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2018 - 2019

Programming

Maryse Larivière
from September 7th 2018 to October 20th 2018

Paul Litherland, Monique Moumblow
from September 7th 2018 to October 20th 2018

Maryse Larivière
from October 13th 2018 to October 13th 2018

Paul Litherland, Monique Moumblow
from October 20th 2018 to October 20th 2018

Artiste à l'école | Artist at School
from November 1st 2018 to December 13th 2018

Geneviève Chevalier
from November 10th 2018 to December 15th 2018

Virginie Laganière
from November 10th 2018 to December 15th 2018

Le Prisme, livre d'artiste de Virginie Laganière | The Prism, artist's book of Virginie Laganière
from November 10th 2018 to December 15th 2018

Bord d’attaque/ Bord de fuite, livre d'artiste de Geneviève Chevalier | Leading Edge/ Trailing Edge, artist's book of Geneviève Chevalier
from November 10th 2018 to December 15th 2018

Les Samedis ensemble en familles | Saturdays with the Family
from November 17th 2018 to December 15th 2018

Geneviève Chevalier, Bénédicte Ramade, Kyle Elliot
from December 1st 2018 to December 1st 2018

Juan Ortiz-Apuy
from January 19th 2019 to March 16th 2019

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

Les Samedis ensemble en familles | Los Sabados juntos en familia en español y portugués |
Saturdays with the Family

from January 26th 2019 to March 16th 2019

Zoë Chan_The Players
from January 31st 2019 to March 2nd 2019

Théâtre d’ombres avec Pavitra Wickramansinghe | Shadows theater with Pavitra Wickramansinghe
from February 1st 2019 to April 30th 2019

Juan Ortiz-Apuy
from March 2nd 2019 to March 3rd 2019

Pavitra Wickramasinghe et les souriceaux
from March 14th 2019 to May 17th 2019

Avec / With Sophie Bélair Clément, Rebecca Belmore, Olivia Boudreau, Marie-Claude Bouthillier, Marie-Ève Charron, Sorel Cohen, Raphaëlle de Groot, Philippe Dumaine, Vera Frenkel, Andrea Geyer, Cynthia Girard-Renard, Clara Gutsche, Rashid Johnson, Marie-Josée Lafortune, Suzy Lake, arkadi lavoie lachapelle, Maryse Larivière, Emmanuelle Léonard, Deirdre Logue, Allyson Mitchell, Wanda Nanibush, Abdi Osman, Camal Pirbhai, Claire Savoie, Johanne Sloan, Jana Sterbak, Thérèse St-Gelais, Camille Turner, Rinaldo Walcott, Giovanna Zapperi.
from March 15th 2019 to March 23rd 2019

Adam Basanta
from April 13th 2019 to June 15th 2019

Jo-Anne Balcaen
from April 13th 2019 to June 15th 2019

Adam Basanta, Eli Kerr
from May 25th 2019 to May 25th 2019

Les Samedis ensemble en familles |
Saturdays with the Family

from June 15th 2019 to June 15th 2019

Programme éducatif public | Public Educational Program | 2019- 2020
from September 7th 2019 to July 13th 2020

Miguel Angel Ríos
from September 7th 2019 to October 19th 2019

Batia Suter
from September 7th 2019 to October 19th 2019

Les Samedis ensemble en familles |
Saturdays with the Family

from September 14th 2019 to October 19th 2019

Shannon Cochrane
from November 9th 2019 to December 14th 2019

Claudia Bernal, Christine Brault, Constanza Camelo, Livia Daza-Paris, Maria Ezcurra, Helena Martin Franco, Giorgia Volpe
Commissaire | Curator : Nuria Carton de Grammont

from January 18th 2020 to March 14th 2020

Scott Benesiinaabandan
from April 11th 2020 to June 13th 2020




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Maryse Larivière, Under the Cave of Winds, 2017.
Film 16mm avec son, 4 minutes 3 secondes | 16mm film with sound, 4 minutes 3 secondes. Avec l'aimable permission de l'artiste | Courtesy of the artist

