly had to run alone?

Ciel: Ya, it was pretty hard, Pascale, sorry, Subien — Subien was really-really helpful. Umm, she helped me. She didn’t get allowed to — in the race, for… I don’t remember exactly why. It was very political.

Cameron: It was for a Graduate signature —

Ciel: Yuup.

Cameron: One thing —

Ciel: Ya, one Graduate signature, that’s exactly it. She was really-really helpful through the whole process with the patches and everything. It was amazing. It was really exhausting, but –-

Cameron: Ya.

Ciel: It was worth it for sure.

Cameron: So did you have fun like making posters as well?

Ciel: Uhh, ya, kind of. I got complained about with my posters as well actually, a few times. I had to take them down.

Cameron: Really?

Ciel: For very minor, very insignificant reasons.

Cameron: Like because of what you had as like content on the poster, or?

Ciel: Umm, I think it was because there wasn’t the Slate name. It was like “Purple is coming,” and then it had a “solidarity fist.” [Political icon.] Umm, but it didn’t say “Purple Party.”

Cameron: Ya.

Ciel: Something that — and it had been approved too! They didn’t catch it when they stamped it! And it was stamped!

Cameron: And so was the complaint from —

Ciel: It was from Envision.

Cameron: And the complaint was to the Office? [Office of Student Elections and Campaigns.]

Ciel: Yuup.

Cameron: Fun stuff. Bringing up memories for me. So we talked about like when you got into art, and the Purple Slate. Umm, so this is your last year at UVIC?

Ciel: Mhmm-hmm.

Cameron: So you won’t be running again in this year’s elections?

Ciel: No! Umm, I won’t. Umm.

Cameron: Will you be supporting anybody you know of yet?

Ciel: Oh! Absolutely yes!

Cameron: Ya?

Ciel: I’ll be definitely supporting — it’s important to umm, have diverse Slates running. And at UVIC politics aren’t interesting and we don’t have diverse slates running.\

Cameron: Ya.

Ciel: And therefore, a lot of voices aren’t heard at like, invisible kind of decision making tables. And umm, I would love to participate in like the politicization. And interest-raising of UVIC student politics, so.

“It’s important to… have diverse Slates running. And at UVIC politics aren’t interesting and we don’t have diverse slates running…, therefore, a lot of voices aren’t heard at… invisible… decision making tables. And… I would love to participate in… the politicization, and interest-raising of UVIC student politics.”

Cameron: So we might see you as like a listed Campaign Manager, or?

Ciel: Oh ya, I think! I would love ‘ta! That’s a great idea! Ya, but it was actually really interesting, cuz last year, as soon as I didn’t get elected. I got accepted to become a Canadian Youth Delegate to the United Nations. So literally in that week, I didn’t get elected, but then got this amazing opportunity for the summer. And, so I was at the U.N. this summer, at the high level political forum on the Sustainable Development Goals as a Canadian Youth Delegate. So it was amazing.

Cameron: That’s crazy stuff! So, ahh, was that like in New York then, or?

Ciel: Yuup.

Cameron: So did you – tying into New York now, did you get to explore, like, a lot of really modern art and stuff while you were in New York?

Ciel: Ya, uhh I was staying with — I don’t know if you know him — Colin, he worked at the Munchie Bar, he was my Campaign Manager. Anyways, he graduated he’s from Brooklyn.

Cameron: Ahh, okay.

Ciel: I was with him. So we was showing me Brooklyn and all of this contemporary art, and like very like interesting cultural kind of happenings in like Brooklyn. But then also we went to like the Whitney, and walked along the highline. And ya, just like seeing the street art is where my heart is.

Cameron: So the street-art is kinda like what you took away from New York?

Ciel: Street art, the style, the people. Mostly the people. They’re amazing.

Cameron: People? Ya, okay. That’s really cool to know. Awesome.

Ciel: Ya.

Cameron: Umm, so like, you switched — you’re into video art right now, but you’re also like identified as a painter. So, and then you said for the campaign video, you filmed yourself painting? Soo is that kinda like a trend that you like to do now?

Ciel: Mhmm-hmm.

Cameron: Or, so, do you like to paint solo?

