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Exibitions 2022

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OPTICA Fonds (Concordia University Archives)

Guidebooks to help in consulting the archives

Electronic Reproduction Fees




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Caroline Cloutier, Downstairs (by Day) / En bas (le jour), 2022. Impression numérique, 266 x 178 cm. Avec l'aimable permission de l'artiste | Downstairs (by Day) / En bas (le jour), 2022, digital print, 266 x 178 cm.
Courtesy of the artist.

Caroline Cloutier
From January 22nd 2022 to March 19th 2022
Le travail de l'ombre

Open from Saturday, January 22, 2022 - 12PM to 5 PM
Artist Caroline Cloutier in attendance
Reservations are mandatory for your exhibition visit, please use this form:
https://form.jotform.com/202475220037243

The opuscule that documents the exhibition-to discover throught this LINK (pdf).

Shadow Work is an exhibition by visual artist Caroline Cloutier, that continues the interrogations conducted in her recent work, which has been presented both in gallery and in situ. Based on perceptual experiments, generally photographic, her works propose interlocking and enfolded spaces that develop into quasi abstract architectural structures. As opposed to artists who reflect on the particularities of a place through its partial reconstruction in the exhibition space, Cloutier works with spaces as they present themselves, as a material; not to reveal a particular essence, but rather to document the specific experience of their ambivalences, their liminal dimensions.

Premiering at OPTICA, Shadow Work comprises a pair of photographic prints and a wall installation, related to each other through an intervention that divides the gallery space into clear-cut areas of shadow and light. The two photographs reveal an exemplary fragment, smooth and angular, of a certain legacy in modern architecture; the photographed space—reconstituted, despite the telescoped and partial view afforded us—thus seems to belong simultaneously to the dominions of the private and the public, of the domestic and the civil. In these images, Cloutier relates the effect of both the artificial and natural light entering the space, depending on the time of day, light that has a profound impact on one’s reading of the work by creating visual interstices in its construction.

This fascination with light is also evinced in a sculpture composed of polished triangular plaques placed concentrically on the wall. While sculptural practice is a recent arrival in the artist’s work, it partakes of an intention similar to that of the photography: to work directly on light’s ability to transform and interfere in our perception. Just as important in the present body of work is the revelation of human labour, as her detailed images show up the asperities of the walls and floors, surfaces that are usually lustrous and polished. Thus, while Cloutier’s works aline with the geometric rigour of abstraction and minimalism, or with modernist photography and the sites she reproduces, they are also informed by an interest in the traces, and ultimately the experience, of these felt spaces.

Daniel Fiset

Translator: Ron Ross



Caroline Cloutier is the recipient of the 2020 Yvonne L. Bombardier Graduate Scholarship in Visual Arts from the J. Armand Bombardier Foundation.

J. Armand Bombardier Foundation
Created in 1965 by the wife and three daughters of the inventor, the J. Armand Bombardier Foundation contributes to the advancement of individuals, organizations and communities by supporting initiatives that foster social innovation and capacity building. Since its inception, the Foundation has been chosen by Bombardier as one of the vehicles through which it fulfills its social responsibility.

One foundation, three destinations: in addition to its philanthropic work, the Foundation supports the Museum of Ingenuity J. Armand Bombardier and the Yvonne L. Bombardier Cultural Centre in Valcourt, through which it promotes academic perseverance and access to the arts and culture.

Caroline Cloutier would like to thanks the Fondation J. Armand Bombardier, the Conseil des arts de Longueuil and the Centre Sagamie.

Reminder Health Guidelines

In view to protect both our visitors and our staff, we set up health implementing measures.

We ask that you respect the following rules:

- Reservation, please use this form:
https://form.jotform.com/202475220037243

or by telephone: 514-874-1666;

Unannounced visits may be accepted, depending on the number of visitors in the gallery spaces. We can accommodate a maximum of 8 people at a time.

- masks or other face covering are mandatory throughout the visit;

- hands must be disinfected upon arrival: hydroalcoholic gel is available on site;

- 2-meter distancing must be maintained between each person to facilitate circulation during your visit.

If you have COVID-19-related symptoms, please postpone your visit.
Welcome one and all!

PRESS RELEASE (pdf)

PRESS REVIEW

CHOQUETTE, Emmanuelle (2020). “Caroline Cloutier, Variations," Espace art actuel, Issue No. 126, Fall 2020, p. 96-98.

fondationbombardier




Caroline Cloutier is based in Tiohtià:ke/Montreal. Her works have been presented in Montreal, Toronto, Linz, Rome and New York. She is represented by the Galerie Nicolas Robert and the production of her work have repeatedly been supported by the Canada Council for the Arts and the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec. She is an MFA candidate in Studio Arts, Photography at Concordia University.

Daniel Fiset is a cultural worker based in Tiohtià:ke/Mooniyang/Montreal. He currently holds the position of Adjunct Curator of Engagement at the PHI Foundation. His recent research focuses on the intersections of artistic, critical and pedagogical practices in Quebec.




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Olivia Boudreau, J'ai peur, 2022. Installation vidéo à deux projections, HD, 28 min. 28 s, couleur, stéréo. Avec l'aimable permission de l'artiste. | Two-channel video installation, HD, 28 min. 28 sec., color, stereo. Courtesy of the artist.

Olivia Boudreau
From January 22nd 2022 to March 19th 2022
J'ai peur

Open from Saturday, January 22, 2022 - 12PM to 5 PM Artist Olivia Boudreau in attendance
Reservations are mandatory for your exhibition visit, please use this form:
https://form.jotform.com/202475220037243

The opuscule that documents the exhibition-to discover throught this LINK (pdf).

“Amaxophobia—Fear of riding in a car.”
—The Phobia List

Don’t be afraid, just contemplate: the soothing hum of a classic Lincoln cruising along a winding country road late at night; the rhythmic comfort of two women’s voices whispering back and forth to each other in the backseat; the calming cinematic views of a darkened highway gradually unfolding over the course of half an hour. Olivia Boudreau’s most recent video projection J’ai peur (2022) has at its conceptual core a two-person script rooted in countless phobias, but its overall affect is one of warmth. Tucked in, in this familiar and timeless scene, a certain nostalgia sets in for the quiet rocking sensations of nocturnal automotive adventures.