Maryse Larivière
from September 7th 2018 to October 20th 2018
Under the Cave of Winds

Opening, Friday, September 7, 2018 - 6PM

Family Saturdays: September 15 and October 20, 2018

In her poetry and in essays of an often fictionalized autobiographical nature, Maryse Larivière puts her own voice on the line by going beyond oppositions between affective lived experience and the symbolic construction of sexual difference. Under the guise of research in art history, Larivière also produces analyses of artistic practices of the 1970s-among them Joyce Wieland-that were contemporary with the emergence of women's writing in the literary field. The epistolary novel Orgazing, one component of her installation at OPTICA, Under the Cave of Winds, continues with her own practice of assembling referential fragments in a mix of stylistic modes (poetry, theory, autobiography). The action is set on Staffa Island, Scotland. From her cell at the top of Fingal’s Cave, the narrator writes letters to her lover, weaving an amorous discourse that places the auditory pleasures of language before recognition of one’s desire by the “other.” As readers, we adopt the role of the hypothetical—and apparently male—subject addressed by the author, while remaining a third party, outside the transference relationship. Yet the exhibition encourages transgressive gestures in the literary space by way of an intentionally inadequate “adaptation” of the book. Thus, a 16-mm film strings together narrative fragments drawn from a breakdown of this “source text.” The artist plays the figure of the captive author, though she avoids showing her face, while the craggy landscape and architecture of confinement make surreptitious appearances. Saturating the cinematic apparatus, the scene of the writing, and the space in which we are strolling, the sculptures act as hinges or pivots. Some have a dissimulative function, like the rock that hides the film projector and thus emits a single beam of light, while the back of the screen becomes a load-bearing structure for an absent parrot. Yet these apparently motionless markers also change shape during our visit. In the parallax, their configuration alludes at once to the translation process Larivière undertook in composing Orgazing (English not being her mother tongue) and to the fluid movements of the character’s psyche as she invents her own language, made up as much of words uttered as of air exhaled.

Author: Vincent Bonin

Vincent Bonin is a writer and curator. He lives in Montreal. He has recently published D’un discours qui ne serait pas du semblant/Actors, Networks, Theories, Dazibao, Leonard & Bina Ellen Art Gallery, Montreal.

Public reading of the book Orgazing at OPTICA, Friday, September 7 - 7PM

Maryse Larivière, Orgazing, Calgary, Untitled Art Society, 2017, 64p.
Epistolary novella, prose and poetry
Available at OPTICA, 20$.

PRESS RELEASE (pdf)




Maryse Larivière is a researcher, author, and artist. She lives in Montreal. She has exhibited at Walter Philips Gallery, The Banff Centre, AB, Oakville Galleries, and galerie Division, in Montreal.




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Paul Litherland, Running, 1996.
Image tirée de la vidéo | Video Still | Photo: Deb VanSlet

Paul Litherland, Monique Moumblow
from September 7th 2018 to October 20th 2018

Opening, Friday, September 7, 2018- 6PM

Family Saturdays: September 15 and October 20, 2018

“It’s all life until death”
Grace Paley

The experiences we render into story are integral parts of who we become. Yet some stories remembered are more significant than others. These stories are often comprised of “vital memories” (Brown and Leavy) that recall a moment of drama or trauma in a life. Vital stories are not always coherent, or consistent. We may tell them slightly differently, only recall fragments, or embellish. Although we may share them with others, we may also repress or forget details over time.