Ciel: No, umm, I’m not umm, super into that whole painting-while-video-taping-self.

Cameron: Ya.

Ciel: I’m definitely more into uhh, I don’t really identify as a painter. That was something of the past for me. Umm, I’m more of an Installation Artist, or a Video Artist.

 

 

 

“I don’t really identify as a painter. That was something of the past for me…

  I’m more of an Installation Artist, or a Video Artist.”

 

Cameron: Okay.

Ciel: Ya, so I work in terms of like set design, I guess you could say. Or like character development and casting for certain videos. Umm, and then on-top of that, how that video then gets installed with like sculptures and err — the screen, and the quality.

Cameron: And the processes of Installation?

Ciel: The process, but also the sculptures that come along. What room is it in? Is it outside? Is it inside? And is it in a room with my sculptures? How big is it on the wall, like that kind of thing.

Cameron: Cool, and like, would you say that your program at UVIC has like helped with that a lot? And there’s courses that are geared towards installation art?

Ciel: Mhmm-hmm. Umm, we don’t have an Installation Art Class, but we have a bunch of rooms that accommodate projection, dark rooms for-for, kind of like a Cinema effect. Umm, we have really knowledgeable professors and staff here, so they’re super helpful with like, making dreams come true, with like video art.

Cameron: Okay, so like, are there any Professors, you like wanna shout-out quick, or?

Ciel: *laughs. I would say Kelly Richardson.

Cameron: Kelly Richardson?

Ciel: Kelly Richardson shot an IMAX movie this summer.

Cameron: Daannggg.

Ciel: She’s amazing! She’s an amazing artist. Umm, I would say Cliff.

Cameron: I know Cliff, ya.

Ciel: Ya, Cliff is umm, is an amazing helper, teacher, umm, ya.

Cameron: Okay, and then, so to market yourself as an artist, or whether you wanna be an artist, umm like with installation art, is that like hard to get a show, say like in a gallery in Victoria or something, compared to if you were just trying to get a few paintings submitted?

Ciel: Uhh, ya. I think, people are particularly welcoming to paintings. Umm, cuz they’re generally easier to hang up. People generally consume them more easily. Whereas, Installation art, it’s not something that happens all the time in Victoria. That being said there’s amazing sculpture and installation [artists] in Victoria. But that being said, I used to very abstract paintings, and a lot of the time that’s not what they want.

 

 

“I think, people are particularly welcoming to paintings…, [because] they’re generally easier to hang up. People generally consume them more easily. Whereas, Installation art, it’s not something that happens all the time in Victoria. That being said, there’s amazing sculpture and installation [artists] in Victoria. […] I used to [make] very abstract paintings, and a lot of the time that’s not what they want.”

Cameron: They want like: landscape, traditional, they don’t want the —

Ciel: And there’s a lot of that here!

Cameron: Ya, there is.

Ciel: So they fill up!

Cameron: They do.

Ciel: Whereas, there’s not a lot of calls for installation, or even video art.

Cameron: So are you open to like outside installation art? Say if the city said to you like: “hey we want a big piece of installation, in like this park.”

Ciel: Ya! Totally!

Cameron: And like, to build on that: would you build something that’s like weather permeable, or would you build something that is like purposely deteriorated by the weather? Would you want like the lasting concrete, or would you go for like flexible stuff?

Ciel: I think it would have to be long-term.

Cameron: Long-term?

Ciel: Ya, just because of like the seasons, and the seasons are frequently changing here.

Cameron: Ya.

Ciel: And long-term is very important, rather than single-use, or whatever. Ya, it would long-term for sure. It would depend on what type of materials.

Cameron: To build on that, have you ever received a commission for an installation before? Or have [you done anything] through like voluntarily, school?

Ciel: Umm, this summer I was working with a local theatre — [corrects pronunciation] theatre company for SKAM. Capital S-K-A-M. And I helped with like window design of their summer production of a theatre show. And so I did that kind of like very small-scale, ya. That’s it.

Cameron: Small-scale? Cool.

Ciel: Very small-scale, downtown Victoria.