The verbal score for the performance, taken from an open-sourced website that alphabetically compiles a list of phobias, speaks of fear in the first person as the two actresses alternatively confide in each other onscreen: “J’ai peur des objets qui sont à ma droite…J’ai peur du diable...J’ai peur d’aller à l’école.” Filmed from the waist up in cozy off-white fur and wool tops, they exchange words with an unsettling mix of intimacy and deadpan. Delivering each line without hesitation or anxiety, and barely acknowledging the other’s murmured confession, the cadence of the responses becomes as important as their content. Fear, or its close relative phobia, alternates unpredictably between the all-encompassing or minimal, the abstract or precise, the relatable or ridiculous, the funny or sad. A dread or unease at the mention of specific phobias creeps up every so often, striking an emotional chord in the spectator who recognizes one of their own fears.

Boudreau places this roomy backseat scene on a projection at the rear of OPTICA’s gallery, behind the entrance of the spectators. As a result, the immersive point of view of the vintage car effortlessly caressing the smooth nighttime pavement is our first sight. This big boat of a machine, this canister of steel, evokes a protective feeling against the great unknown of what lies outside. Within of the vehicle, watching the yellow median strip dance, the underlying fears drone away in the background and we are transported.

Didier Morelli

Actresses: Rosa-Anne Déry, Sarah Laurendeau
Director of photography: Julien Fontaine
Sound Designer: Frédéric Cloutier
Makeup and hair artist: Mary Khalife

Reminder Health Guidelines

In view to protect both our visitors and our staff, we set up health implementing measures.

We ask that you respect the following rules:

- Reservation, please use this form:

https://form.jotform.com/202475220037243

or by telephone: 514-874-1666;

Unannounced visits may be accepted, depending on the number of visitors in the gallery spaces. We can accommodate a maximum of 8 people at a time.

- masks or other face covering are mandatory throughout the visit;

- hands must be disinfected upon arrival: hydroalcoholic gel is available on site;

- 2-meter distancing must be maintained between each person to facilitate circulation during your visit.

If you have COVID-19-related symptoms, please postpone your visit.
Welcome one and all!

PRESS RELEASE (pdf)

PRESS REWIEW

Olivia Boudreau is interested in our ability to read and experience the real. She strives to capture unconscious and cultural influences on the meaning we give to images and events. The experiences offered in her films, video installations, and performances engage spectators’ perceptual capacities and invite them to go beyond the obvious. Through highly composed images, of bodies waiting, of actions slowly unfolding, Boudreau’s work brings to light subtle changes that can provoke varied interpretations. Her works have been widely shown in Canada, notably at the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal, The Rooms, in St John’s, the Vancouver Contemporary Art Gallery, as well as abroad, at the Fresnoy, in France, and at Casino Luxembourg - Forum d'art contemporain.

Boudreau’s short films have been screened at many major festivals: the Toronto International Film Festival, the Internationale Kurzfilmtage Oberhausen (Germany), SIFF (Seattle, United States), and the Stockholm Film Festival. Also, in 2012, 2014, and 2016, Boudreau was nominated for the prestigious Sobey Art Award for contemporary art in Canada.



Didier Morelli is a performance artist and art historian, critic, and curator with a PhD in Performance Studies from Northwestern University, Chicago. Associate Editor at Espace art actuel, his writing has been published in Art Journal, Canadian Theatre Review, C Magazine, Border Crossings, Esse Arts + Opinions, Performa Magazine, Spirale and TDR : The Drama Review, among other publications.



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L’artiste Maryam Eizadifard,
Crédit photo | Photo credit: Manoushka Larouche.

Maryam Eizdifard
From February 22nd 2022 to February 22nd 2022
En conversation avec Maryam Eizadifard, récipiendaire de la résidence Intersections

In conversation with Maryam Eizdifard, recipient of the Intersections Residency: Tuesday, February 22, 2022, 12:30 pm to 1:30 pm, Live on Facebook. Find the event « here! »

Artist Maryam Eizadifard is interested in notions of space and time that are integral to immigration and displacement. In this conversation, she will discuss investigations she has undertaken during her research residency at OPTICA and will also talk about her current studio production at the UQAM’s École des arts visuels et médiatiques.

The discussion will be hosted by Romeo Gongora, professor at the École des arts visuels et médiatiques, and Marie-Josée Lafortune, director of OPTICA, a centre for contemporary art. A question period will follow the presentation.

Invite your friends!

The Intersections Artist Residency Program:
The Intersections residency for research, creation and dissemination rewards emerging artists of either a first or second generation immigration background who are members of an ethnic or visible minority and recent post graduates from the École des arts visuels et médiatiques at UQAM. This program aims to provide culturally-diverse artists with professional support to complement their university training in the Montreal arts community.

The Intersections Residency is a joint initiative by the Conseil des arts de Montréal, OPTICA, a centre for contemporary art, and the École des arts visuels et médiatiques at UQAM.



Maryam Eizadifard is a graduate of the Faculty of Arts and Architecture at the University of Teheran (2007). Having left Iran in 2011 in order to pursue graduate studies in visual arts, Eizadifard now holds a master’s in visual and media arts from UQAM (2018). She focuses on the ephemeral nature of spaces and their influence on memory and the body.

“The influence of the intimate and private environment or space is key to my understanding of the feminine condition. What makes me a woman? By analyzing these spaces, I explore the tensions between emptiness and occupation that they convey. When the human being is absent, is that private space truly empty?” These experimentations fuel the concept of “city-body” that she has developed.

These experimentations fuel the concept of “city-body” that she has developed.
The Internet Website of the artist: maryamizadifard.com




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Gabriela Löffel et Michele Robecchi
February 23rd 2022
Entretien vidéo / Discussion publique

OPTICA launched a new video interview series in 2021 that features artists, curators, writers, educators, and university scholars.

We invite you to view the video interview that took place online between Gabriela Löffel and Michele Robecchi on December 8, 2021 as part of Gabriela Löffel's solo exhibition, [Performance] from November 6 to December 18, 2021.


VIEWED THE VIDEO THROUGH THIS LINK (youtube).




