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Exibitions 2019

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Index of artists, authors and curators

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Juan Ortiz-Apuy, La Guaria Morada, 2016. Humidificateur industriel, déshumidificateurs, peinture Skylla, orchidées Guaria Morada (aka la fleur nationale du Costa Rica), éclairage et système de chauffage, dimensions variables | Industrial mist humidifier, dehumidifiers, Skylla paint, Guaria Morada Orchids (aka the national flower of Costa Rica), lighting and heating systems, variable size.
Crédit | Credit: Paul Litherland.

Juan Ortiz-Apuy
From January 19th 2019 to March 16th 2019
La Guaria Morada

Opening, Saturday, January 19, 2019 - 3PM to 6PM
Saturday with the Family: January 26 and March 16, 2019. “Ortiz-Apuy’s installation is certainly a gesture to the invisible forms of labour and care that drive artist-run spaces: moving like cycles of evaporated water, infinitely extracted and re-released in the air.” Sanader, Daniella. “Room Temperature.” Canadian Art, Fall 2018, p. 144-145.In La Guaria Morada, tropical orchids, an industrial humidifier, dehumidifiers and sky-blue paint are assembled to form an artificial environment in a perpetual state of negotiation and precarity. Dependent on the gallery’s lighting, heating system and staff to sustain them, the orchids parallel not only the art object—maintained via mechanisms that aim to foster and nourish artistic practice—but artist-run centres as well, equally requiring perpetual effort and negotiation in order to survive.

Like a Sisyphean trope of absurdity and repetition, the installation functions as a metaphor for situations caught in similarly uncertain conditions. Centred around the national flower of Costa Rica, Juan Ortiz-Apuy regards this work as an homage to his country of origin. La Guaria Morada is a fragile ecosystem. Like Costa Rica, and more generally the developing countries of the region, the orchids are caught in the push and pull of forces in a cyclical struggle to develop. The humidifier and the dehumidifiers are literally those forces pushing and impeding the orchids in their efforts to bloom, forces that are metaphorically as much about economics as they are about foreign influence, corruption, and control.

Juan Ortiz-Apuy

Launch at OPTICA of the magazine ESPACE art actuel n° 121 (winter 2019)
"Animal Point of View".
(under the direction of Bénédicte Ramade).
Saturday, January 19, 2019 - 3PM to 6PM.
Available at OPTICA, 11$

Guided tour by the artist
March 2, 2019 from 8 PM to 10 PM (eng, fr, spa)


DELGADO, Jérôme. «Nature, urbanité et autres lieux à revoir», Le Devoir, January 12, 2019.

Juan Ortiz-Apuy has lived and worked in Montreal since 2003. He hold a BFA from Concordia University (2008), a Post-Graduate Diploma from The Glasgow School of Art (2009), and an MFA from Nova Scotia College of Art and Design University (2011).
His work has been exhibited across Canada and internationally in venues such as les Abattoirs Museum - Frac Occitanie Toulouse (France), IKEA Museum (Sweden), Carleton University Art Gallery (Ottawa), Owens Art Gallery (Sackville), Truck Contemporary Art (Calgary), Museum London (London), Gallery 44 Centre for Contemporary Photography (Toronto), The MacLaren Arts Centre (Barrie), and the Quebec City Biennial: Manif d'art 7 (Quebec).

Léa Moison, 25/09 = 1 (partition) 1/5, 2018. Graphite sur papier. 104,14 x 175,26 cm. | Graphite on paper. 104,14 x 175,26 cm. variable size. Crédit | Credit: Paul Litherland.

Léa Moison
From January 19th 2019 to March 16th 2019

Opening, Saturday, January 19, 2019 - 3PM to 6PM Saturday with the Family: January 26 and March 16, 2019. In her exhibition, 25/09=1, Léa Moison presents a series of drawings and a paper-based sculpture made from systems and their protocols that attempt to translated sound into two and three dimensions. Combining visual and media arts with a strong musical culture, the artist is developing a practice based on a compositional mode that plays on the passage from sound to the visual. Each work issues from a translation of data from a series of relays from one discipline to another, following a well-defined system of equivalencies: music thus becomes a score, which becomes a drawing, which becomes an object that becomes music, and so on.

Mounted on white paper, the visual notations do not refer to musical theory and do not reveal music to be played: sound is absent and freed of correspondences of cause and effect. A volume, deploying a bare frequency, also transposes a sound into space as inspired by Iannis Xenakis who, in some projects, combined electronic music with architecture. The method Moison employs involves a certain degree of freedom in production reminiscent of John Cage’s philosophy of indetermination. Cage himself described the elements of his compositions in terms of method and structure. Indeed, as with Cage, the process with Moison takes precedence over action and the artist’s subjective touch, while the outcome leaves room for a degree of unpredictability. The reproduction of the raw material—the objective data derived from the structure of a score or of a sculpture—results in the constitution of independent objects that extend the formal possibilities indefinitely.

The exhibition space circumscribes an aerial universe, nearly non-existent and unreal, a dreamlike atmosphere where time has stopped.

Author: Esther Bourdages

Esther Bourdages works in the visual arts and technology art field as a writer, independent curator and scholar. Her curatorial research explores art forms such as site-specific art, installation and sculpture, often in conjunction with sound.



