The first major project by Caroline Hayeur, this photographic series focuses on the techno and rave culture in Montreal and its surrounding areas. Begun in 1996, this field research was conducted over one year. Nearly 1000 head-to-toe portraits have been captured over twelve events. The exhibition was first presented at the Mois de la Photo à Montréal in 1997 and toured Quebec and around the world for over ten years.

Emmanuel Galland is the curator of the exhibition, and with Caroline Hayeur and journalist Nora Ben Saâdoune, they are co-editors of the eponymous bilingual exhibition catalogue.  To this end, they created the publishing house MACANO.  Several authors contributed to the publication that deals with a subject then untapped by artists and with little media coverage. The entire project is self-financed.  A website adds to this collection.  FESTIVE RITUAL received unexpected public and critical acclaim here and abroad, allowing the photographer to develop her career.

Galerie Observatoire 4, Mois de la Photo à Montréal, 1997 © Caroline Hayeur

“This research on the Montreal rave scene - underground at that time - shows a certain fascination for these gatherings of crowds in communion with one another manifested by release, endurance, going-beyond and trance. The techno-house raves (early etymology of rave: to show signs of madness or delirium, ecstasy) represent a new way of being in groups - "families" without boundaries defined by ethnicity, age, gender or physical appearance - a kind of new form of spirituality.  In particular, the unique way that Montreal francophones, anglophones and allophones are sometimes divided was absent here allowing people to be for once united in a crossover where language is devalued in favour of only the music and the body.

This photographic work aims to capture not the effect of the masses, but rather the individuals who - with their composite 'mash-up' fashion (sport plus disco, dark plus high heels, costumes made just for the occasion mixing unusual fabrics, materials, colours, patterns and accessories) – all far from 'the usual' disco/night club scene where the culture is divided by gender and generations.  This 'new world' includes individuals ranging from 12 to 50 years of age.  The portraits focus on individuals and small groups of up to four people while keeping the crowd in action in the background.”

– Emmanuel Galland, curator

Instantanés d’un siècle, Chef-d'œuvres de la Collection photographique de la FNAC, 
Jardin du Luxembourg, Paris (France), 2005 © Bruno Boulianne

FESTIVE RITUAL marks the beginning of a long journey into the world of the night with various photographic projects (E_LOUNGE, 2000; TANZ PARTY, 2002; MES NUITS BLANCHES, 2003). FESTIVE RITUAL is also a key point in the overall approach of the artist who goes on to further explore other micro-societies in which dance and body movement inform the community context (TANZ PARTY 2002; AMALGAT: DANCE, TRADITION AND OTHER SPIRITUALITIES, 2007; HUMANITAS, 2010). Through photographic installations, workshops, community work and web projects, we see her ongoing interest in the younger generations. (DÉCARIE DÉCONSTRUIT, 2005;  HABITER – ICI C’EST CHEZ MOI, 2006; HABITER – AU-DELÀ DE MA CHAMBRE, 2006).


Technical Description:
– 100 silver prints (portraits), mounted and laminated on galvanized steel, 40 x 30 cm (15.5 x 12 in.) each
– 18 large-format silver prints (portraits), 200 cm x 100 cm (78.5 x 39.5 inches) each
– 55 silver prints (landscapes), 40 x 60 cm (15.5 x 23.5 in) each

mosaics, variable dimensions

Lancement du livre lors de LA NUIT DE LA PHOTO, SONA, Montréal, 1997 © Philippe Burnet

Exhibition history:
2007-2009 - Touring solo exhibit DANZAS Y RITUALES EN QUÉBEC, FOTOGRAFIAS DE CAROLINE HAYEUR 1997-2007, tournée dans le réseau des Alliances Françaises du Mexique (extraits de RITUEL FESTIF, MES NUITS BLANCHES et AMALGAT) ; coproduction avec la Délégation générale du Québec à Mexico

1998-2006 - Touring solo exhibit throughout the network of FNAC Photo Galleries in Europe, Asia and South America:
FNAC Saint-Lazare (1998); FNAC Headquarters, Clichy (1999); FNAC CNIT La Défense (1999); Quebec in Catalonia, FNAC-Triangle and FNAC L'Illa, Barcelona (1999); FNAC Strasbourg (2001); FNAC Grenoble; FNAC Lisbon (Portugal); FNAC São Paulo (Brazil); FNAC Taipei (Taiwan) and other parts of the network

Caroline Hayeur, Nora Ben Sâadoune et Emmanuel Galland fondateurs des Éditions MACANO au lancement du livre, 1997 © Philippe Burnet
Galerie des photos FNAC, FNAC Saint-Lazarre, Paris, 1998 © Caroline Hayeur 

2005 – Group exhibit, Instantanés d’un siècle, Chef-d'œuvres de la Collection photographique de la FNAC, Jardin du Luxembourg, Paris (France)
1999 – Projection and installation, Montreal Electronic Groove, Le Cabaret du Musée, Montreal
1999 – Projection, Event Les Nuits électroniques de l'Ososphère, La Laiterie, Strasbourg (France)
1999 – Installation, Quebec Springtime in France, Batofar, Paris (France)
1999 – Solo Exhibition, Espace F - artists' center, Matane (Quebec)
1998 – Solo Exhibition, Foreman Art Gallery - Bishop's University, Sherbrooke (Quebec)
1998 – Group exhibit and projection, Global Tekno - Festival of electronic music and digital culture, La Grande Halle de la Villette, Paris (France)
1998 – Installation, A.R.E.A. - Amiens electronic and artistic encounters, Mégacité, Amiens (France)
1997 – Projection, LA NUIT DE LA PHOTO, SONA, Montreal
1997 – Solo Exhibition, Mois de la Photo à Montréal, Observatory Gallery 4

Galerie Observatoire 4, Mois de la Photo à Montréal, 1997 © Caroline Hayeur
Global Tekno, Grande Halle de La Villette, Paris (France), 1998 © Caroline Hayeur 

Bilingual book, RITUEL FESTIF – PORTRAITS DE LA SCÈNE RAVE À MONTRÉAL / FESTIVE RITUAL - PORTRAITS OF THE MONTREAL RAVE SCENE, Editions MACANO, 24 x 34 cm (9.5 x 13.5 in.), 48 pages, 1997, authors: Nora Ben Saâdoune, Emmanuel Galland, Caroline Hayeur and Jean-Ernest Joos, Isabelle Choinière, Isabelle Painchaud, Bernard Schütze, Nicolas Masino with Mateo, Out of Bound and Wiliam, Alain Mongeau, Yves Labelle and Don & Donna. Artistic direction: Agence Code, Pierre Chapdelaine. Cover designed by Benno Russel.


Order the book


Le Mois de la Photo à Montréal
Galerie d’art Foreman – Université Bishop's
Galerie Photo FNAC
Les Nuits électroniques de l'Ososphère
La Grande Halle de la Villette
Sonar – Festival Internacional de Musica Avanzada y New Media Art
MEG – Montréal Electronique Groove