Gabriela Löffel (Oberburg, 1972) lives in Switzerland. She works with temporal media and is interested in the spheres of politics and finance. The artist continues her research analyzing the systems and structures that govern the representation of realities, which could be called a space of mediation. Fragmenting, translating and shifting from the document, the immediate, to interpretation and staging are strategies that she uses in her creative process. This method allows her to create and propose spaces for questioning, raising reasonable doubts and disrupting linear reading. This results in audiovisual compositions that are then translated into multi-channel video installations displayed in physical spaces.

Michele Robecchi is a writer and independent curator based in London, where he is a commissioning editor for contemporary art at Phaidon Press.




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Portrait de|of Caroline Cloutier. Caroline Cloutier, Bleue (séries, sélection), 2020. Impression numérique, 91,44 x 57,15 cm. Avec l’aimable permission de l’artiste.|Caroline Cloutier, Bleue (series, selection), 2020.
Digital print, 91,44 x 57,15 cm. Courtesy of the artist.

Caroline Cloutier
From February 26th 2022 to February 26th 2022
Nuit blanche à Montréal : Pliages et illusions chez OPTICA

Virtual, Saturday, February 26, from 7PM to 8:15PM, OPTICA invites the general public to a night of virtual artistic discovery and experimentation focused on the practice of artist Caroline Cloutier whose exhibition Le travail de l’ombre is presented from January 22 to March 19 at OPTICA.

Caroline Cloutier is interested in the photographic image as a device for spatial construction and in the different modes of interaction between image, space and perception. Through her photographic installations that challenge perception, she seeks to deconstruct space in a perspective of mise en abyme leading to a reflection on the construction of the device and its photographic process. With the help of various lighting and mirrors, she creates interlocking spaces and volumes that complicate our understanding of architectural space. Printed in large format, these images, sometimes at the scale of the objects, sometimes at a larger scale, are of a great pictorial quality.

During this virtual event, participants will meet the artist and discover the creative process of projects she has created for the Espace Go theatre: the public work La lumière des appareils and the scenographic work J'ai cru vous voir. In a creative workshop held after the artist's presentation, the night owls will be introduced to the technique of kirigami, the Japanese art of paper cutting, a technique frequently used by Cloutier to create the models of her works. Accompanied by the artist and OPTICA's Public Education Program team, participants will create paper structures of varying complexity that they will photograph with their phones to create an immersive architectural space illusion.

There is no charge for the public presentation and workshop participation.

*Reservation required by email at mediation@optica.ca

Following your reservation, a Zoom link will be emailed to you before the virtual activity begins.

This activity is part of Nuit blanche à Montréal.
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Caroline Cloutier is based in Tiohtià:ke/Montreal. Her works have been presented in Montreal, Toronto, Linz, Rome and New York. She is represented by the Galerie Nicolas Robert and the production of her work have repeatedly been supported by the Canada Council for the Arts and the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec. She is an MFA candidate in Studio Arts, Photography at Concordia University. The artist's website: carolinecloutier.net


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Portrait de Maryam Eizadifard
Photo : Manoushka Larouche

Appel de candidatures. Résidence Intersections de recherche, création et production
Ouverture du concours : 3 mars 2022
Date limite de dépôt : 4 avril 2022
From March 3rd 2022 to April 4th 2022
Intersections - Résidence de recherche, création et production 2022-2023

Le Conseil des arts de Montréal (CAM), le Centre d’art contemporain OPTICA et l’École des arts visuels et médiatiques (EAVM) de l’UQAM lancent un appel de candidatures pour les artistes issu.e.s de l’immigration (de première ou de seconde génération) qui sont membres des minorités ethniques ou visibles**. Les candidat.e.s éligibles sont diplômé.e.s de la maîtrise à l’EAVM. Ce partenariat vise à offrir un soutien de recherche, de création et de production à un.e artiste en lui donnant accès à un accompagnement professionnel, complémentaire à sa formation universitaire dans le milieu artistique montréalais.

Ce projet prend la forme d’une résidence en vue de la réalisation d’une œuvre qui entre en dialogue avec des archives (fonds documentaire du centre d’art contemporain OPTICA ou autre, en fonction de la recherche de l’artiste). À la fin de la résidence, OPTICA présentera une exposition de l’artiste sélectionné.e. Le lauréat ou la lauréate tiendra aussi une présentation publique sur sa pratique artistique au centre. Un accompagnement par l’EAVM et OPTICA sera fourni dans le cadre du projet d’une durée d’un an.

Conditions d'admissibilité
- être un.e artiste issu.e. de l’immigration (de première ou de seconde génération) membre des minorités ethniques ou visibles**;
- être un.e artiste professionnel.le** en arts visuels;
- être diplômé du programme de maîtrise à l’EAVM;
- être citoyen.ne canadien.ne ou résident.e permanent.e du Canada à la date de dépôt de la demande;
- être domicilié sur le territoire de l’île de Montréal depuis au moins un an;
- être disponible pour toutes les activités incluses dans le cadre du projet.

Soutien offert
- trois mois de résidence de recherche à l’automne 2022 au centre d’art contemporain OPTICA incluant un espace de travail et un accès aux équipements de bureau, aux archives et à la documentation;
- un studio pour la création et la production, ainsi qu’un accès aux ateliers techniques spécialisés de l'EAVM pour une durée d’un an;
- un accompagnement professionnel totalisant 60 heures par OPTICA (30h) et l’EAVM (30h);
- une subvention de recherche (max. 1500$);
- un cachet de production (3,000$), d’exposition (2,120$) et de présentation publique (125$);
- une plage d’exposition ou de diffusion du projet final dans la programmation d’OPTICA et une présentation publique au cours de l’année 2023.

Veuillez noter que nous ne prenons pas en charge les frais d’hébergement ou de transport. Le calendrier et les conditions de travail peuvent être modifiés en fonction du contexte pandémique.

Dossier de candidature
- une lettre de motivation décrivant le projet de recherche proposé, les objectifs prévus, l’échéancier pour les trois mois de la résidence et sa pertinence pour la démarche artistique (max. 400 mots);
- une démarche artistique (max. 500 mots);
- un curriculum vitae (max. 3 pages);
- 10 images maximum au format JPG d'un poids maximal de 1Mo par image et/ou extraits vidéo et audio (5 minutes maximum, par hyperliens) avec une liste descriptive des images et/ou des extraits audiovisuels;

Le dossier de candidature doit être soumis dans un seul document PDF (taille maximale du fichier de 15 Mo) et envoyé au plus tard le 04 avril 2022 à minuit à l’adresse courriel:intersections@uqam.ca

Seuls les documents exigés seront transmis aux membres du comité d'évaluation. Il n'y aura pas de commentaires du jury.

