Perception, percussion et vidéo [Perception, Percussion, and Video] introduced more than 160 students from eight Montréal elementary schools in disadvantaged neighbourhoods to the production of video works during the 2022–23 school year. A visit of the Nelson Henricks exhibition at the Museum in December 2022 offered an opportunity for the students to observe certain key aspects of Henricks’s recent production, including his interest in synaesthesia; people with this neurological condition associate letters with colours. Self-representation, theatricality, plays on shadows and projection, and the rhythm created by sound and audiovisual editing were also explored, providing inspiration for the students’ videos.

Centre Turbine contributed to the project by offering a series of training sessions to teachers and pedagogical and technological support throughout the creative process.

To celebrate the students’ work, each class returned to the MAC in June 2023 to see its creation presented in the screening room.

This project, organized by the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal, falls within the artistic and cultural practices of Une école montréalaise pour tous, a program of the Ministère de l’Éducation.

Participating schools

Académie John Caboto
Grade 6 students
Teacher: Martine Brosseau

During our visit of the exhibition featuring two brand-new artworks by the multidisciplinary artist Nelson Henricks, we discovered and explored different visual and audio techniques that he uses. Based on these works, we focused our research on a subject that we are very concerned with: nature – and, more precisely, the seasons. Each has its own melody, its own colour, its own emotions. Because our daily life is dictated by the rhythm of the seasons, we wanted to bring out their differences. Here is our creation, Les saisons [The Seasons], which highlights the sounds and colours associated with each season, creating perfect harmony.



De la Petite-Bourgogne
Grade 3 students
Homeroom teacher: Sophie Stuart
Drama specialist: Julie Yvonne Leduc
Intern: Karyane Bilodeau

For this video, we were inspired by two of Nelson Henricks’s artworks: Don’t You Like the Green of A? and Heads Will Roll. We were surprised by the presence of silence, by the rhythm created by objects, and by the moment when Henricks tricks viewers by drinking a glass of milk that looked like paint. We also wanted to trick the viewer! Our video was made in several parts. First, we filmed the actions that create the noises. Then we made the noises. Each new sound made us feel something different, and we wanted viewers to feel the same things.



Grade 4 and grade 5 students
Homeroom teacher: Stéphanie Vachon

Our project was based on the aesthetic of German Expressionism. We wanted to show, with a glimmer of hope, the passage of the seasons, confinement, and the freedom of childhood. This is an allegorical portrait of individuality, which, in the classroom, becomes a community.



Grade 5 students
Homeroom teachers: Sandra-Carolyn Cabello and Isabelle Lanctôt

This is the story of a boy who is so resilient that he never surrenders despite the obstacles in his path. Even with financial difficulties, an unexpected separation, and problems at school, he continues to move forward without ever giving up. His dream of flying has been sleeping within him since he was very young. Airplanes are his favourite mode of transport because he loves birds – especially their wings. We can see in his eyes that he dreams of the skies. To fulfill his wish to take to the air, he will give everything, at any price. The expressions “let it go” and “leave it alone” are not in his vocabulary.



Grade 3 students
Teacher: Rachel Pruneau

Mes couleurs à moi [My Own Colours] is intended to be an opus on the diversity of identities. Inspired by Simon Boulerice’s illustrated book Les enfants à colorier and Nelson Henricks’s artworks, the students celebrate their uniqueness.



Grade 3 and grade 4 students
Teacher: Sophie Boiteau
Art specialist: Svetlana Crudu

The starting point for Moi [Me] is a cube. A cube is used to portray the first letter of each student’s first name and his or her favourite colour. Each student made an image of a part of themself with paper that they cut out, glued, and assembled. Associated sounds reproduce vowels and consonants, hot and cold.



Grade 3 students
Teacher: Stéphanie Beaulieu
Art specialist: Svetlana Crudu

Time stretches and shrinks. We let ourselves be lulled by time going by. The sounds around us advance and retreat over periods of their own choosing. Let us take the time to stop, contemplate, and appreciate what is around us, despite the constant tick-tock of the clock hurrying us on. With this idea in mind, the students portrayed different noises that surround them every day and determined how long they last. They wanted to create an alternation between body movements and certain objects that produce sounds.



Cycle Two students (AMPLI – Apprentissages Maximisés par des Pratiques Langagières interactives – class)
Teacher: Julie-Anne T. Després

Inspired by the synaesthesia depicted in Nelson Henricks’s exhibition, the students associated certain emotions they feel with a colour. In Les pieds du cœur [Feet of the Heart], moments of soul-searching are represented not by a facial expression but by a particular step, as we feel our emotions from our head to our feet! The images and the soundtrack were made entirely by the students. Can you figure out the feelings evoked by the feet and the music?



Grade 6 students
Art specialist: Victoria Maeva Gauberti
Collaborator (sound): Mathieu Soucy, music teacher

Is it a dream or a nightmare? Bob and Bobby are wandering in a world without sound, smell, shades, or colours. When a strange phenomenon propels them into a new world, they are both overjoyed and stunned to discover the whirlpool of life. Nelson Henricks’s aesthetic led the students to wonder about the impact of colour on daily life. Through this mysterious narrative, both dark and colourful, both concrete and abstract, we had a great time exploring physical (plaster, paper, paint) and audio (sound effects, instruments, and more) materials. La vie n’est-elle pas plus belle en couleurs? [Isn’t Life More Beautiful in Colour?] invites us to seek a bit of colour in the darkest moments.