Cameron: Awesome. Umm, just to build on how you like had the Purple [web]site. I was like thinking, is there a specific colour that you put in your art a lot? Like purple for instance, or anything? Or like, when you said that you do abstract [painting] art is there certain colours that come out the most? Or also, for your video art, do you do things with like filters to make it distorted, or different colours. Or do you do things with like Black and White?

Ciel: Mhmm-hmm (x2). So the Purple Party, I used Purple because it’s a very inclusive colour, it has ties to gender inclusivity, it has ties to historic social justice movements. And at the same time is like less political than like Green and what not.

Cameron: Ya.

Ciel: And blue, and that kind of thing. That’s why I choose purple. That being said, Purple is like nowhere close to my favourite colour at all.

Cameron: Groovy.

Ciel: That being said, I don’t use it in pretty much any of my art at all. For painting, I definitely wear the colours that I am painting, which is really interesting, like blues and lots of oranges. And a lot of black and white too. Blues, oranges, I would say that those are my go-to, but that being said: I love colour.

“For painting, I definitely wear the colours that I am painting, which is really interesting, like blues and lots of oranges. And a lot of black and white too. Blues, oranges, I would say that those are my go-to, but that being said: I love colour.”

Cameron: Ya.

Ciel: Whatever I can get in there it works.

Cameron: Are you a mix on canvas kind of person, or a mix on the palette?

Ciel: Mmmmm. Either or.

Cameron: Either or?

Ciel: Ya, it depends on the surface, like if it’s a nice canvas material or —

Cameron: Like if it is a stretched canvas, or?

Ciel: Ya, then probably mix off of it, but then if it’s just a found object, which is often times what I would work for.

Cameron: Ya.

Ciel: Like, found pieces of wood. Then I would be mixing on the surface. ‘Cause it soaks in the paint so much. I just want to use as much as the paint as I can. When it comes to video art, which is what I do now, rather than painting. Umm, I like to throw on filters to — not throw on filters, but to really colour adjust umm, certain settings, because then it kind of references historic video art practices. In particularly, feminist video art practices, from like the 70’s or 80’s, or 90’s, which is really exciting for me. Umm, but I definitely don’t like to alter an entire video for example. I like to throw it back and forth.

 “[For] found pieces of wood. Then I would be mixing on the surface. ‘Cause it soaks in the paint so much. I just want to use as much as the paint as I can.”

 

“When it comes to video art, which is what I do now, rather than painting… I like to throw on filters to — not throw on filters, but to really colour adjust… certain settings, because then it… references historic video art practices. In particularly, feminist video art practices, from… the 70’s or 80’s, or 90’s, which is really exciting for me… I definitely don’t like to alter an entire video…, I like to throw it back and forth.”

Cameron: So — so okay just two questions to build off of that. So feminism and gender rights play a major role in your artworks then, and your political views?

Ciel: More my political views. And my art isn’t overtly political either, or very clearly linked to political discourse, but umm, there’s definitely settle references to sexuality and gender exploration, and those concepts in a contemporary setting. Which are inherently political., but umm, ya.

Cameron: Okay, and then, so you edit the videos. How much time would you say you have to put towards producing your video, and then the aftermath of editing and piecing it together to what you want?

Ciel: Ya know, sometimes I am just sitting down with my friends and it’s just the most beautiful moment I’ve ever been in, and I shoot an entire video. Ya know, just with facial expressions and just with beautiful people, and smiles, and the setting. Where – and with other times where I’ll spend a month thinking of the idea in my head, and then manifesting that. And sometimes it will take a month to shoot. And then I’d say the most I’ve ever spent editing is, ‘cause I am very experimental with editing, is like a week. Ya, with a few hours every day on my computer or in the SIM lab.

 

“Sometimes I am just sitting down with my friends and it’s just the most beautiful moment I’ve ever been in, and I shoot an entire video… Just with facial expressions and just with beautiful people, and smiles, and the setting… And with other times where I’ll spend a month thinking of the idea in my head, and then manifesting that. And sometimes it will take a month to shoot. And then I’d say the most I’ve ever spent editing is, ‘cause I am very experimental with editing, is like a week… With a few hours every day on my computer or in the SIM lab.”

Cameron: So experimental is like: kinda learn as you go?