Pour plus de renseignements, vous êtes invité.e à contacter : intersections@uqam.ca

** Pour plus d’information sur les termes utilisés, consulter le Glossaire du Conseil des arts de Montréal:
https://www.artsmontreal.org/glossaire/






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Logo volet jeunesse du programme éducatif public chez OPTICA réalisé par Tamzyn Berman.| Logo for the youth component of the public education program at OPTICA created by Tamzyn Berman.

March 9th 2022
OPTICA présente son nouveau logo jeunesse!

OPTICA's educational youth program keeps growing and evolving and we thought it was time for it to have it's own logo.

Since 2014, OPTICA's Public Education Program has offered a series of tours, educational activities, and critical events that aim to bring contemporary art to everyone in a simple and accessible way. In particular, the program has distinguished itself through its numerous initiatives in schools, which has allowed it to develop an expertise in art mediation with young audiences. To highlight these initiatives, OPTICA is proud to unveil the new visual identity of the youth component of its public education program. It is an evolving logo created by the talented graphic designer Tamzyn Berman (Atelier Pastille Rose). You will discover its colorful and textured variations as we move forward with our upcoming projects and artistic initiatives. We look forward to presenting them to you! To stay updated follow us on Instagram @optica_jeunesse.




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Myriam Yates, Marie Warsh
March 10th 2022
En conversation Myriam Yates avec Marie Warsh

OPTICA launched a new video interview series in 2021 that features artists, curators, writers, educators, and university scholars.

We invite you to view the video interview that took place online between Myriam Yates and Marie Warsh on December 2, 2021 as part of Myriam Yates's solo exhibition, Parcs. Playgrounds from November 6 to December 18, 2021.


VIEWED THE VIDEO THROUGH THIS LINK (youtube).




Myriam Yates has exhibited her work across Canada, and internationally in New York, Paris and Berlin. Working in photography and film, Yates has featured her work in various contexts from film festivals, to exhibitions, and magazines. In 2015, she was the recipient of the Victor-Martyn-Lynch- Staunton Prize in Media Arts from the Canada Council for the arts.

Marie Warsh is a landscape historian and writer who has worked for the Central Park Conservancy since 2005. She is the author of numerous articles about the history of parks and playgrounds as well as the book Central Park’s Adventure-Style Playgrounds: Renewal of a Midcentury Legacy, Bâton-Rouge, LSU [Louisiana State University Press], 2019.

In Central Park's Adventure-Style Playgrounds, Marie Warsh tells the engrossing story of playscapes built in the famous New York City park in the 1960s and 1970s as part of the midcentury experimental “playground revolution.” Warsh explores their connections to the art, recreational design, urbanism, grassroots movements, and child-development theories of the period. She brings the narrative up to the present, detailing the preservation and renewal of the playgrounds decades later by the Central Park Conservancy.




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Caroline Cloutier, Emmanuelle Choquette

Caroline Cloutier, Emmanuelle Choquette
March 18th 2022
En conversation Caroline Cloutier avec Emmanuelle Choquette

From 12:00PM to 1:00PM, live on Zoom
*Reservation required through this link! With the aim of developing aspects of the current programming, OPTICA launched a new series of video interviews.

On March 18, OPTICA invites you to a live public discussion which will take place on the Zoom platform. This series of talks on contemporary art initiated by OPTICA features artists, curators, writers, educators and university scholars.

Hosted by author, researcher and curator Emmanuelle Choquette, the discussion will focused on the practice of artist Caroline Cloutier whose exhibition Shadow Work is presented until March 19 at OPTICA. A Questions-and-Answers session will follow the discussion.

Caroline Cloutier is interested in the photographic image as a device for spatial construction and in the different modes of interaction between image, space and perception. Through her photographic installations that challenge perception, she seeks to deconstruct space in a perspective of mise en abyme leading to a reflection on the construction of the device and its photographic process. With the help of various lighting and mirrors, she creates interlocking spaces and volumes that complicate our understanding of architectural space. Printed in large format, these images, sometimes at the scale of the objects, sometimes at a larger scale, are of a great pictorial quality.

Welcome all!



Caroline Cloutier is based in Tiohtià:ke/Montreal. Her works have been presented in Montreal, Toronto, Linz, Rome and New York. She is represented by the Galerie Nicolas Robert and the production of her work have repeatedly been supported by the Canada Council for the Arts and the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec. She is an MFA candidate in Studio Arts, Photography at Concordia University.

Emmanuelle Choquette is an author, researcher and independent curator. She holds a master's degree in art history from UQAM. Her research focuses on performative and installation practices that take a critical look at exhibition formats. Her texts are published in the journals Espace art actuel, Vie des arts, le Sabord, Ciel Variable and esse art + opinions. In 2019, she co-directed the publication “Une bibliographie commentée en temps réel : l'art de la performance au Québec et au Canada”. Her collaborative curatorial projects have been presented at Artexte and the Maison des arts Desjardins in Drummondville. She has participated in research residencies at Est-Nord-Est (St-Jean-Port-Joli) and at Laboratorio Arte Alameda (Mexico City) in partnership with OBORO. In 2017 she is a recipient of the Jean-Claude Rochefort grant for art criticism and art curation. From 2013 to 2021, she held the position of Executive Director at Arprim, a center dedicated to printed art and served on the board of directors of the Regroupement des centres d'artistes autogérés du Québec. She received the ARDI Award for innovation in cultural philanthropy in 2020.




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Portrait de Gali Blay. Avec l’aimable permission de l’artiste.| Documentation du projet Le langage de l’amitié, 2022.
Crédit photos : Claudia Goulet-Blais et Sandrine Côté.
Portrait of Gali Blay.Courtesy of the artist.| Documentation of the project The Language of Friendship
,2022. Photo credit: Claudia Goulet-Blais and Sandrine Côté.

Leila Zelli et Gali Blay
March 21st 2022
Visite de l’artiste Gali Blay dans le cadre du projet parascolaire Le langage de l’amitié à l’école Saint-Arsène!

