Optica
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2020 - 2021

Programming

Sandra Brewster
from October 3rd 2020 to October 28th 2020

Allysha Larsen, Estelle Bonetto, Jeff Morton, Jesse Fulcher Gagnon
from November 4th 2020 to December 11th 2020

Activité en cours_Art pour emporter ! / Current activity_Takeout Art!
from November 17th 2020 to February 13th 2021

Opuscule et entretien vidéo | Sandra Brewster, Nalini Mohabir, Opuscule and Video discussion
from December 2nd 2020 to February 13th 2021

Activité inspirée de la pratique de Sandra Brewster | Activity inspired by Sandra Brewster practice
from January 1st 2021 to May 1st 2021

Sandra Brewster
from February 16th 2021 to April 3rd 2021

Leila Zelli, Jim Holyoak
from March 13th 2021 to March 13th 2021

Cynthia Girard-Renard
from March 25th 2021 to April 15th 2021

Laura Acosta et Santiago Tavera
from April 17th 2021 to June 12th 2021

Charlotte Clermont
from April 17th 2021 to June 12th 2021

Nouveau partenariat entre le Conseil des arts de Montréal, l'École des arts visuels et médiatiques de l'UQAM et OPTICA
from April 25th 2021 to May 31st 2022

MOMENTA | Biennale de l'image; Commissaire | Curator: Stefanie Hessel; Artiste à confirmer | Artists to confirm

from September 10th 2021 to October 23rd 2021

Myriam Yates
from November 6th 2021 to December 18th 2021

Gabriela Löffel
from November 6th 2021 to December 18th 2021

Caroline Cloutier
from January 22nd 2022 to March 19th 2022

Olivia Boudreau
from January 22nd 2022 to March 19th 2022





Sandra Brewster
from October 3rd 2020 to October 28th 2020
Closing of the exhibition and health guidelines on October 29

We are pleased to announce that OPTICA has reopened its gallery work!
But in the wake of current events surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, OPTICA is following Québec public health guidelines and implementing measures to protect both our visitors and our staff: we postponed the opening of Sandra Brewster's exbibition.

When reopened on October 29, we ask that you respect the following rules:

- reservations are mandatory for exhibition visits, use this form;

Unannounced visits may be accepted, depending on the number of visitors in the gallery spaces. We can accommodate a maximum of 10 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!





Allysha Larsen, Estelle Bonetto, Jeff Morton, Jesse Fulcher Gagnon
from November 4th 2020 to December 11th 2020

As part of Mentorat et visibilité program, le Conseil culturel fransaskois located in Regina, has developed a two-year mentoring project with a group of artists. Since spring 2019, they have been called upon to define, adapt and push artistic boundaries through regular mentoring sessions led by artist Serge Murphy.

As a partner, OPTICA has followed the development of the group of Fransaskois artists. Since November 4, 2020, le Conseil culturel fransaskois has presented the process of the project, which took the form of the creation of the exhibition ÉCHOS accompanied by six video presenting the work of the artists. The project received the support of the Secrétariat du Québec aux relations canadienne (SQRC), Direction de la francophonie, de la réflexion stratégique. The documentary videos on the exhibition ÉCHOS bring together the works of Allysha Larsen, Estelle Bonetto, Jeff Morton and Jesse Fulcher Gagnon.

Page in French

- ÉCHOS page in English

- Video on Allysha Larsen's art pieces.

- Video on Estelle Bonetto's art pieces.

- Video on Jeff Morton's art pieces.

- Video on Jesse Fulcher Gagnon's art pieces.




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Art pour emporter. | Takeout Art.
Crédit : Sandrine Côté.

Activité en cours_Art pour emporter ! / Current activity_Takeout Art!
from November 17th 2020 to February 13th 2021

Free Takeout Art creative kits are available for pick up at OPTICA until February 13, 2021. Through a series of creative activities, children can learn more about artist Sandra Brewster’s art practice, which is part of the current confined exhibition at OPTICA. Inspired by the photo-based installation Blur, the kit provides an opportunity to experiment with the gel transfer technique that the artist uses in many of her artworks. The kit includes an activity booklet, the material needed to complete your own image transfer, printed step-by-step instructions and a virtual tutorial to guide participants through the various steps involved in completing the transfer. Here is a great opportunity to spend time and create as a family at the beginning of the New Year while discovering the work of a current artist.