Ciel: Not learn as you go, ‘cause I know the technology, but more testing how something would work out, compared with what I was imagining beforehand.

Cameron: Cool.

Ciel: And like testing out different colour palettes, with the little screen that maybe will be in the corner, and overlay it on top of the normal video, and normal colours.

Cameron: Awesome. Umm, what do your normally shoot with, and what do you normally edit with, like technology specific?

Ciel: Umm, I’ve had a LUMEX, a DSLR LUMEX, since I was like thirteen.

Cameron: Wow.

Ciel: And that things been loyal to me since day one.

Cameron: Day one – just going!?

Ciel: Yeah! And it’s tiny, it’s perfect!

Cameron: Is that like a camcorder thing?

Ciel: No, it’s a camera.

Cameron: Okay.

Ciel: But it has like a — on the frontside, like where I would look into it, it has like a little camera screen that flops out, and turn it around, which is very useful.

Cameron: Yeah, yeah.

Ciel: And then I edit on PremierPro. And then if I am impulsively editing, I’ll edit it on iMovie on my computer, ‘cause it’s more accessible.

Cameron: Cool. Is there any particular, we’ll just do a bit of each from the past, is there any particular painting or artwork you’re super proud of? And then is there any video that you’re super proud of?

Ciel: So from the past, this painting that I sold pops into mind and I was in grade eleven I think. Umm, it was just, I am very abstract, as I’ve said. So I was working on a canvas that someone had painted on without my permission.

Cameron: Oh no!

Ciel: And it had been sitting on my desk, and I was really upset about it, and then I looked at it and thought: “Perfect! Now I don’t have to work from a white canvas, because that’s so stressful!” Umm, so I just started collecting tape that was left in the garbage from my fellow classmate, and it had her colours on it, so I just was layering it on, and just adding scrapes of paint onto the canvas, and just really experimenting. And it was every colour of the rainbow almost, but…

 

“This painting that I sold pops into mind and I was in grade eleven I think… it was… very abstract…, so I was working on a canvas that someone had painted on without my permission. And it had been sitting on my desk, and I was really upset about it, and then I looked at it and thought: ‘Perfect! Now I don’t have to work from a white canvas, because that’s so stressful!’[…] So I just started collecting tape that was left in the garbage from my fellow classmate, and it had her colours on it, so I just was layering it on, and just adding scrapes of paint onto the canvas, and just really experimenting. And it was every colour of the rainbow almost!”

Cameron: Was this like a large canvas?

Ciel: Yeah, it was like half the size of this table maybe. [References table in interviewing study.]

Cameron: Okay, so like the full arm’s length of the average… Cameron?

Ciel: Yeah, it was like to here.

Cameron: Okay, cool, halfway. And like it was white, and like white canvas is hard to start on?

Ciel: For me yeah, because it’s like a blank page when you’re just starting poem.

Cameron: So you write poetry too?

Ciel: Yeah, I do write scripts [poetic text] for my videos. I just started.

Cameron: Do you like script-writing?

Ciel: Yeah, I really like it!!

Cameron: Yeah?

Ciel: It’s intimidating, because language is so subjective, and that’s really intimidating for me, but it’s something that I feel like you — I just have to do it anyways, I guess.

Cameron: So a lot of your past videos didn’t have a lot of video in them?

Ciel: Yeah, no narrative, just very abstract. I just had a project titled “Narrative,” which I just started exploring. So I guess something that more recently that I did — that I’m really proud of for video art would be… hmm… I guess it was in my first year, and… It was called “Innuendo,” and it was various, very visually pleasing short shots, which were innuendos for sexuality or err – sexual acts I guess. Yeah, it’s on my website, if you wanted to check it out.

Cameron: Cool, so we can look that up?

Ciel: Yeah.

Cameron: And do research off that?

Ciel: Mhmm-hmm.

Cameron: Umm (exceptionally long)… Just a question to go back to the travel. So you’ve been to New York, and you said you’ve been to Europe [at the ages of] eight, ten and twelve?

Ciel: Eight, ten, twelve, and I also lived in Paris last year.

Cameron: You were in Paris last year?