BEHA, Claire-Marine. «Les (nombreuses) expositions à voir en février à Montréal», Le Baron, January 31, 2019.

With an MFA in visual and media arts from UQAM and a degree in psychology, Léa Moison lives and works in Montreal. After her studies in music and Fine Arts in Lorient, Moison decided to explore the link between the arts and to combine music, drawing, and sculpture in one space. She also works with youth in creative workshops and devises projects through which she hopes to enable young people to develop their own visual language.

Juan Ortiz-Apuy, La Guaria Morada, 2016.
Crédit | Credit: Paul Litherland.

Les Samedis ensemble en familles | Saturdays with the Family
From January 26th 2019 to March 16th 2019
La magie des orchidées! Autour de l'œuvre de Juan Ortiz-Apuy

In in a tropical atmosphere, visitors will be invited to explore the different species of orchids, identify their particularities and think about the concept of ecosystem through a creative workshop with the cultural mediator. They will make their own flowers from different papers inspired by orchids of various origins. The participants will be asked to make a correlation with the notions of biodiversity and ecosystem, to recognize their importance for the environment and the need to preserve them for our future.

Practical Information
January 26, 2019
March 16, 2019
1 PM to 4 PM

The workshop is open to the whole family and will run continually. Feel free to join in at any time.
Free | No reservation required
For children aged 4 and older
Duration: up to 1 hour and 15 min.

NEW: also offered in Spanish and Portuguese

Couverture du livre The Players,
Graphisme | Cover of the book The Players,
Graphic Design: Jeff Kulak

Zoë Chan
From January 31st 2019 to March 2nd 2019
Nouvelle publication indépendante disponible à OPTICA.

The MAI presents currently Le je et le nous / The I and the We under the curatorship of Zoë Chan with this line-up of artists: Tonia Di Risio, Kirsten Leenaars, Caroline Monnet, Alana Riley, Karen Tam, Arnait Video Productions + Shirley Bruno.

In parallel Chan launches a publication that documents a cycle of exhibitions, including Performing Lives presented to OPTICA in 2018. Available at OPTICA.

100 p, ill. col. 12,8 x 20,5 cm
Texts: Zoë Chan, Cheryl Sim
Graphic Design: Jeff Kulak
200 copies
ISBN 978-0-9939943-1-9

Pavitra Wickramasinghe, Studio Experiment, 2013. Photographie numérique, dimension variable.
Avec l’aimable permission de l’artiste. | Digital photography, variable size. Courtesy of the artist

Théâtre d’ombres avec Pavitra Wickramansinghe | Shadows theater with Pavitra Wickramansinghe
From February 1st 2019 to April 30th 2019
NOUVEAU ! Projet satellite avec les tout-petits de La Sourithèque

La Sourithèque day-care centre, Centre-Sud district
Spring 2019

This satellite project—off OPTICA’s premises—is jointly produced with artist Pavitra Wickramnasinghe. Children from the La Sourithèque will help create a collective kinetic work, a fantastical shadow play temporarily set up in their own environment. The project is an invitation to a journey, an encounter with the other, and aims to help kids discover their friends’ cultures.

Théâtre d’ombres receives support from the Foundation of Greater Montreal as part of the 2018 Community Initiatives program, which follows the United Nations’ sustainable development objectives.


OPTICA's educational program is supported by the Foundation of Greater Montreal, Community Initiatives Program 2018, and the Caisse Populaire Desjardins du Plateau-Mont-Royal.

Adam Basanta, A Large Inscription / A Great Noise, 2018. Installations sonores cinétiques. Médium mixte. | Kinetic sound installations. Mixed media.
Crédit | Credit: Emily Gan.

Adam Basanta
From April 13th 2019 to June 15th 2019
A Large Inscription / A Great Noise

Adam Basanta’s solo exhibition, A Large Inscription / A Great Noise, brings together two kinetic sound installations featuring automated microphones that attempt to draw a circle on the gravel-covered ground. By the same token, Basanta suggests a reflection on the circle, a major natural form without beginning or end. Each work articulates a tension between the conceptual origin of the circle, as perfect geometric form, and its material limitations. The gallery will thus be occupied by imperfect circular traces left by automatons that produce textured, ambient sound.

Jo-Anne Balcaen, David Zwirner, Tuesday, January 13, 2015, 4:32 pm, 2015. Photographie numérique, 40,64 x 50, 8 cm. | Digital Photography, 40,64 x 50, 8 cm. Avec l'aimable permission de l'artiste | Courtesy of the artist

Jo-Anne Balcaen
From April 13th 2019 to June 15th 2019
Dynamique interne/ Internal Dynamics

With Dynamique interne/ Internal Dynamics, Jo-Anne Balcaen presents a series of photographs produced during a six-month residency in New York in 2014-2015. Balcaen proposes a critical analysis of the art system and of the homogeneousness of commercial New York gallery spaces. Appropriating the spaces, she aim to capture what lies behind the institutional curtain: the interior snapshots attempt to show the opacity of the machinery behind the art world, hidden aspects of gallery work, the power relationships. Each photograph stages the physical and psychological barriers between the gallery’s public space and its restricted areas: office entrances, blocked hallways, and doors marked “PRIVATE.”