Takeout Art kits are available in French or English at the centre.

To reserve one and schedule a time for pickup please send an email at mediation[at]optica.ca

Watch the tutorial on our OPTICA Mediation channel.

And consult the virtual booklet throught this link.


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Opuscule, Sandra Brewster, 2020.
Texte de l’auteure Nalini Mohabir.
Sandra Brewster, Untitled (Blur), 2017 – 2019. Détail, photographie transférée sur papier archive à l’aide d’un gel acrylique, 96 photographies, 25,4 x 17,78 cm. Avec l’aimable permission de Sandra Brewster et Georgia Scherman Projects. Crédit : Paul Litherland | Text of the author of Nalini Mohabir.
Untitled (Blur), 2017 - 2019. Detail, Photo-based gel transfer on archival paper, 96 photographes, 25,4 x 17,78 cm. Courtesy Sandra Brewster and Georgia Scherman Projects. Credit: Paul Litherland


Opuscule et entretien vidéo | Sandra Brewster, Nalini Mohabir, Opuscule and Video discussion
from December 2nd 2020 to February 13th 2021

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, Sandra Brewster’s exhibition will be confined until further notice.

But as we cannot present the works in the gallery, OPTICA is launching a new publishing format in the form of a mini-catalogue, both in print and digitally, comprising an exhibition text, a selection of images, a biography, a selective bibliography, and a gallery layout. We would hereby like to share a digital version of the brochure documenting Sandra Brewster’s exhibition titled Works from series: Smith, Blur, Video: Walk on by, including a text by author Nalini Mohabir, assistant professor in postcolonial geographies at Concordia University.

Sandra Brewster, OPUSCULE (pdf)

Also, in terms of public program, OPTICA is inaugurating a new video interview series with the aim of developing aspects of the current programming. We invite you to a discussion between Sandra Brewster and Nalini Mohabir which deals with the artist's practice, while echoing the exhibition at OPTICA.

WATCH THE VIDEO BY THIS LINK (youtube).





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Trousse pédagogique numérique destinée aux groupes scolaires, 2021. Crédit : Sandrine Côté, Frédérique Davreux-Hébert. |
Digital educational toolkit dedicated to school groups, 2021. Credit: Sandrine Côté, Frédérique Davreux-Hébert.


Activité inspirée de la pratique de Sandra Brewster | Activity inspired by Sandra Brewster practice
from January 1st 2021 to May 1st 2021
Currently, mediation: Digital Educational Toolkit for school groups

Due to the health crisis that is significantly reducing youth’ access to art and culture, OPTICA has developed a digital educational toolkit for school groups. The kit provides an opportunity to discover the practice of the artist Sandra Brewster whose work is currently confined at OPTICA. It also allows for students to be introduced to contemporary art and to learn more about artist-run centres in general.

The kit contains a virtual tour that can be facilitated by a teacher and an accompanying guided visit scenario is made available to help guide the visit. If preferred the tour can be conducted by a mediator from the center via a video conference platform. A downloadable and printable student booklet is also made available for use; it contains a lexicon of the themes addressed in the exhibition, a short biography of the artist and 5 educational activities that can be carried out both in class and at home. The kit also includes a creative workshop that introduces students to the image transfer technique Brewster uses in her work.

To obtain a kit and/or plan a virtual visit with a mediator, please contact Sandrine at mediation[at]optica.ca.




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Sandra Brewster, Untitled (Blur), 2017 – 2019.
Détail, photographie transférée sur papier archive à l’aide d’un gel acrylique, 96 photographies,
25,4 x 17,78 cm.
Avec l’aimable permission de Sandra Brewster et Georgia Scherman Projects. |
Untitled (Blur), 2017 - 2019. Detail, Photo-based gel transfer on archival paper, 96 photographes,
25,4 x 17,78 cm.
Courtesy Sandra Brewster and Georgia Scherman Projects.


Sandra Brewster
from February 16th 2021 to April 3rd 2021
Works from series:
Smith
Blur

Video:
Walk on by


*IMPORTANT NOTICE*We are pleased to announce that OPTICA has reopened its gallery work! The exhibition will open to the public on Tuesday February 16.
But in the wake of current events surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, OPTICA is following Québec public health guidelines and implementing measures to protect both our visitors and our staff: we postponed the opening of the exbibition.