Ciel: So I got back from exchange, and I just ran in the election, as soon as I got back!!

Cameron: As soon as you were back?!

Ciel: It was just so impulsive!!

Cameron: Cool.

Ciel: Yeah.

Cameron: Uhh, so do you speak French then?

Ciel: I do, yeah.

Cameron: Cool, and where did you travel for the other three times in Europe?

Ciel: The first three times were all Cold-European places, ‘cause that’s where people want Performance Art. *laughs. Umm, the first time was Paris, Belarus, Romania, and Poland. And then the second time, was just France. And then the third time was France again. And yeah, the middle-two times were just France, solo. And then this last time I moved to France for eight months, and was going to Ce-Aunts-Spo.

Cameron: So what was Belarus like?

Ciel: I had a bunch of insane experiences there as an eight year old. Umm, I saw… a very old woman… just like being dragged by police… after just standing there. I onetime peeked out of the hotel room, and just saw police just shoving a guy into a cupboard… like eight of them!! [In reference to how many police were involved.]

Cameron: Was this in Minsk?

Ciel: Mi-Minsk? Ya, and they saw me and like slammed the door in my face. I was eight, I was so confused. Umm.

Cameron: So your parents were performing?

Ciel: My Dad, I was just with my Dad. I heard this HUGE noise outside, and he was asleep so, I just checked it out, being an eight year old, but yeah, I had a bunch of insane experiences in Belarus.

Cameron: Okay, so your parents aren’t from there, like you just — ?

Ciel: No, my Dad’s from California, and my mom is from — here. [Victoria.]

Cameron: Okay cool, so that’s cool. Just like a little background on me: so I have travelled in Eastern Europe a lot, minus Belarus, which is next on the list!

Ciel: Oh cool!

Cameron: Yeah, so, umm, what about Romania? How was that? ‘Cause this is all like early 2000’s I’m assuming, right?

Ciel: Yeah.

Cameron: Like, pretty Break-Up soon, type? [Referring to the Collapse of the Soviet Union.]

Ciel: Yeah, you know, I think it was… Yeah, it was early 2000’s. Umm, yeah, and Romania was really cool. I made a bunch of really awesome friends there. They were all working at the art gallery that my Dad was working for.

Cameron: Do you know which one that was?

Ciel: No, but I could find out!

Cameron: Do you know what city it was in?

Ciel: It was in..! I think it was Piatra Neamț?

Cameron: Piatra Neamț?

Ciel: Țigănești, I think! Yeah, Țigănești, I think! Ya, ya, I think so. And yeah, it was amazing, I had these cool, older friends, and it was amazing!

Cameron: And are you still in contact with some of them?

Ciel: Yeah, and I think I have some of them on facebook, actually, which is really cool! Yeah.

Cameron: That’s awesome.

Ciel: Yeah, and my really good friend, my neighbour in Paris last year, she was from Romania, but I learnt more from a different lens, which was really cool.

Cameron: Yeah, Romania is a sick [positive-intent slang terminology] place. There’s a lot, just from last summer I know there’s a lot of Modern Art going on.

Ciel: Yeah.

Cameron: And I went to the 2nd annual Gay Pride March in Bucharest.

Ciel: Cool.

Cameron: Which, umm, was pretty cool, but was pretty scary too, ‘cause there was a counter-protest by hyper-nationalists.

Ciel: That’s sooo fucking crazy!

Cameron: And uhhh, they bused people in from all over the country to protest, and it wasn’t supposed to be protest specifically to the Gay Pride March, but lowkey it was.

Ciel: *vapes Juul. Mhmmm.

Cameron: ‘Cause it was on the same day.

Ciel: At the same time?

Cameron: At the same time, slash [spoken use of “/” grammar sign], started it an hour later. Started it at the opposite end, so that eventually so that… yeah so. [Implies collision between two movement groups.]

Ciel: That’s crazy! Were you okay?

Cameron: Yeah, I was totally fine, I just dipped into a Starbucks when stuff went crazy. Umm, but yeah, they’re really cool now! The Contemporary Modern Art Exhibit, or Gallery in Bucharest, which is actually on Palace Property, so there are like HUGE walls, and security everywhere. You can go in there and have ALL four stories to yourself.