47 Storeys is one such vital story. In 1996 Paul Litherland went to a bar at the top of a very tall building, drank a beer, waited until the other patrons and staff left, then parachuted into the night-time sky, landing safely on the street to the astonishment of two late-night revelers. Three months after the jump, afraid of forgetting significant details, Paul commemorated his adventure to video. 20 years later Paul revisits the event with Monique Moumblow. They re-edit the original 43 minute tape down to 11 minutes. Paul then attempts to re-enact his original mediated performance. On one screen we see Paul who sits, listens to himself through headphones, and speaks over his original narrative. On a second screen Paul attempts to duplicate his original performance word-for-word and gesture-by-gesture. On the third screen is the edited original. These three different renditions of the tale, from 3 different moments in time, are almost the same, but they never perfectly align. No matter how much we practice, the story is never exactly as it was.

47 Storeys is a brilliant and slightly comedic rendition of the “performative act of memory-making”(Kuhn). Narrating the past re-activates and catapults memories into the present, often with the help of souvenirs such as the video-tape and parachute equipment that Paul still keeps in his care. Paul’s fumbling narrative recollections lay bare this performative process of memory-making as past and present collide in a single temporal moment superbly visualized in this 3 channel video.

In the re-telling of this vital story grey-haired, bespectacled Paul moves in imperfect harmony with his former self. This temporal collision invites reflection upon both memory re-enactments, story-telling and the vagaries of ageing: “the permanently fluctuating relationships between younger and older selves” (Segal). We see, hear and feel these fluctuations, experiencing a vertigo of narrative mediation: Paul’s post-hoc memory is rendered into story and captured on video tape, which is then digitally remastered in the present for the future. It is the absence of documentation of the original event –no pictures, photos or go-pro video–that makes the re-telling of the story so necessary and so compelling. Thankfully, Paul lived to tell the tale, again and again.

Author: Kim Sawchuk

Kim Sawchuk est professeure et directrice de Ageing-Communication-Technologies (www.actproject.ca), Université Concordia.


Director: Monique Moumblow
Performer: Paul Litherland
Camera 1996 et 2016: Deb VanSlet
Performance Coach: Alexis O’Hara
Sound Mix: Steve Bates
Translation of the video: Jo-Anne Balcaen
Text: Kim Sawchuk
Video synchronizer: Nelson Henricks
Location: Maerin Hunting
Equipment Loan: Frederick Masson
Painting: Karen Elaine Spencer
Team at OPTICA: Esther Bourdages, Philippe Chevrette, Marie-Josée Lafortune
Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec
Concordia University Part-time Faculty Association
Nicole Gingras
Lorraine Oades
Yudi Sewraj
Karen Trask

Performance of Paul Litherland at OPTICA, Saturday, October 20, 2018
PRESS RELEASE (pdf)




Monique Moumblow is a video artist and a fan of spectacular storeys.

Paul Litherland is a gentleman adventurer, a closet scuba diver in a room full of wingsuiters.




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Maryse Larivière
from October 13th 2018 to October 13th 2018
Public reading of the book Orgazing at OPTICA

Friday, September 7 - 7PM and Saturday, October 13, at 3PM.
Maryse Larivière, Orgazing, Calgary, Untitled Art Society, 2017, 64p.
Epistolary novella, prose and poetry
Available at OPTICA, 20$.

Orgazing is an epistolary novella set on the remote Scottish island of Staffa. A woman, held captive in an institution built atop Fingal’s Cave, addresses her beloved about their failed revolution, her attempt to transform writing into telepathic singing, and her effort to develop this mode of communication while incarcerated. Shifting between prose and poetry, word and birdsong, Orgazing explores the limits of body and voice, articulating an unsettled longing for metamorphosis. The themes explored in the artist’s book Orgazing include the sinuous paths of feminine desire, the wandering fluxes of nature and culture, and the concerted and agential relationship between mind and body in the making and thinking of art.




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Paul Litherland, Monique Moumblow, 47 Storeys, 2018. Installation vidéo à 3 canaux, son, circa 10 min.
Paul Litherland, Monique Moumblow, 47 Storeys, 2018. Three-channel video installation, sound, circa 10 min.
Crédit | Credit: Paul Litherland.