We ask that you respect the following rules:

- reservations are mandatory for exhibition visits, use this form;

or by email: communications[at]optica.ca

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!


The Potential of Movement

Sandra Brewster has exhibited widely across Canada and the US, including a recent solo exhibition at the Art Gallery of Ontario. She has also featured in group exhibits, such as What Carries Us: Newfoundland and Labrador in the Black Atlantic, the first diasporic Guyanese art exhibit, Un|Fixed Homeland, as well as in exhibits in the Caribbean and across the African continent – Lagos, Addis Ababa, and Cape Town. Her practice visualizes the Black diaspora, at home and abroad.

Sandra Brewster’s solo exhibit at OPTICA brings together images from Blur, its accompanying video installation Walk on by, as well as the Untitled Smith, work created over a span of eight years (2011-2019). While all these works build on the artist’s long-standing interest in portraiture, what brings these images together is a contestation of the polarized view of Blackness as either hyper-visible or disappeared.

Blur plays with the traditional notion of head and shoulder portraits; it is a series of photo-based gel transfers of Black individuals including self-portraits of the artist, whose head, hair, and body, are all captured mid-movement. Blur is the Black body in motion, both collectively and individually. The kinetic energy of the images suggests what you might miss in a blink of an eye -- a liveliness or restless motion beneath the surface.

For Brewster, born in Toronto to parents from the Caribbean, movement is many things. In these continuing times of anti-Black racist violence, movement demands we remember that change begins with political movements. The aesthetics of movement is also another way to think about migration, not as a fixed goal, but as a landing without destination (Brand, 2002). There is a potential to move forward, to return, to live in the “black and blur” between (Moten 2017), as an opening to other places. Take Kumina, a religious practice of Congolese origin practiced in Jamaica, where djembe drumbeats guide the dancers’ energetic and rhythmic motions. Miss Queenie, interviewed by scholar Maureen Warner-Lewis (1977), describes spirit possession in Kumina: “…is de ting dey call a spirit where you head ‘pin roun’ an’ you pupalick ‘pon you neck.” [Translation: is the thing they call a spirit where your head spins around and your neck does a somersault]. The kinaesthesia of Kumina is a re-orientation of the body. The spiritual possession of Kumina invoked in a ‘somersault of the neck’ suggests the power of inversions. These rapid movements and embodied connections to elsewhere are the product of diaspora and creolization. In the Caribbean, where cultures interact and – despite historical relations of dominance and subordination – potentially turn power relations upside down, orients us to the possibilities of something new. The submerged has the power to become subversive, as these gestural portraits suggests.

Similarly, the soft blurriness and timeless quality of Walk on by (recorded on a Super 8 Camera), of Black citizens simply walking in the everydayness of Toronto, implies not a recent arrival but long histories of presence that nonetheless require a navigation of invisible societal dynamics that shape movement and freedom.

Like Blur, The Smiths draws on the power of repetition. In the days of phone books, the last name Smith would be repeated in long columns, conjuring as Brewster states “sameness and invisibility.” In Untitled Smiths (Cold), multiples of Afro-silhouetted heads without faces, appear in a grid with the occasional pops of colour in clothing. In Untitled (Plain Black), the Smith characters become monotone, with white Afros and clothing, almost as if a photo negative image. Over top these white Smiths are two detailed images of young men in sports and hip hop inspired clothing from the 1980s, drawing on Brewster’s earlier portrait series Little Boy as well as Brewster’s concern for how young Black men are imaged in society. In Untitled (Whiteout), the Smiths are barely perceptible, almost completely whitewashed into the background. What are the disturbances in the embodied worlds of the Smiths (in North America) that requires Blackness to be assertive or to fade away?

Although Brewster’s art practice is grounded in the experiences of the Black diaspora, her work asks us all to interpret our own (perhaps insurgent) relations to other worlds, in the spirit and in the flesh.

Author: Nalini Mohabir

Nalini Mohabir is Assistant Professor of Postcolonial Geographies at Concordia University.

We would like to thank Georgia Scherman from Georgia Scherman Projects and Dr. Kenneth Montague from Ken Montague / The Wedge Collection.

PRESS RELEASE (pdf)



PRESS REVIEW

CHARRON, Marie-Ève. « Mouvantes identitées noires chez Optica », Le Devoir, March 20, 2021.

DELGADO, Jérôme. «Arts visuels: chanterons-nous avec les machines ?», Le Devoir, January 23, 2021.



