Artist interview: Frédérique Bérubé / SUUNS “Pie IX”

Frédérique Bérubé

Frédérique Bérubé is a Montreal-based photographer and visual artist. She studied Fine Arts and Photography at Cégep du Vieux-Montreal. Since 2003, she has been working on Captif! – a project that represents her vision of the role humankind has in today’s modern environment. Her series represents the fragility of the body and the human life within constructed environment.

Frédérique has just directed the short-film for the track “Pie IX” from FAULT Favourite SUUNS. The video truly married Bérubé artistic vision with the bands mesmerizing song. FAULT caught up with Frédérique this week to find out about the creative process behind “Pie IX”.

Suuns – \”Pie IX\” directed by Frédérique Bérubé

FAULT: Frédérique was this the first music video you directed?

Yes. However, I had already achieved videos on my own throughout the same exploratory process that resonates in my photographic work. I find that music and motion picture convey a sensitivity close to human feelings. This is why I first started to experiment with video. It was an interesting way for me to keep pushing my research further, while trying out new media. Opening myself to film also led me to meet new collaborators, such as Suuns. I really enjoy being surrounded by artistic people with whom I can share ideas. I am currently working on other personal film projects, as well as on an upcoming music video for another Montreal band.

FAULT: How did you and Suuns come up with the concept for the video?

Suuns initially had specific aesthetics and concepts in mind, but the process ended up varying a lot in order to reach a very instinctive process between the band, the video’s actress and I. After long strobe-lit studio sessions spent listening to “Pie IX” and shooting screen tests, we immersed ourselves into the music’s mood and the energy of the instant grew on us. I feel that seizing the moment fearlessly pushes my creativity further and thus brings a much more organic quality to working with others.

FAULT: Had the band seen your work previously?

Yes, they were familiar with Captif!, my on-going project for the last eight years. Ben Shemie had also watched my other videos.

FAULT: Was your long-term project Captif! a source of inspiration for the video?

Yes. My previous work definitely influenced the clip. Human concerns on nudity and the body as well as black and white photography were already choices that I was fond of. However, motion picture and music can communicate certain emotions – such as pain, aggressiveness and sensuality –  that are intrinsically anchored in bodily experiences. The viewers can therefore feel more drawn to embracing those feelings, as they can easily relate to a body in motion. This is what drives me the most and brings me increasingly towards cinematic expression.



FAULT: Will you be collaborating with the group on future projects?

The idea was raised. Nothing is still planned out, but hopefully, we will.

FAULT: Which artists inspire you?

For “Pie IX”, I was inspired by director Gaspard Noé’s lighting effects. The strobes set a strangely sensual and nausea-inducing vibe that is very peculiar to his work. I was thrilled to have an opportunity to work with this kind of dramatic lighting.

Another filmmaker that I appreciate is Roy Andersson. Photography has an uppermost importance in his movies, which are always absurdly beautiful and generous. I find that I can relate with how he strips his characters down to the core of their individuality – even though, unlike mine, his characters usually remain dressed! In my opinion, he is one of the most talented living directors.

Also, Alejandro Jodorowsky is an artist I admire very much, because of the variety of the media he has worked with. His collaborative pieces are rich. I love how he explores subconscious matters and unspoken issues. His thought process impresses me and pushes me into opening myself to more multidisciplinary projects.

Finally, the Montreal-based choreographer Dave St-Pierre inspires me a lot. The sensitivity he develops amongst chaos and the intensity in which he propels the audience remain extremely powerful tools to build a disturbing, yet endearing performance. I feel deeply moved by his work.

To see more of Ms. Bérubé work please visit her website: