Art Souterrain Festival 2022 - Voies/voix résiliantes - April 2 to June 30, 2022
A must-see event, the Art Souterrain Festival is back for its 14th edition, right in the heart of the city. From April 2 to June 30, 2022, contemporary art will take over 6 km of Montreal’s underground pedestrian network to present artworks around the theme Voies-Voix Résilientes (Resilient Voices-Pathways). Made by over 40 local and international artists, the works have been selected by artist and curator Eddy Firmin and the collective Intervals, consisting of artists and curators Caroline Douville, Maria Ezcurra, Miwa Kojima, Romeo Gongora and Dominique Fontaine. In addition, this new edition of the festival will offer more than 30 free mediation and discovery activities. These six curators and artists propose to accompany us in the process of highlighting the multiformity and multiplicity of voices and paths that come from transnationality.

Schedule

Opening and Performance Night – Rituals: Healing elixirs

Opening and Performance Night – Rituals: Healing elixirs

Saturday April, 2 | 5:00 PM - 9:00 PM

Lieu Saint: Interactive Structure

Lieu Saint: Interactive Structure

Saturday April, 2 | 5:00 PM - 8:00 PM
and every Saturday and Sunday between April, 3 and 30 | 12:00 PM - 5:00 PM

Guided Visits

Guided Visits

Under reservation for the duration of the festival

What your eyes [don’t] see by Lucia Vergel Loo

What your eyes [don’t] see by Lucia Vergel Loo

Saturday April 2 | 6:20 PM
Saturday April 9 | 3:00 PM - 3:30 PM
Saturday April 16 | 3:00 PM - 3:30 PM
Saturday April 23 | 3:00 PM - 3:30 PM

Guided Visit with Curator (in french)

Guided Visit with Curator (in french)

Sunday, April 3 | 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM

Round table: En situation d’itinérance

Round table: En situation d’itinérance

Tuesday April, 5 | 6:00 PM - 7:30 PM

Opening: (Dé)Masquer / (Un)Masking / (Des)Enmascararse

Opening: (Dé)Masquer / (Un)Masking / (Des)Enmascararse

Thursday April, 7 | 5:00 PM

Wapikoni: Short film screening

Wapikoni: Short film screening

Thursday April, 7 | 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM

Wapikoni: Awareness workshop

Wapikoni: Awareness workshop

Friday April, 8 | 5:30 PM - 7:00 PM

Creative workshops with Art for Elderly

Creative workshops with Art for Elderly

Saturday April, 9 | 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM and 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM

Guided Visit with Curator (bilingual)

Guided Visit with Curator (bilingual)

Sunday, April 10 and 17 | 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM

Round table: Art, féminisme et écologie

Round table: Art, féminisme et écologie

Tuesday April 12 | 6:00 PM - 7:30 PM

Round Table: Accessibility and immigration

Round Table: Accessibility and immigration

Wednesday April 19 | 6:00 PM - 7:30 PM

I Want My LGBTV featuring Hot Mess Hotline

I Want My LGBTV featuring Hot Mess Hotline

Friday April, 22 | 11:00 AM - 7:00 PM

Gender B(l)ender

Gender B(l)ender

Saturday April, 23 | 5:00 PM - 8:00 PM

In Flux: Poetry Films

In Flux: Poetry Films

Sunday April 24 | 12:00 PM - 3:00 PM

Creative workshop with Maria Ezcurra

Creative workshop with Maria Ezcurra

Thursday April 28 | 3:00 PM

Screenprinting workshop with Atelier Circulaire

Screenprinting workshop with Atelier Circulaire

Saturday April, 30 | 2:00 PM - 5:00 PM

Theme

Voies-Voix Résilientes (Resilient Voices-Pathways)

Since the post-racial shift of the mid-twentieth century, our societies have been revisiting their equity protocols. Whether looking back at the Civil Rights Movement of African Americans in the 50s and 60s, the Same-Sex Civil Marriage movement of 2002, or even the Truth and Reconciliation Commission with Canada’s First Nations in 2008, these events fall within a process of evolution against inequalities, rather than simply being a succession of dates, achievements and victories. Human inequalities persist as the evidence of a largely unfinished process.

Moreover, the United Nations remind us that the national, ethnic, cultural, religious, sexual and any other minorities have the basic right for equity and protection of their existence. Whether they are active or passive, they all face the same obstacle: the extremely discriminatory structures that are deeply rooted in social habits. Although minority and majority cannot exist without each other, the term minority also refers to a diminished voice. In the sense that the numerical majority is not necessarily the one who has a “voice”.

In addition to this majority/minority tension and these general observations, the concept of minority remains difficult to define, as suggested by the lack of international consensus on the term’s definition itself. This resistance to standardization highlights a systemic difficulty in our world: to accurately perceive the issues surrounding the conditions of dialogue for equity. Indeed, In this beginning of the 21st century, the values of equality, freedom and dialogue that our democratic societies advocate for are in direct opposition to their capitalist and productivist foundations, which are based on hyper-categorization, the division of labor and biopolitics (sex/gender/race).

In order to fully understand the collective power we hold over these dynamics, we must question ourselves. Who are these minority voices? How are they resilient? How do they find solutions to systemic violence? What are the foundations for establishing a fair dialogue for a more egalitarian social utopia? What are the approaches that inspire and evolve towards a more egalitarian society?”

Eddy Firmin and the Intervals collective, curators of this 14th edition of the festival, will be keen to penetrate the blind spots of our gaze in order to introduce us with sensitivity and emotion into the world of struggles for difference and dignity.

– Written by Eddy Firmin

Artists

Alex Apostolidis

Alex Apostolidis

Alicia Mersy

Alicia Mersy

Amanda Préval

Amanda Préval

Anabel Burin

Anabel Burin

Anna Binta Diallo

Anna Binta Diallo

Art For Elderly

Art For Elderly

Catherine Blackburn

Catherine Blackburn

Charles Campbell

Charles Campbell

Chloé Beaulac

Chloé Beaulac

Condé and Beveridge

Condé and Beveridge

David Garneau

David Garneau

Emilie Crewe

Emilie Crewe

Jean-François Boclé

Jean-François Boclé

Jobena Petonoquot

Jobena Petonoquot

Joliz Dela Peña

Joliz Dela Peña

Kassandra Reynolds

Kassandra Reynolds

Kelly Sinnapah Mary

Kelly Sinnapah Mary

Kevin Yuen Kit Lo

Kevin Yuen Kit Lo

Lucía Vergel Loo

Lucía Vergel Loo

Marcella França

Marcella França

Maria Ezcurra

Maria Ezcurra

MeyerMétivier DesignHaus

MeyerMétivier DesignHaus

Moridja Kitenge Banza

Moridja Kitenge Banza

My-Van Dam

My-Van Dam

Nadia Myre

Nadia Myre

Richard-Viktor Sainsily Cayol

Richard-Viktor Sainsily Cayol

Rino Côté

Rino Côté

Rojin Shafiei

Rojin Shafiei

Sarabeth Triviño

Sarabeth Triviño

Shantel Miller

Shantel Miller

Shelby Lisk

Shelby Lisk

Sophie Aubry

Sophie Aubry

Stéphane Alexis

Stéphane Alexis

Tonya Sam’Gwan Paris

Tonya Sam’Gwan Paris

Tyshan Wright

Tyshan Wright

Curators

Eddy Firmin

Eddy Firmin

Photo : courtesy of the artist

Originally from the French Caribbean, Eddy Firmin is an artist-researcher, lecturer, living and working between Montreal and Halifax (Canada). He holds a PhD in Art Studies and Practices from the Université du Québec à Montréal, teaches at NSCAD University and has coordinated the publication of the decolonial journal Minorit’Art since 2017.

In the fall of 2021, he initiated and curated the 1st Black transnational biennial, Af-flux, in Montreal and Quebec City. His research interests focus on the decolonization of the imaginary and the articulation of transcultural issues in art.

After Rosie

The Rosie Douglas Tour, which took place in 1975, represents today one of the most emblematic social justice initiatives of the Black and Idigenous communities of Canada.

In a flash, Roosevelt Bernard Douglas, also known as Rosie, radiated a convening message in the imagination of Indigenous and Afro-descendant individuals, which still lives on today. Just like Dr. Martin Luther King had a dream, Rosie had a dream of unity between Indigenous and Black communities of Canada within their long journey for dignity. Rosie’s legacy extends far beyond Sir George Williams University’s racial uprising, which has been historically associated with her.

The curatorship After Rosie emphasizes the desire for social justice as part of the highest human values. It transcends the cacophony of identities and the complexity of nations and dives into the heart of the unspeakable tremors that bind us to the Other. As Édouard Glissant said so well, it is “possible for us to approach this chaos, to last and to grow in this unpredictable”, and to palpitate with the palpitation of the world”, which is to be discovered at last.”

Half a century after Rosie, the 14 selected Aboriginal and Afro-descendant artists sing a poignant visual chant about memory, resilience and social justice. Through reverberations, artists Stephane Alexis and Catherine Blackburn mirror each other’s resilience on the windows of the Place Victoria. All the while, others such as Anna Binta Diallo or Sam’Gwan Paris, remind us that beyond their native and black crossbreeding, they carry the memory of multiple secular narratives within them. Furthermore, the artists Charles Campbell, Richard-Viktor Sainsily Cayol, Jobena Petonoquot and David Garneau point out that no march of equity can be made without the convocation of an ancestral memory.

Eddy Firmin. P.h.D.
Artist
Curator
Assistant professor at NSCAD University

Intervals Collective

Intervals Collective
From left to right : Romeo Gongora, Caroline Douville, Dominique Fontaine, Maria Ezcurra and Miwa Kojima. Photo : Alex Marchand

Intervals is a non-profit collective of artists and cultural workers interested in the social role of art in a plural world. Founded in 2015, the collective strives to bring together creators from Montreal’s ethnocultural communities through discursive, creative, production and artistic dissemination activities.

The collective aims to fill liminal spaces and, through social interactions and interventions, seeks to fill a void – a gap between communities, institutions, and established structures. Intervals is itself the space of the in-between, the hyphen that connects, communicates and facilitates experiences, exchanges and relationships to the world.

The members are Caroline Douville (artist/curator), Maria Ezcurra (artist/educator), Dominique Fontaine (curator), Romeo Gongora (artist/educator) and Miwa Kojima (artist/designer/editor).

Since its inception, the members of the collective have met regularly to exchange ideas, share experiences and plan artistic projects. These meetings have become a creative and reflective interval that has greatly contributed to our sense of community and belonging as Montreal artists, and has inspired us to find ways to extend this experience with other individuals and communities.

Tales of plurality

In response to Art Souterrain’s invitation to co-curate this year’s festival under the theme “Voix-voies résilientes,” the collective Intervals selected the work of 22 artists that explores and reflects diverse “Tales of plurality.”

In these current times of crisis and uncertainty – affected by an ongoing pandemic, an accelerating climate chaos, social and labour inequality, multiple human rights violations, environmental and economic crisis, isolation, and abandonment, among many other critical issues – resilience seems to be our last refuge.

While this pandemic crisis has been challenging for everyone, everywhere, it has unequally affected the most vulnerable segments of societies: women, children, elderlies, low-income classes, and racial and ethnic minority groups. If something, this pandemic has shown that building resilience for one community could be harmful to another.

Thus, many of the artworks presented in this exhibition involve diverse experiences of resistance and a plurality of voices, many of which are often silenced or discriminated against based on race, gender, age, body-ableness, class or social status (ranging from immigrants, single mothers, the homeless…). Many of these projects engage with people working at the frontline as well as with communities that have undergone hardships during the Covid-19 confinement, and others still remind us of our interconnectedness on this earth, brought to our attention in the intervals between our accelerated contemporary urban living and ancestral wisdom.

The body of work that forms the “Tales of plurality” exhibition involves personal experiences from various artists and their unique sense of observing the lives of others or collaborating with diverse communities. Their practice sometimes becomes a coping mechanism, a response to difficult situations, a way of connecting with others, or sometimes a critical approach to our current circumstances. It is often channeled by audiences to bear witness to those stories, foster a conversation, and grow together within a common social milieu – a plurality of actions and interactions, all contained in the commonalities and differences of the challenging times we are experiencing, alone and together.

Thanks to our partners

Main partner

The Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal

Institutionnal partners

Avec le soutien de Montréal Ville-Marie
Conseil des arts de Montréal
Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec
Conseil des arts du Canada - Canada Council for the Arts
Patrimoine canadie - Canadia Heritage
Québec

Private partner

Montréal Centre-Ville

Media partners

esse
Vide des arts
Ciel variable - arts photo médias culture
espace art actuel
Border Crossings
choq.ca
Métissés Serrés

Services partners

Arsenal art contemporain Montréal - Arsenal contemporary art Montréal
Le Comité
Paprika
Club Kombucha
Turgeon Lettrage
bières biologiques Boldwin
Publicité sauvage
Bang Bang
FIG Clothing
Librairie Racines Bookstore
Centre Phi

Diffusion partners

BGIS
Palais des congrès de Montréal
Centre de commerce mondial Montréal
Groupe Petra
Ivanhoé Cambridge - Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec
Westcliff

Cultural partners

Wapikoni Mobile
GENDER B(L)ENDER
Atelier circulaire - Centre d'arts imprimés
Atelier Le fil d'Ariane
Art For Elderly
Mapp Mtl
Institut culturel du Mexique Montréal
On fête avec vous! Votre gouvernement - Québec Fier Partenaire

Creative project of “I love to work downtown”

This project is part of the “I love to work downtown” initiative, propelled by the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal with support from the Gouvernement du Québec.

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