Sandra Brewster is a visual artist based in Toronto. Her work explores identity, representation and memory, centering on Black presence. The daughter of Guyanese born parents, she is especially attuned to the experiences of people of Caribbean heritage and their ongoing relationships with back home.

Brewster’s work has been featured in solo exhibitions including the Art Gallery of Ontario, Agnes Etherington Art Centre in Kingston, Art Gallery of Guelph, Or Gallery in Vancouver, YYZ Artists’ Outlet and A Space Gallery in Toronto, and in group exhibitions including Mamuzic Gallery in Novi Sad (Serbia), Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, Arsenal Habana (Cuba), Dunlop Art Gallery in Regina, Lagos Photo Festival (Nigeria), Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Art Gallery of Windsor, and Allegheny Art Galleries in Meadville, PA (U.S.). Brewster’s exhibition It's all a blur… received the Gattuso Prize for outstanding featured exhibition in CONTACT Photography Festival 2017 in Toronto. In 2018, she was the recipient of the Artist Prize from Toronto Friends of the Visual Arts and was the year's artist-in-residence at the Art Gallery of Ontario. Brewster holds a Masters of Visual Studies from University of Toronto and a Bachelor of Fine Arts from York University. She is represented by Georgia Scherman Projects.




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Leila Zelli, Jim Holyoak
from March 13th 2021 to March 13th 2021
Nuit blanche à Montréal 2021 at OPTICA with Leila Zelli, Jim Holyoak

As part of Nuit blanche à Montréal 2021, OPTICA invites the general public of all ages to join us for a virtual and creative two-part workshop directed by artists Leila Zelli and Jim Holyoak. Come discover the art practices of these two contemporary artists who will guide you through a series of playful and whimsical drawing exercises (Holyoak) and introduce you to simple animation methods (Zelli).

Please note that the session with Jim Holyoak will be conducted primarily in English and the one with Leila Zelli in French.

The number of participants is limited, we therefore invite you to register for the event by sending an email to mediation@optica.ca

You will receive the Zoom link, ID, password to participate and the evening instructions.


Leila Zelli : www.leilazelli.com

Jim Holyoak : www.monstersforreal.com

PRESS RELEASE

LÉPINE, Philippe. « Voici à quoi ressemblera la Nuit Blanche 2021 », Huffingtonpost, March 8, 2021.

nuitblanche


Born in Tehran (Iran), Leila Zelli lives and works in Montreal. Zelli has completed a master's degree (2020) and a bachelor's degree (2016) in visual and media arts from UQAM. She is interested in the relationships that we have with the idea of “others” and “elsewhere ” and more specifically, within this geopolitical space often referred to by the questionable term of“ Middle East ”. Zelli's work has been the subject of exhibitions, notably at Galerie Bradley Ertaskiran, at the Conseil des arts de Montréal, at the Galerie de l'UQAM and at the Quebec Contemporary Art Fair. Her works are now part of the collection of the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, and the loan collection of the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec.

Jim Holyoak is originally from Aldergrove, British Columbia. He holds an MFA in visual arts from Concordia University (2011), a degree from Álfaskólinn, the Icelandic Elf School in Reykjavik, in Elf and Hidden people studies, and has studied ink wash painting in Yangshuo, China. His work has widely circulated in Canada, the United States, and Northern Europe, particularly at the bG Gallery (Santa Monica, California), Centre OPTICA (Montreal), at the Alternator Centre for Contemporary Art (Kelowna, BC), The Hive, (Los Angeles, California), Musée d’art contemporain des Laurentides (Saint-Jérôme), and at the Latvian Centre for Contemporary Art (Rīga, Latvia). His works are part of many Canadian collections as Artexte (Montréal), the Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal, the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec, the Royal Ontario Museum (Toronto), the Royal Bank of Canada. He is represented by McBride contemporain (Montréal) and bG Gallery (Los Angeles, California).



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Cynthia Girard-Renard, zine.

Cynthia Girard-Renard
from March 25th 2021 to April 15th 2021
Artist at school with Cynthia Girard-Renard

This spring 2021, during the months of March and April, two groups of grade 4 students from Saint-Arsène Elementary School (Rosemont-La Petite-Patrie) will participate in a series of creative workshops with artist Cynthia Girard-Renard. Over the course of the project, the students will be introduced to the artist’s practice and together they will undertake a series of drawing, painting and poetry exercises in order to collectively produce book-zines about different animals of Quebec.