Paul Litherland, Monique Moumblow
from October 20th 2018 to October 20th 2018

Next Saturday October 20th, performance of Paul Litherland from 4PM to 5PM_the artist completes the cycle!


As part of his exhibition at OPTICA in collaboration with Monique Moumblow, Paul Litherland presents a performance that sheds light around the jump.
Closing Performance - the complete story of the jump!!

Paul Litherland:"22 years ago, I jumped from a building without a camera, but with a parachute. A few months later, wanting to have some kind of document, I made a video recording of the story. 20 years later, I repeat the process. In collaboration with Monique Moumblow, we present the premiere of the work 47 Storeys, a video installation about memory, age, and technology".

Public live feed of Paul Litherland performance.


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Atelier des élèves de 5e et 6e année à l’école Saint-Enfant-Jésus (Mile End) sur une proposition de Leisure | Workshop of students
in grade 5 and 6 at Saint-Enfant-Jésus
Elementary School (Mile End) - Leisure's proposal | Photo : Paul Litherland

Artiste à l'école | Artist at School
from November 1st 2018 to December 13th 2018
Workshop of students in grade 5 and 6 of Saint-Enfant-Jésus Elementary School (Mile End) - Leisure's proposal

Obstacle course is a multi-session workshop that revolves around the idea of obstacles: What are obstacles? What are creative ways for overcoming them? How might negotiating a complex and risky path around an obstacle lead to a more interesting outcome? Framed by examples of contemporary art works that deal with these ideas, students work collaboratively to plan and construct their own sculptural version of an obstacle. In the final workshop of the series, the students combine their sculptures to create an obstacle “course” or path for their fellow students to engage with. In this way the workshop engages ideas of collaboration and communication, 2D to 3D construction, spatial awareness and installation art practice.

PRESS REVIEW

SANDALS, Leah. "On Laundry, Playgrounds, Kids and Other Lost Art Legacies", Canadianart Magazine, interview with Leisure, Decembre 4, 2018.

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Leisure is a Montreal-based collaborative art practice between Meredith Carruthers (1975) and Susannah Wesley (1976) founded in 2004. They have produced exhibitions and special projects in Canada and abroad, and participated in residencies in St. John’s (The Rooms, Newfoundland, 2016); Dawson City (KIAC, Yukon, 2010); Vienna (Kunstverein das weisse haus, Austria, 2008) and Banff (Banff Centre for the Arts, AB, 2007). Their recent projects include: How One Becomes What One Is (Musée d’art de Joliette, 2018), Conversation with Magic Forms (Vu Photo, 2017), Panning for Gold/Walking You Through It (Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal, 2017), Conversations With Magic Stones as part of The Let Down Reflex (EFA, New York, 2016) and Dualité/Dualité (Artexte, Montreal, 2015).




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Geneviève Chevalier, Bord d'attaque / Bord de fuite - Leading Edge / Trailing Edge, 2018.
Image tirée du carnet. Impression jet d'encre sur papier coton, 43,18 X 60,96 cm.
| Still from the booklet. Inkjet printing on cotton
paper, 43,18 X 60,96 cm. Avec l'aimable permission de l'artiste | Courtesy of the artist



Geneviève Chevalier
from November 10th 2018 to December 15th 2018
Leading Edge/ Trailing Edge

Opening, Saturday, November 10, 2018 - 3PM to 6PM

Saturday with the Family: November 17 and December 15, 2018

Since the publication of J.J. Audubon’s Birds of America in 1838, bird populations have constantly decreased, for some to the point of extinction. They are now but paper memories and preserved bodies in natural history museums. Artist Geneviève Chevalier tracked one species that has acclimatized and adjusted remarkably well to climate change. The “fou de Bassan,” or Northern Gannet, chose to make its home on craggy cliffs of Bonaventure island, where its colony of 100,000 individuals faces some reproductive issues, and on Bass Rock, off the coast of Scotland, which has a more prosperous population. The Gannet succeeds where many other species have great difficulty enduring the impact of climate variations on food and water and air temperatures. Chevalier observed these specimens in their habitat and met with scholars in Quebec and Scotland. What she learned is reconstituted in a video diptych and artist book, the titles of which conjure a world of aeronautics.