Ceil: Wow! ‘Cause…

Cameron: It’s like a Tate Modern, but it’s empty.

Ciel: Nobody goes?!?!

Cameron: Nooo tourist go! No it’s just —

Ciel: Wow!

Cameron: Party British Boys on Stag’s [Pre-Wedding Ceremonial Party Tours], and nobody checks out the art in the 45 Degree [Celsius] heat. There’s A/C sooo…

Ciel: Ya know what?! I’m gonna move to Europe next year, so thanks for telling me that.

Cameron: You should check that out for sure!

Ciel: Romania… okay, cool.

Cameron: What about Poland?

Ciel: I don’t remember too much other than, all the women wore stockings under everything, and generally no smiling was going on. We drove through the countryside, saw like their historic storks, which is really cool. They have these insane birds, in Poland.

Cameron: Yeah.?

Ciel: Yeah, and that was really cool, we got to drive through very rural country with different people that I was seeing in the city, it was really cool.

Cameron: Cool. Yeah, Poland’s still.. It’s really nice now. There’s more smiling going on now.

Ciel: Okay good. I think I was maybe in a smaller town.

Cameron: Yeah.

Ciel: Than where the smiling is going on. But one of my really good friends goes to University there.

Cameron: In Wroclaw, by any chance?

Ciel: I think it starts with a “W.”

Cameron: Wroclaw, it’s spelt with a “W,” but it’s —

Ciel: Maybe.

Cameron: Or Warsaw? But who knows?

Ciel: Warsaw maybe.

Cameron: Cool, that’s groovy. Umm, wow. Got through all the questions. Umm, anything you wanna say real quick? Anything you want the people to know?

Ceil: Well I guess it would be interesting to talk about my double degree, with Poli-Sci and Visual Arts.

Cameron: Sure.

Ciel: Umm, that’s something that I don’t think that I fully understand yet. I think that everything is kind of inherently political in its own way. And I also think that everything is art in its own way. Umm, because politics is about power, and everything has intrinsic, or more socialized power, umm, in certain ways. Umm, and everything is art, because everything was fabricated from somebody’s mind.

Cameron: Like somebody designed this table.

Ciel: Yeah, exactly! Somebody designed this table! Somebody…

Cameron: Somebody designed this crazy toque.

Ciel: Somebody designed your crazy toque! The concept of books, everything!

Cameron: Yeah.

Ciel: Yeah, so even math is an artistic practice.

Cameron: Totally.

Ciel: Ya know, umm, so I’m still unpacking the two ways in which my fields are linked, but I know that every decision I make, based on who I am, is political, and therefore my heart is political. But I don’t make overtly political art, as I’ve said before. I’m really excited to figure out ways in which I can link those two fields. Umm, yeah.

Cameron: So just to build on that. You’re into politics, you’re into art.

Ciel: But I would say more so, things that aren’t formal politics.

Cameron: Sure.

Ciel: So, ya know, umm, Gentrification, I’m really interested in.

Cameron: So political issues —

Ciel: Yeah.

Cameron: Rather than, I like this political party’s politics and so-and-so.

Ciel: Yeah, exactly. Absolutely.

Cameron: Just like, so you do have the political interest going on.

Ciel: Absolutely.

Cameron: And then, are you still playing rugby actively?

Ciel: No, so I have had five or six serious concussions. Like really serious concussions.

Cameron: Umm, okay.

Ciel: And after my last one at Nationals, in my second year, which was here [UVIC], I just thought it’s not worth it, ‘cause we really don’t know the effects of concussions in the long run.

Cameron: Yeah.

Ciel: We really don’t know that. And I just didn’t want to worsen, ya know, my future, based on playing a sport that was really hurting my body. And…

Cameron: Yeah, I feel that.

Ciel: Yeah, and so I decided to stop.

Cameron: Same reason here [referring to himself], you get two scary incidents, and you’re like “hey, that’s not cool.”

Ciel: Yeah.

Cameron: “I have black eyes in my license photos.”

Both: *laughter.

Cameron: Which is a form of art in itself!

Ciel: Yeah, totally!