For more information on the various activities, please contact Sandrine Côté: mediation @ optica.ca.

OPTICA's public education program beneficits from the OPTICA Fund. In 2021, it also receives support from the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec.




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Laura Acosta et Santiago Tavera,
The Novels of Elsgüer (Episode 4)
Camouflaged Screams
, 2020, installation multimédia et performance, dimensions variables. Avec l’aimable permission des artistes. | Multimedia installation
and performance, dimensions variable. Courtesy of the artists. © Cedric Laurenty.

Laura Acosta et Santiago Tavera
from April 17th 2021 to June 12th 2021
The Novels of Elsgüer (Episode 4): Camouflaged Screams

PUBLIC DISCUSSION Between Laura Acosta, Santiago Tavera and Shauna Janssen
Friday April, 23 6PM
- Live Streaming
FACEBOOK LIVE
or
ZOOM LIVE LINK

Camouflaged Screams - Immersive and Scenographic Constructions of Wilding

In Wild Things: the Disorder of Desire (2020), Jack Halberstam posits the notion of wildness as an index of “exclusion, a place of exile (…) simultaneously a chaotic force of nature, the outside of categorization, unrestrained forms of embodiment, the refusal to submit to social regulation, loss of control, the un-predictable.” [1]

Following Halberstam’s sense of wildness as a critical term, and wilding as a performative, with Camouflaged Screams Laura Acosta and Santiago Tavera’s latest immersive installation - part of a recurring narrative in their collaborative artworks that is deeply informed by their own personal and lived experiences as Canadian-Colombian immigrants - invites us to engage with aesthetics of camouflage to provoke critical reflection upon the processes by which humans adapt to their changing environments and deeply entangled survival with the epoch of the Anthropocene, planetary events, and ongoing ecological disasters.

Performance scholar Laura Levin, draws attention to camouflage not merely as a tactic for making oneself invisible, but rather as a process of “blending into the background” and as a potential site for political activism. [2] The political and critical remit of “background” in Camouflaged Screams, brings consciousness to the presence of bodies in more or less natural urban landscapes, rather than concealing or masking them; camouflage becoming a performative aesthetic from which to negotiate and adapt one’s ecological relationship to (un)natural environments. The use of large-scale panoramic video projections renders the camouflaged bodies as visible textile sculptures, but also as highly “performative body-object-events” [3] that simultaneously carry their own agency, temporality, and socioenvironmental meanings; transforming the ubiquitous white cube into a “space of pleasurable belwilderment [4]” and an environmentally charged scenographic construct.

With the use of motion sensors, the projected digital landscapes become an interface between the camouflaged bodies and viewers, inviting us to become intra-active participants and performers in constructing our own virtual relationship with narratives of “camouflage consciousness” [5] and wider body-socioenvironmental justice issues.


Author: Shauna Janssen

THE NOVELS OF ELSEWHERE
EPISODE 4
CAMOUFLAGED SCREAMS
Laura Acosta & Santiago Tavera

ABOUT THE PROJECT br>
The Novels of Elsewhere is a series of transdisciplinary installations that explore notions of representation and belonging through interactive and immersive digital environments, nonlinear storytelling, experimental soundscapes, textile sculptures and performance. Each installation of this body of work is referred to as an “episode.” Each “episode” is a site-specific exploration of technological setups, corporeal interactions, and inquiries about experiences of “the other.” Ultimately, this body of work invites viewers to experience a sense of dislocation in order to test the boundaries between body/environment, and viewer/performer.

Episode 4: Camouflaged Screams is is an interactive installation exploring the (a)symbiotic relationship between humans and the natural environment. This augmented experience incorporates large scale panoramic video projections of a recorded performance with textile pieces, along with motion sensors, enveloping soundscapes, lighting setups and sculptural elements. As the audience moves around the installation, their movements have the capacity to alter the images and sounds in the space, asking viewers to reflect on how their presence and actions have a direct effect on the environments that surround them.