For the past 5 months, OPTICA has been conducting an artistic project with artist Leila Zelli at Saint-Arsène Elementary School (Rosemont-La Petite-Patrie). In weekly workshops, a group of students explore the theme of friendship and the richness of interpersonal relationships by experimenting with different artistic disciplines with guest artists. This week's workshop focused on the techniques of film animation.

Furthermore, Leila Zelli is currently directing a short film in collaboration with the artist Gali Blay (Berlin). About Dam and Hofit is the story of a forgotten friendship between the tip of Iran's Mount Damavand (Dam) and an Israeli Air Force plane (Hofit). Gali Blay came to Montreal to finalize this animation project and we had the opportunity to welcome her at our after-school project. She met with the students and presented the process of creating her character Hofit, she presented her inspirations, sketches, models and her work in the studio. The students also had the chance to see an excerpt from the film. Gali Blay then accompanied the students in the realization of short animation sequences using a green screen.



Born in New York (1986), Gali Blay grew up in Israel and is currently based in Berlin, Germany. As an animation director, she works in the intersection of documentary and fiction, that in-between place between the reality created by the images and the scenarios she creates.

She holds a B.F.A from the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design in Jerusalem and an M.F.A. (Honors) in Social Design from the Design Academy Eindhoven in the Netherlands. Her work has been exhibited in various venues and she has presented her films in several festivals. These include Wall Street Gallery, Eindhoven, NL (2018), Tijdelijk Museum Bijlmerbajes, Amsterdam, NL (2017), Bogoshorts Film Festival, Bogota, CO (2017) and Salone Del Mobile, Milan, IT (2017).




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Logo soulignant les 50 ans d'OPTICA réalisé par la graphiste Tamzyn Berman. | Logo celebrating 50 years of OPTICA created by graphic designer Tamzyn Berman.

OPTICA
April 1st 2022
OPTICA : 50 ANS D’HISTOIRE

Founded in 1972, OPTICA has sought to promote Canadian contemporary art and to raise awareness among diverse audiences about the issues underlying the discourses and practices in the visual arts through a varied program of exhibitions and critical and educational activities. The centre celebrates its 50th anniversary this year.

On this occasion, we want to highlight the legacy of artist-run centres and explore the role they can play in the present, through a cycle of curatorial practices as well as solo and monographic exhibitions. It is not in a retrospective perspective that we approach this history, but rather by projecting it into the future. We want to consider how this legacy is perceived by a younger generation and to present new initiatives from various backgrounds.

This cycle will propose an approach to history through which a variety of views, initiatives, and narratives shed light on the concepts of reconciliation and diversity.

In this cycle, we wish to share our expertise and promote alternative models of learning with contemporary works and artists. We intend to take an active role in visual arts education, using the artist-run centre environment and the contemporary art context as elements to help young people express and articulate their experience and their appreciation of art in their own words.

Issues such as migration, hospitality, the relationship to the other and to oneself, etc. will be central to the educational programming.

OPTICA wishes to participate in the recognition and legitimization of curatorial and artistic practices that deal more directly with issues of cultural mediation and art education.

Marie-Josée Lafortune
Director


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1.Clara Gutsche, Alice, Oliver, Bainbridge Island, 2014. (″Brother for Sale / Sister for Sale : $1.00 negotiable″), série | series «Siblings and Singles», 2008-2022. Épreuve couleur chromogénique | Chromogenic colour print, 101,6 x 127 cm, agrandissements | enlargements. Avec l'aimable permission de l'artiste | Courtesy of the artist.©Clara Gutsche / SOCAN (2022)
2.Clara Gutsche, Sarah and Noémi, série | series «Jeanne-Mance Park», 1982-1984. Épreuve à la gélatine argentique, virage au sélénium et à l’or sur papier photographique traditionnel | Gelatin silver print, selenium and gold toning on traditional photographic paper, 40 x 50,4 cm. Collection Musée des beaux-arts de Montréal.©Clara Gutsche / SOCAN (2022)

Clara Gutsche
Commissaire / curator : Marie-Josée Lafortune

From April 9th 2022 to June 11th 2022
Portraits d’enfants. Children
Des séries Milton-Park (1970-1973), Les sœurs Cencic (1974-1976), Sarah (1982-1989), Jeanne-Mance Park (1982-1984), Siblings and Singles (2008 - 2022)



Guided tour: Saturday, June 11, at 3 p.m. with Clara Gutsche and Marie-Josée Lafortune.

The opuscule that documents the exhibition-to discover throught this LINK (pdf).

Photographer Clara Gutsche observes her contemporaries’ social reality from an intimate and engaged point of view. The important legacies of civil rights and women’s rights have had a decisive influence on how she captures the real. Drawing her inspiration from the ordinariness of domestic situations—an approach that matches her feminist convictions—she has sought to convey this position in a constantly evolving cultural and social context.

This solo exhibition underlines Gutsche’s significant contribution within the documentary photography tradition. The body of work presented brings together portraits made from the 1970s to the present.

Milton-Park series (1970–73), undertaken with her spouse, David Miller, is certainly Gutsche’s best known. Here, the photographic act not only witnesses but also takes a side in a cause that is described from within. Her images, like Miller’s, transcribe and record daily life within the politically engaged community where the couple lived. The Women’s Centre, 3694 Ste-Famille (1971–72) features portraits of women in a feminist living environment, which we discover as we linger, among other places, at community and activist events. Gutsche’s familiarity with and closeness to the subject arise from her experience and understanding of the social currents at play, as she had participated in feminist consciousness-raising groups in the United States.

Following Milton-Park, Gutsche became interested in portraying a single subject over a longer period of time. The series Les sœurs Cencic (1974–76) and Sarah (1982–89) are characteristic of this process. Gutsche began a reflection on how photography as a medium could be used to describe the experiences of girls and women.

The unaffected individual and group portraits of the six Cencic sisters follow the girls through their daily life and activities for three consecutive years, as they “become women.” Gutsche was exploring the conventions of the portrait (frontality, poses)—an exploration that she continued when her daughter, Sarah, was born and she undertook to document the mother-daughter relationship in domestic interiors and also outdoors, bathed in natural light.

These series stand out for their direct, unadorned style and for the theme of childhood, youth, and self-representation as subject. And they share other similarities. We note the architectural elements (threshold, doorway, staircase) that frame the subjects and serve as accessories or backdrops for the settings. There are also abundant references to the intimate formats of nineteenth-century portraits (Cameron) and to photographic modernity (Evans, Strand).