Cameron: Ummm, so like just to rewind to the question that I was gonna ask: Was it hard to balance, like, school, rugby, and art? ‘Cause like Visual Arts courses can be very demanding, you can’t just one-nighter a project as easily.

Both: *silence.

Cameron: Ehhh, it can be done!

Both: *laughter.

Cameron: But like it’s got a thought process that’s gotta go on before, regardless of what’s on the canvas, or metaphorical canvas.

Ciel: And umm, I was like in four classes, playing Varsity rugby, and I had a part-time job too, at a restaurant. Umm, so it was a lot.

Cameron: Like serving, or cooking?

Ciel: Serving, yeah, so it was a lot, but I don’t know. I think just when you are playing sports, because of the constant endorphin-rushing, you have a lot more energy, during the day. And like period, you just have more energy in your body. At least I did, and so I could go to four classes, and stay up late working, and all of those things. And then wake up at 6am the next day, but it definitely was exhausting. Ya know, with all the Poli-Sci papers, and the Visual Arts. Yeah, it was hard to balance, but I often felt like at times that I still had time to see my friends.

Cameron: That’s dope. [Positive-intent slang terminology, similar to “that’s cool,”
or “groovy.”] So do you like ever write Poli-Sci papers about, like, art topics?

Ciel: No, never actually.

Cameron: Never?

Ciel: No, and I’ve actually never taken an art history class until this year too. ART 150.

Cameron: ART 150?

Ciel: Yeah, it’s a requirement for us in Visual Arts.

Cameron: So which professor is that, this term?

Ciel: Her name’s Kim Dylan, her office’s right there.

Cameron: Okay.

Ciel: She’s from the U.K. [United Kingdom.] She’s an art critic I think. She’s awesome, so it’s kinda my first dip into where I’m able to talk about Poli-Sci and Gender Studies with art, and art critic, and that sort of thing. So it’s really interesting, but before I had never combined Poli-Sci and Visual Arts.

Cameron: Yeah, totally.

Ciel: Because they are literally other sides of campus, the profs don’t know each other, they’re not gonna, they’re not into art.

Cameron: For sure. Exactly.

Ciel: The Visual Arts profs are definitely some are into politics, but the Poli-Sci profs, not into Visual Arts.

Cameron: Yeah, not at all.

Ceil: They’re completely different headspaces.

Cameron: For sure. Just to give you a little background on me. I actually started in Poli-Sci, and one semester at Vancouver Island University, all of my history courses talk about politics in a more real way. I can learn political experience from campaign management.

Ciel: Mhmm-hmm.

Cameron: And also in history I could write papers about art and their politics, and then it would count as a history paper, because it was like social. Same as with Art History now, you can write about politics. ‘Cause like, this table is a rectangle instead of a circle for a reason right?

Ciel: Mhmm-hmm.

Cameron: So yeah, you can do cool stuff like that. Umm, do you plan on taking art history next semester? Like one class, or?

Ciel: No, I don’t think so, I think I’m just going to deep dive into Visual Arts more.

Cameron: That’s cool.

Ciel: And I am, uhh, just trying to get no final exams!

Cameron: No final exams! Yeah, shoot for that!

Ciel: Yeah, just get outta here [UVIC] as soon as possible!

Cameron: There is an Anarchist Cinema class next term on Friday afternoons that maybe would peek your interest.

Ciel: Hmmm.

Cameron: Umm.

Ceil: Maybe, I’ll just attend the lectures.

Cameron: Totally, just up-sell the Department [of Art History & Visual Studies] a little on my end.

Both: *laughter.

Cameron: Umm, but you’re graduating in the Spring, so like June graduation, fingers-crossed? Or?

Ciel: Life, well umm yeah, I’m gonna graduate. So my last class will be in April-March.

Cameron: Cool.

Ciel: So, and then, probably just gonna go to Latin America for a while, three or four months.

Cameron: Do you know where abouts?

Ciel: Start in Mexico, Guatemala — that’s the only plan ,and then down to Peru. Meet another friend down there, that’s the only plan!

Cameron: Groovy, see the Nazca Lines maybe?

Ciel: Maybe! Yeah.