Concept and Design: Laura Acosta & Santiago Tavera
Performers: Aizysse Baga, Samantha Blake, Alicia Kazobinka
Technical Director and Sensor Programming: Milton Riaño
Cinematographer: Cedric Laurenty
Sound Producer and Composer: AM DeVito
Production and Studio Assistants: Amelie Charbonneau, Francisco Gonzales-Rosas, Sunna Jóhannsdóttir, Abraham Mercado, Jamie Ross.


nuitblanche


1. Jack Halbertsam, “Wild Things: The Disorder of Desire.” Duke University Press, 2020: 3.
2. Laura Levin, “Performing Ground: Space, Camouflage, and the Art of Blending In.” Palgrave MacMillan, 2014.
3. Dorita Hannah, “Alarming the Heart : Costume as performative body-object-event.” Intellect Scene vol. 2, no. 1 and 2, 2014.
4. Halberstam, 10.
5. Levin, 170.

PRESS RELEASE (pdf)

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:

- reservations are mandatory for exhibition visits, 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!



Santiago Tavera and Laura Acosta (b. 1988, Bogota) are Colombian-Canadian artists based in Montréal. Their collaborative practice forges an intersection between Tavera’s investigation of virtual technologies and interactive environments in relation to the body, with Acosta’s exploration of performance through wearable textiles. Through this, they create site specific immersive experiences and expanded performances in which the audience questions their own position within a space. Their collaborative projects have been supported by the Canada Council for the Arts and Le Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec, and presented in Canada at MAI-Montréal, arts interculturels, Articule, and SUR Gallery, as well as Internationally at the International Images Festival of Manizales and the International Symposium on Electronic Art-ISEA.

Santiago Tavera constructs immersive and interactive installations that explore virtual narratives of dislocation and perception. In Tavera’s work, multimedia compositions of videos, 3D graphic animations, text, sound and reflective materials evoke experiences of physical, digital and queer processes of identification and representation. Tavera holds a Master of Fine Arts from Concordia University.

Laura Acosta creates surreal scenes that integrate improvised movement, textile structures and multimedia elements, as a way to explore themes of identity and displacement. She holds a Masters of Fine Arts in Fibres and Material studies from Concordia University, an interdisciplinary Bachelor in Fine Art from NSCAD University, and an advanced diploma in Fine Arts from Fanshawe College.

Shauna Janssen is an interdisciplinary curator of site-responsive, collaborative, multimedia and activist urban art projects. Since 2009, in Tiohtià:ke/ Montreal she has been commissioned to undertake artistic and curatorial public art projects for the Centre d’Histoire de Montréal, La Fonderie Darling, and has given talks and collaborated on numerous community-engaged events and cultural exchanges with institutions such as Mutek, Heritage Montréal, Montréal Arts Interculturel, the Canadian Centre for Architecture, Articule, the Atwater Library Digital Literacy Group, and the McCord Museum. Internationally Shauna has designed and curated installations for Città Invisibili (Fara Sabina, Italy, 2018), The Performance Arcade (Aotearoa/ New Zealand, 2020), and the XX Chilean Biennial of Architecture and Urbanism, Chile (2018), among others. Shauna is an assistant professor at Concordia University, where she has taught in Studio Arts, the Department of Art History, and currently teaches in the Department of Theatre.




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Charlotte Clermont, microsleeps, 2020,
photogramme : image numérique transférée sur 16mm, couleur. Avec l’aimable permission de l'artiste. | Videostill: Digital image transferred to 16mm, color.
Courtesy of the artist.

Charlotte Clermont
from April 17th 2021 to June 12th 2021

With a background in experimental film, Charlotte Clermont creates a dialogue between video and audio explorations to examine our perceptions of the real. The performative aspect of her practice, moved by a desire to transpose the illusiveness of lived moments, is embodied in her singular way of working with analogue recording devices. Using materials from her immediate environment, she works upon the chemical sensitivity of film through various alterations, while leaving a large place to chance. Her works testify to an intimate relationship with the materiality of the medium. Imbued with a sensuality and eroticism, they reveal a dissension among polarities by inscribing themselves in the interval between the accessible and inaccessible. These tensions arouse fantastical projections of the imminent, deployed on the porous boundary of the real, the proposed fragmentary combinations serving as points of entry into a precise spacetime that allows one to observe the fragility of ephemeral sensations. Woven of autofictional fragments, they draw on an intimate memory, mingling dreams and memories and de/sanctifying reminiscences. Clermont’s approach also borrows from musical codes, using rhythmical structures and leitmotifs to assemble textures and chromatic bursts that create a narrativity and semiology of the image. Her work generally develops an inherent, autonomous, and symbolically encoded metalanguage.

The installation microsleeps was shot in 16 mm and Super-8, then transposed to three digital channels, with soundtracks produced by Émilie Payeur, an experimental music and noise composer. Clermont uses, among other things, the technique of mordanting—a procedure that deteriorates the image by altering and lifting the film’s chemical emulsion—to fleetingly reveal the micromovements of various strata of pictorial composition. The sensations of immensity elicited by the captured places and moments permute randomly, giving substance to fleeting but pronounced states of being. The installation proposes a succession of latent universes, inscribed in the interstices of a moving present where states of intimacy and extimacy (Lacan) are intertwined. microsleeps reflects the plurality of “intra” and “extra” personal relationships of which we are composed and summons us to a remarkable encounter with them.

Author: Myriam Le Ber Assiani

Translator: Ron Ross

PRESS RELEASE (pdf)

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:

- reservations are mandatory for exhibition visits, 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!



Charlotte Clermont holds a bachelor’s in Studio Arts from Concordia University. She lives and works in Montreal. Her work has been presented in Canada and internationally in the framework of festivals and exhibitions, including the International Festival of Films on Art (Canada), Fracto (Germany), the Festival des cinémas différents et expérimentaux de Paris (France), IFF Rotterdam (Netherlands), Künstlerhaus Bethanian (Germany), CROSSROADS (United States), Arctic Moving Image and Film Festival (Norway), and the Edinburgh International Film Festival (Scotland). She was artist in residence at Studio Kura (Japan), Signal Culture (United States), Fusion Gallery (Italy), Shiro Oni (Japan), and Skaftfell (Iceland).

The artist wishes to dedicate microsleeps to Daniel Oxley and she warmly thanks for their support the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec, the Main Film artist centre, Vidéographe, OPTICA, Alexandre Brault, Charles-André Coderre, Jonathan Lachance, Émilie Payeur, Guillaume Vallée, Erin Weisgerber, and Big Dick Panther.

Myriam Le Ber Assiani is interested in risks and transformation as drivers of existence and resistence. Grounded in interdisciplinarity, her practice is articulated on the fringes of action art, video and sound arts, and installation. She holds BFA in theatre studies from UQAM and her works have been presented in Canada, the United States, and in Europe.




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Intersections, 2021.

Nouveau partenariat entre le Conseil des arts de Montréal, l'École des arts visuels et médiatiques de l'UQAM et OPTICA
from April 25th 2021 to May 31st 2022
Intersections - Research residency, creation and production_deadline: April 25, 2021 (Call in French only)

Nouveau partenariat entre le Conseil des arts de Montréal, l’École des arts visuels et médiatiques (ÉAVM) et OPTICA, centre d’art contemporain
APPEL DE CANDIDATURES


Date limite de dépôt: 25 avril 2021
Séance d'information virtuelle : 13 avril à 11h

Pour plus de renseignements, une séance d'information virtuelle aura lieu le 13 avril à 11h. Vous êtes invité.e à vous inscrire pour recevoir le lien Zoom d’ici le 11 avril à: intersections@uqam.ca

Le Conseil des arts de Montréal (CAM), le Centre d’art contemporain OPTICA et l’École des arts visuels et médiatiques (ÉAVM) de l’UQÀM 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 auront terminé leurs études ou seront prochainement diplômé.e.s de la maîtrise à l’ÉAVM.

Ce nouveau 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 pilote 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’ÉAVM 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; - avoir été diplômé du programme de maîtrise à l’ÉAVM entre 2017 et 2021;
- 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 2021 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'ÉAVM pour une durée d’un an; « sous toutes réserves d’approbation par les instances de l’UQAM – en processus »
- un accompagnement professionnel totalisant 60 heures par OPTICA (30h) et l’ÉAVM (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. 500 mots);
- une courte biographie (max. 100 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 25 avril 2021 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, une séance d'information virtuelle aura lieu le 13 avril à 11h. Vous êtes invité.e à vous inscrire pour recevoir le lien Zoom d’ici le 11 avril à: intersections@uqam.ca

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







MOMENTA | Biennale de l'image; Commissaire | Curator: Stefanie Hessel; Artiste à confirmer | Artists to confirm

from September 10th 2021 to October 23rd 2021
Sensing Nature

The 2021 edition of MOMENTA | Biennale de l’image, titled Sensing Nature, is informed by a desire to unsettle the divide between nature and its representation. The exhibitions will be guided by the works of artists deeply invested in decolonizing strategies and examining queer ecologies to reimagine environmental politics and notions of the natural. MOMENTA 2021 will work towards decentring the often-foregrounded Western human creator of knowledge about the natural world to make room for stories that dwell in the blurred boundaries between culture and nature, weaving in different forms of knowing, both human and nonhuman. Audacious and hopeful, these “other” stories propose a shift in perception toward the sensibility of earth systems as narrators of their own logic. In turning toward nature’s own enunciations, the biennale explores new, caring sensitivities.