In contrast, Jeanne-Mance Park (1982–84) offers a minimalist, more graphic look that emphasizes lived space, a human geography (A. Frémont). Gutsche brings out this connection through the social interrelations that compose and inhabit the landscape in which she and her daughter participate. Sarah’s presence—and Gutsche’s, which we glimpse as her shadow with a large camera—melts into the park’s playgrounds. The landscape becomes the key motif for this act of documenting, which records reality as it is presented, without hierarchy, bringing all the components almost into a single plane.

Presented for the first time, the large-format full-length portraits from the series Siblings and Singles (2008–22) were made during an artist residency in Switzerland and among Gutsche’s family and friends in Canada and the United States. Gutsche continues her research on gender and identity, bringing these issues into the present. She observes the transformations of time, a theme close to her heart, and dwells upon relations among siblings and rites of passage, with photographs of young people on the brink of adolescence and at different stages of their lives. The experience of a timespan is a constant in her practice and offers a contemporary vision of the portrait as genre.

Curator: Marie-Josée Lafortune

Translator: Käthe Roth

A publication accompanying this exhibition will be published in 2023.

Group reservation recommended through
this form.

Acknowledgements
The thirty-two silver prints from the Milton-ParkThe Cencic Sisters(1974-1976),Sarah(1982-1989), and Jeanne-Mance Park (1982-1984) series come from the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts collection. Our warmest thanks to the conservation team and to its director Stéphane Aquin for the loan.

Clara Gutsche would like to thank the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec for the Studio-apartment residency exchange program of the Fondation Christoph Merian in Basel, Switzerland (2008), the Professional Development Fund at the CUPFA (Concordia University Part-Time Faculty Association), Pedro Jose Barbáchano, and David Miller.

PRESS RELEASE_FR_et_ENG_(pdf)

PRESS REVIEW

MAVRIKAKIS, Nicolas. “ 'Portraits d’enfants. Children', Clara Gutsche et la photo-sensibilité,” Le Devoir, May 14, 2022.



Born in Saint-Louis, Missouri, Clara Gutsche is a professor at Concordia University’s Studio Arts Department, where she teaches photography. Her works are part of major private and public collections in Canada and abroad. She has taken part in many exhibitions in Canada, the United States, and Europe, mainly in Belgium, France, Italy, and Portugal.

Marie-Josée Lafortune is the Director of OPTICA, a centre for contemporary art. She has published in the journals esse arts + opinions, Parachute, Spirale, and co-edited Penser l’indiscipline and Archi-féministes !, published by OPTICA.




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Olivia Boudreau & Didier Morelli @4TH SPACE
Design : Claudia Goulet-Blais

Olivia Boudreau & Didier Morelli @ 4TH SPACE, 2 PM - 3 PM
April 22nd 2022
Discussion publique : Olivia Boudreau et Didier Morelli

OPTICA, centre d’art contemporain presents a public discussion between artist Olivia Boudreau on April 22 at 2 p.m., at 4TH SPACE located at 1400 De Maisonneuve Blvd West, Room LB 103, Montreal, Qc H3G 1M8

who presented the video installation J’ai peur at the gallery last January until mid-March 2022. Performance, film and installation are integral to Boudreau’s practice. This specific work addresses the topics of phobias, intimacy, movement, psychology and much more. Didier Morelli, author of the exhibition’s text, will also contribute to this discussion by sharing his perspective as a performance artist and art historian.

OPTICA, centre d’art contemporain, presents this public discussion as part of a series of talks on contemporary art featuring artists, curators, writers, educators and academics.

How can you participate? Attend the discussion in person (note, there is a maximum of 25 audience members permitted in the space) or online by registering for the Zoom webinar or watching on 4th Space's YouTube channel.

Register here:

Have questions? Send them to info.4@concordia.ca Since 1972, OPTICA has sought to promote Canadian contemporary art and to raise awareness among diverse audiences about the issues underlying the discourses and practices in visual arts through a varied program of exhibitions and critical and educational activities.



Olivia Boudreau is interested in our ability to read and experience the real. She strives to capture unconscious and cultural influences on the meaning we give to images and events. The experiences offered in her films, video installations, and performances engage spectators’ perceptual capacities and invite them to go beyond the obvious. Through highly composed images, of bodies waiting, of actions slowly unfolding, Boudreau’s work brings to light subtle changes that can provoke varied interpretations. Her works have been widely shown in Canada, notably at the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal, The Rooms, in St John’s, the Vancouver Contemporary Art Gallery, as well as abroad, at the Fresnoy, in France, and at Casino Luxembourg - Forum d'art contemporain.

Boudreau’s short films have been screened at many major festivals: the Toronto International Film Festival, the Internationale Kurzfilmtage Oberhausen (Germany), SIFF (Seattle, United States), and the Stockholm Film Festival. Also, in 2012, 2014, and 2016, Boudreau was nominated for the prestigious Sobey Art Award for contemporary art in Canada.



Didier Morelli is a performance artist and art historian, critic, and curator with a PhD in Performance Studies from Northwestern University, Chicago. Associate Editor at Espace art actuel, his writing has been published in Art Journal, Canadian Theatre Review, C Magazine, Border Crossings, Esse Arts + Opinions, Performa Magazine, Spirale and TDR : The Drama Review, among other publications.




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Caroline Cloutier, Emmanuelle Choquette
May 26th 2022
En conversation Caroline Cloutier avec Emmanuelle Choquette

OPTICA launched a new video interview series in 2021 that features artists, curators, writers, educators, and university scholars.

We invite you to view this video discussion that took place online between Caroline Cloutier and Emmanuelle Choquette on March 18, 2022 as part of Caroline Cloutier's solo exhibition Shadow Work from January 22 to March 19, 2022.


VIEWED THE VIDEO THROUGH THIS LINK (youtube).


Caroline Cloutier is interested in the photographic image as a device for spatial construction and in the different modes of interaction between image, space and perception. Through her photographic installations that challenge perception, she seeks to deconstruct space in a perspective of mise en abyme leading to a reflection on the construction of the device and its photographic process. With the help of various lighting and mirrors, she creates interlocking spaces and volumes that complicate our understanding of architectural space. Printed in large format, these images, sometimes at the scale of the objects, sometimes at a larger scale, are of a great pictorial quality.

