Julie Menard - The Ice QueenTuesday, September 08, 2015
I may have been around 1982 when I first met Julie Menard. I called her the watch lady. In her profession she divested herself of everything within minutes of her performance. But she always kept her Cartier watch. Menard reminded me of a sophisticated version of Susan Sarandon. Menard’s skin looked like the coating on white Limoges china. She had a liking for red lipstick that set off her unsaturated skin. Her choice of music, too, was sophisticated. It was always obscure new wave that had to go with her sinuous, slippery sort of dancing.
She was an ice queen, more so because of the contrast between her stark white skin and her Revlon red lipstick. Her English was just about perfect but there was just enough French in it to make her that much more interesting.
There was a streak of existentialist sadness in her demeanor. But I was told she was tough. She had a little daughter and she did her best for her. One day I asked if she would pose for me. I remember that she lived right next to Grandview Park on Commercial Drive not far from where I was to photograph Dave Barrett by his Volvo a few years later. I picked her up in my yellow Fiat X 1/9 and we drove to Lighthouse Park in West Vancouver. We walked to the cliffs where I took the pictures on a hot sunny afternoon in summer.
I note that I used four film stocks. With my Pentaxes I loaded one with Kodak b+w infrared and the other with Kodak Technical Pan. With my Mamiya RB-67 I used Kodacolor in 120 and a Fuji HR- 100. The latter really shows off Menard’s white skin but unfortunately the negative has stained in places and you might note that there is some yellow in her white slip.
Shortly after I took the pictures she told me she was going back to Montreal and I never saw her again.