Curator Stefanie Hessler will explore earth systems as narrators of their own logic. The exhibitions, the publication, and all of the activities for the public will be organized around this theme.



Stefanie Hessler (Germany) is a curator, writer, and editor. Her work focuses on interdisciplinary systems from an intersectional feminist perspective, with a focus on the ocean and other ecologies.




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Myriam Yates, Classic Playground, Upper West Side, Manhattan, NY, 2018, impression numérique, 35,56 x 53,34 cm. Avec l’aimable permission de l'artiste. | Digital print, 35,56 x 53,34 cm.
Courtesy of the artist.

Myriam Yates
from November 6th 2021 to December 18th 2021
Playgrounds

Myriam Yates is concerned with the relationship between places and their representation, often focused on modern sites or sites in transition, whose peculiar status raises questions about the relationship between the individual, modernity, and architecture. The artist subtly raises social and political issues that influence how we choose to promote or neglect spaces or divert them from their initial purpose. The photographic work in Playgrounds, centred around public gardens and children’s playgrounds, was produced during a stay in New York in fall 2018. Through this series, Yates questions the role played by free space in the city, notions of control, the rise of a certain conformity, and the appropriation of urban space.




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Gabriela Löffel, Performance, 2017-2018, installation vidéo, 2 canaux, haut-parleurs, 25 min. Avec l’aimable permission de l'artiste. | 2-Channel video installation, speakers, 25 min. Courtesy of the artist.

Gabriela Löffel
from November 6th 2021 to December 18th 2021
[Performance]

Gabriela Löffel’s practice is particularly concerned with those liminal areas in which meanings tend to shift. In her research, Löffel examines the systems and structures that govern the representation and interpretation of reality. With [Performance], a two-channel video projection, she analyzes the audio recording of a presentation given by the technical director of a Homeland Security corporation. This work deconstructs the spoken form and content of the speech to bring out the productive and rhetorical procedures of a language that effectively serves to advance economic and political interests. Here it is a question of examining the process of optimization and appropriation in public speech.




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Caroline Cloutier, Trois plis noirs, 2020. Avec l'aimable permission de l'artiste | Courtesy of the artist.

Caroline Cloutier
from January 22nd 2022 to March 19th 2022

Caroline Cloutier is pursuing her research on spatial practices in photography. Integrated into the architecture of the places they have invested, these installations demonstrate extensions of the photographic device that specifically address the modes of interaction between image, space, and perception. Using a formalistic approach, coupled with a spare and minimal construction, Cloutier modulates and opens the space by using the artifice of lighting and mirrors to create virtual passages and trompe-l’oeil illusions. She thus produces a mise en abîme of the mechanics of the exhibition. Her new series attests to reflections based on spatial constructions, combining interlocking spaces, off-camera activation, and plays of perspectives.

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.

PRESS REVIEW

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




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Olivia Boudreau, L’étang, la nuit, 2020. Vidéo, 14 min 34 s | video, 14 min. 34 sec.
Avec l'aimable permission de l'artiste | Courtesy of the artist.

Olivia Boudreau
from January 22nd 2022 to March 19th 2022
Haut voltage

Offering experiences that engage visitors in slowness and duration, Olivia Boudreau’s practice places great importance on the representation of the female body in performance. This temporality establishes a presence that prompts a reconsideration of our relationship to the moving image. With Haut voltage, Boudreau initiates a new creative cycle, focused on the theme of reconciliation, reparations, and restoration. According to the artist, “this is probably the most important gesture we have to make at this time. The idea is expressed as much in the everyday life of our objects as in the need to rethink our relationship to the other and to the world.” Boudreau plans to produce a video installation in the form of a shot-sequence that unfolds over time, along with a performance based on a protocol by which each performer depends on the other to ensure their own well-being and safety.