Cameron: Yeah, that’s be sick [slang terminology – positive intent.] Umm, like, so that’s your post-grad plans for now, or?

Ceil: And then I really, I see myself in Berlin.

Cameron: Berlin? Big art scene.

Ciel: Probably September – October next year.

Cameron: Have you been to Berlin before?

Ciel: I have yeah.

Cameron: Yeah, do you like it then?

Ciel: Yeah, I really liked it. I just felt very – a bit home there. At least, for a while I wanna be there, and hopefully get a really interesting job, and practice art.

Cameron: Do you know German?

Ciel: Nope.

Cameron: Uhh, if you do move there, I mean obviously they speak German, but there’s a lot of modern art related to politics.

Ciel: Yeah!

Cameron: But it’s written in German only.

Ceil: Hmm.

Cameron: So it’s like a major modern art language. So if you do happen to learn it, there’s a bunch of books that’ll suddenly be at your disposal.

Ciel: Very cool, thank you.

Cameron: Yeah, ummmmmm, that’s cool, so move away for a bit and, like will you work there, and get a working VISA?

Ciel: Yeah, I’ll work there, and I’m actually in the process of applying for a working VISA right now. I’ll work there, hopefully get a really cool job. I’ve been researching, so I hope to connect with people relatively soon in Berlin. So yeah.

Cameron: Groovy. And so like that’s in September’ish?

Ciel: September – October. I’m not sure if I’m gonna come back here, after Latin America, South America, Central America.

Cameron: Go straight there? [to Berlin, Germany.]

Ciel: Go straight there, comeback, I’m not too sure, beyond the feeling.

Cameron: Beyond the feeling, the VISA?

Ciel: Yeah, the VISA.

Cameron: And all the fun stuff! Cool-cool beans! Any final comments you wanna add?

Ceil: No, I think, I’m good, thank you.

Cameron: Cool. Just at the very end, ‘cause I might of forgot… You do consent to the audio recording?

Ciel: I do consent to the audio recording.

Cameron: And it being posted?

Ciel: And it being posted.

Cameron: And images of yourself, and artworks being posted?

Ciel: Yes, I do consent to all of those things.

Cameron: Cool! Awesome! So that’s been our interview with Ciel, super cool! She’s a dope [slang terminology – positive intent] artist, check her out! I will post her website link… if that’s cool?

Ciel: Yeah. I can tell you it right now if you want?

Cameron: Sure.

Ciel: Umm, it’s: “This is Perfromance Art (dot) Weebly (dot) c-o-m.”

Cameron: Dope [slang terminology – positive intent], (dot) Weebly (dot) c-o-m. Cool, there we go, check that out! Uhh, thanks for your time!

Ciel: Yeah, thanks Cameron.

Cameron: No Worries. Let’s see if this works… *fiddles with recording device.

Ciel: Did you get interviewed with the Martlet last year?

Cameron: I did, I actually did.

*Recording Ends – 40 minutes, 3 seconds. – October 25th, 2018.

Bibliography

Arbour-Boehme, Ciel. “Ciel Arbour-Boehme.” LinkedIn. Linkedin. 2018. Web. 10 October 2018.

              https://www.linkedin.com/in/ciel-arbour-boehme-83a305133/.

Arts Victoria. “Event Archive – Ciel Arbour-Boehme: Bag of Dirt, Clean Sock, Fresh Fruit.” ArtsVictoria.

The Ministry of Casual Living. 2018. Web. 10 October 2018.

              https://artsvictoria.ca/index.php?htaccess_qs=show/408043/view.

O’Brien, Cormac. “UVSS Election Campaigning Begins.” Martlet. Martlet. 19 Feb 2018. Web. 10 October 2018.

              http://www.martlet.ca/uvss-election-campaigning-begins/.

Tate. “Art Term: Performance Art.” Tate. Tate. 2018. Web. 10 October 2018.

              https://www.tate.org.uk/art/art-terms/p/performance-art.

University of Victoria. “Ciel Arbour-Boehme.GoVikesGo. University of Victoria. 2017. Web. 10 October 2018.

              https://govikesgo.com/roster.aspx?rp_id=3095.

This is Performance Art. (Click to go to Website)