Thank to the video editor Ivetta Sunyoung Kang.



Caroline Cloutier is based in Tiohtià:ke/Montreal. Her works have been presented in Montreal, Toronto, Linz, Rome and New York. She is represented by the Galerie Nicolas Robert and the production of her work have repeatedly been supported by the Canada Council for the Arts and the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec. She is an MFA candidate in Studio Arts, Photography at Concordia University.

Emmanuelle Choquette is an author, researcher and independent curator. She holds a master's degree in art history from UQAM. Her research focuses on performative and installation practices that take a critical look at exhibition formats. Her texts are published in the journals Espace art actuel, Vie des arts, le Sabord, Ciel Variable and esse art + opinions. In 2019, she co-directed the publication “Une bibliographie commentée en temps réel : l'art de la performance au Québec et au Canada”. Her collaborative curatorial projects have been presented at Artexte and the Maison des arts Desjardins in Drummondville. She has participated in research residencies at Est-Nord-Est (St-Jean-Port-Joli) and at Laboratorio Arte Alameda (Mexico City) in partnership with OBORO. In 2017 she is a recipient of the Jean-Claude Rochefort grant for art criticism and art curation. From 2013 to 2021, she held the position of Executive Director at Arprim, a center dedicated to printed art and served on the board of directors of the Regroupement des centres d'artistes autogérés du Québec. She received the ARDI Award for innovation in cultural philanthropy in 2020.




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Clara Gutsche, Zoë Tousignant, Marie-Josée Lafortune @4TH SPACE, 12:30 PM - 1:30 PM
June 1st 2022
Discussion publique autour de l'exposition Portraits d'enfants. Children de Clara Gutsche

OPTICA presents a public discussion with photographer Clara Gutsche who’s exhibition Children. Portraits d’enfants is currently on display at the gallery. This exhibition includes works from her series Milton-Park (1970-1973), The Cencic Sisters (1974-1976), Sarah (1982-1989), Jeanne-Mance Park (1982-1984) and Siblings and Singles (2008-2022).

Joining this conversation is Zoë Tousignant, art historian and the Curator of Photography at the McCord Museum who will be guiding the conversation around Gutsche’s different series, her creative process and the historical background of the photographs. Marie-Josée Lafortune will also contribute to this discussion by sharing her perspective as the exhibition curator of Children. Portraits d’enfants.

OPTICA, centre d’art contemporain, presents this public discussion as part of a series of talks on contemporary art featuring artists, curators, writers, educators and academics.

How can you participate? Attend in person (4TH Space can accommodate up to 30 audience members comfortably) or online by registering for the Zoom webinar here
or watching on YouTube.
Have questions? Send them to info.4@concordia.ca


Clara Gutsche has worked as a photographer, educator, and critic since she immigrated to Montreal from St. Louis, Missouri in 1970. She is a professor at Concordia University’s Studio Arts Department where she teaches photography. She uses the view camera to explore personal relationships through portraiture and cultural values through urban landscapes and architectural interiors.

She has taken part in many exhibitions in Canada, the United States, and Europe, mainly in Belgium, France, Italy, and Portugal.

Her works are part of major private and public collections in Canada and abroad: the Canadian Centre for Architecture, the Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography, the National Gallery of Canada, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec, the Musée de la Photographie à Charleroi, the Center for Creative Photography, Tucson, Arizona and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.

Clara Gutsche’s critical writings on photography have been published in numerous periodicals (Vanguard, C Magazine, Canadian Art). Her recent essay “Is the Artist an Unreliable Archivist? Reflections on the Photographic Preservation of a Montreal Neighbourhood.” was published in Photogenic Montreal: Activisms and Archives in a Post-Industrial City, edited by Martha Langford and Johanne Sloan, McGill-Queens University Press (2021).

Zoë Tousignant is the Curator of Photography at the McCord Museum. She holds a PhD in Art History from Concordia University and an MA in Museum Studies from the University of Leeds.

Her research focuses on twentieth-century and contemporary photography produced in Quebec and Canada. Her many curatorial projects have included close collaborations with such photographers as Serge Clément, Carlos Ferrand, Marisa Portolese and Gabor Szilasi.

Her essays on photography have appeared in numerous catalogues, monographs and periodicals. She has been a regular contributor to Ciel variable magazine for over ten years. Her recent publications include the book Gabor Szilasi: The Art World in Montreal, 1960-1980 (McCord Museum and McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2019) and the collection of essays Les lieux des savoirs photographiques : le laboratoire, edited by Martha Langford and Zoë Tousignant (FAEP and Artexte, 2021).

Zoë Tousignant is the Curator of Photography at the McCord Museum. She holds a PhD in Art History from Concordia University and an MA in Museum Studies from the University of Leeds.

Her research focuses on twentieth-century and contemporary photography produced in Quebec and Canada. Her many curatorial projects have included close collaborations with such photographers as Serge Clément, Carlos Ferrand, Marisa Portolese and Gabor Szilasi.

Her essays on photography have appeared in numerous catalogues, monographs and periodicals. She has been a regular contributor to Ciel variable magazine for over ten years. Her recent publications include the book Gabor Szilasi: The Art World in Montreal, 1960-1980 (McCord Museum and McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2019) and the collection of essays Les lieux des savoirs photographiques : le laboratoire, edited by Martha Langford and Zoë Tousignant (FAEP and Artexte, 2021).

Marie-Josée Lafortune is the Director of OPTICA, a centre for contemporary art. She has published in the journals esse arts + opinions, Parachute, Spirale, and co-edited Penser l’indiscipline and Archi-féministes!, published by OPTICA.




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Clara Gutsche, Zoë Tousignant, Marie-Josée Lafortune.
Crédit photo : Claudia Goulet-Blais

Clara Gutsche, Zoë Tousignant, Marie-Josée Lafortune @4TH SPACE
June 1st 2022
En conversation Clara Gutsche, Zoë Tousignant, Marie-Josée Lafortune

OPTICA launched a new video interview series in 2021 that features artists, curators, writers, educators, and university scholars.

We invite you to view this video discussion that took place at 4TH SPACE (Concordia)and online between Clara Gutsche, Zoë Tousignant, Marie-Josée Lafortunele on June 1st, 2022 as part of Clara Gutsche's solo exhibition Children. Portraits d’enfants from April 9 to June 11, 2022.


LINK OF THE VIDEO (youtube).




Clara Gutsche has worked as a photographer, educator, and critic since she immigrated to Montreal from St. Louis, Missouri in 1970. She is a professor at Concordia University’s Studio Arts Department where she teaches photography. She uses the view camera to explore personal relationships through portraiture and cultural values through urban landscapes and architectural interiors.

She has taken part in many exhibitions in Canada, the United States, and Europe, mainly in Belgium, France, Italy, and Portugal.

Her works are part of major private and public collections in Canada and abroad: the Canadian Centre for Architecture, the Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography, the National Gallery of Canada, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec, the Musée de la Photographie à Charleroi, the Center for Creative Photography, Tucson, Arizona and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.

Clara Gutsche’s critical writings on photography have been published in numerous periodicals (Vanguard, C Magazine, Canadian Art). Her recent essay “Is the Artist an Unreliable Archivist? Reflections on the Photographic Preservation of a Montreal Neighbourhood.” was published in Photogenic Montreal: Activisms and Archives in a Post-Industrial City, edited by Martha Langford and Johanne Sloan, McGill-Queens University Press (2021).

Zoë Tousignant is the Curator of Photography at the McCord Museum. She holds a PhD in Art History from Concordia University and an MA in Museum Studies from the University of Leeds.

Her research focuses on twentieth-century and contemporary photography produced in Quebec and Canada. Her many curatorial projects have included close collaborations with such photographers as Serge Clément, Carlos Ferrand, Marisa Portolese and Gabor Szilasi.

Her essays on photography have appeared in numerous catalogues, monographs and periodicals. She has been a regular contributor to Ciel variable magazine for over ten years. Her recent publications include the book Gabor Szilasi: The Art World in Montreal, 1960-1980 (McCord Museum and McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2019) and the collection of essays Les lieux des savoirs photographiques : le laboratoire, edited by Martha Langford and Zoë Tousignant (FAEP and Artexte, 2021).

Zoë Tousignant is the Curator of Photography at the McCord Museum. She holds a PhD in Art History from Concordia University and an MA in Museum Studies from the University of Leeds.

Her research focuses on twentieth-century and contemporary photography produced in Quebec and Canada. Her many curatorial projects have included close collaborations with such photographers as Serge Clément, Carlos Ferrand, Marisa Portolese and Gabor Szilasi.

Her essays on photography have appeared in numerous catalogues, monographs and periodicals. She has been a regular contributor to Ciel variable magazine for over ten years. Her recent publications include the book Gabor Szilasi: The Art World in Montreal, 1960-1980 (McCord Museum and McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2019) and the collection of essays Les lieux des savoirs photographiques : le laboratoire, edited by Martha Langford and Zoë Tousignant (FAEP and Artexte, 2021).

Marie-Josée Lafortune is the Director of OPTICA, a centre for contemporary art. She has published in the journals esse arts + opinions, Parachute, Spirale, and co-edited Penser l’indiscipline and Archi-féministes!, published by OPTICA.




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TVTV, Four More Years (image vidéo/video still), 1972. 1/2 vidéo 61/28. Avec l'aimable permission de / Courtesy Electronic Arts Intermix (EAI), New York

Commissaire/Curator: Eli Kerr
From September 8th 2022 to October 22nd 2022
Alternative Convention: Top Value Television's Four More Years

Opening on Thursday, September 8, 2022, 7PM - 10PM

This exhibition is a new iteration which shares an interest in contemporary media landscapes: Eli Kerr explores the pioneering work of 1970s countercultural video collective TVTV.

Curated by Eli Kerr, Alternative Convention: Top Value Television’s Four More Years foregrounds a landmark work by the 1970s countercultural video collective, Top Value Television (TVTV).

At the foundation of the experimental documentary genre known as ‘Guerilla Television’, TVTV’s ground-breaking tape Four More Years offered alternative coverage of the political processes and broadcast network reporting of the 1972. Republican Convention. Through experimentation with remediating video and disparate ephemera, the exhibition maps and centres TVTV’s Four More Years to consider the legacies and implications of Guerilla Television in today’s commodified and politically divisive user-generated media environment.

This exhibition has been presented originally on September 8–October 9, 2021 at Justina M. Barnicke Gallery, Artmuseum. University of Toronto.




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Portrait de Leyla Majeri.
Crédit photo : Edouard Larocque

Leyla Majeri
From September 13th 2022 to April 30th 2023
Récipiendaire de la Résidence Intersections!

Congratulations to Leyla Majeri, recipient of the Intersections Residence for research, creation and dissemination, second edition 2022.

Leyla Majeri's practice focuses on sculptural installation and experimental animated film, bringing them into closer attention to ecologies between matter, the imagined and the political. With Harness the Sun (Arprim, Montreal, 2016), she initiates a dialogue between her art practice and her gardening practice to envision ways of ‘making’ that are rooted in the idea of commitment, as both an artistic process and as a mode of resistance. She furthers this exploration in Don't Blame Us If We Get Playful (Galerie de l'UQAM, 2018) and in Garden Archive – There's a wasp who penetrates the ladybug (CIRCA, Montreal, 2019) where she combines different languages and territories of practice, materialities, life forms and biotopes. Her current research draws on fictional approaches to ethnography, speculative biology and forms of intangible knowledge – which she re-imagines from a plot of land located on an agricultural field, where she established a food garden, a pharmacopoeia of medicinal plants and, more recently, plants she will incorporate into her new work.




Leyla Majeri lives in Tiohtià:ke / Mooniyaang / Montréal where she was born. Her work has been shown notably at CIRCA, Galerie de l'UQAM, Arprim, Parisian Laundry, Eastern Bloc, Paved Arts (Saskatoon), and Est-Nord-Est (Saint-Jean-Port-Joli) where she has completed a research residency in 2017. At L’imprimerie artist’s center, she is currently revisiting artisanal practices and organic processes that she will adapt to her installations. From this research, she envisions a garden of tinctorial plants that she will annex this summer (2022) to the centre. In 2023, she will present a new exhibition at the Skol, Montreal. Leyla Majeri holds a master's degree in Visual and Media Arts from UQAM and is a recipient of project grants from the Canada Council for the Arts.