This Anthropocene era, in which man has become the most powerful of disruptive geological forces, has ushered in the Sixth Extinction event. The previous one, in the Cretaceous period, had, among other things, eradicated the dinosaurs. But the most devastating, dubbed the Great Dying, took place at the end of the Permian period; it resembled the current one in that it, too, was due to climate changes. Humanity had no part to play in that extinction, which stretched over a long period. But today the problem is exponential. The artist observes its collateral damage on the seabirds. The impact of current civilizations on wild flora and fauna also requires adjustments in how extinct species are collected. Now even animals impacted by oil spills are worthy of conservation, according to Bob McGowan, curator of bird collections at Edinburgh, as he confides with the artist in a section of her book, an essential counterpoint to the film. What was the cause of death for these bodies meticulously labelled and preserved in environmentally controlled chambers? Chevalier’s film prompts as many questions as it provides answers. The remains still have something to say, despite their silence. The film, too, is overcome with silence, the loop coming full circle, though not quite the same. Experts’ voices start to fade, subtly reflecting the difficulty in being heard, an auditory attrition of ecosystems, an extinction that devastates animal populations. More than ever then, Bass Rock, which dominates the view in Leading Edge/ Trailing Edge, takes the appearance of a fortification, a bastion of resistence, an outcrop of stability in this environmental debacle.

Author: Bénédicte Ramade

Bénédicte Ramade is an art historian specialized in ecological questions. She is currently conducting research on the anthropocenization of knowledge and art practices. She is an independent curator and art critic and a lecturer at Université de Montréal.

Public conversation at OPTICA, Saturday, December 1st, 3 pm to 4:30 pm between Geneviève Chevalier, Bénédicte Ramade (Université de Montréal) and Kyle Elliott (McGill University).

PRESS RELEASE (pdf)


PRESS REVIEW

RICHARD, Camille (2019). « Geneviève Chevalier : Bord d’attaque/ Bord de fuite », Espace art actuel. no. 122, spring-summer, pp. 83-84.

MAVRIKAKIS, Nicolas. «Sur le radar : la nature des chose au Centre Optica», Le Devoir, December 14, 2018.

MAVRIKAKIS, Nicolas. «Les arts visuels sous le signe de l’engagement», Le Devoir, August, 25 and 26, 2018.



Geneviève Chevalier was a CALQ artist-in-residence at the Centre for Contemporary Arts, Glasgow, in 2017, the context in which the work was produced. Her work has been exhibited at the Musée régional de Rimouski, the Symposium de Baie-Saint-Paul, the Musée de Lachine, La Chambre Blanche at Manif d’art 7, and the Thames Art Gallery, Ontario. She lives and works in Eastman, Quebec.




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Virginie Laganière, Ex colonie marine Rosa Maltoni Mussolini, Calambrone (Italie), 2018.
Image tirée de la vidéo | Video still
Avec l'aimable permission de l'artiste | Courtesy of the artist

Virginie Laganière
from November 10th 2018 to December 15th 2018

Opening, Saturday, November 10, 2018 - 3PM to 6PM

Saturdays with the Family: November 17 and December 15

In her sustained residency work, Virginie Laganière adopts an attitude akin to that of an anthropological artist, mindful of immersing herself in the material and emotional texture of the spaces she studies. She conducts field work in which architectural structures in need of redefinition reveal an abundance of current and future potentialities. Developed during a stay at Studio du Québec à Rome, Le Prisme furthers this endeavour by dwelling on the formal and ideological universe of the colonie marine, or Italian seaside colonies.

In the first period of their existence, beginning in the mid nineteenth century, these colonies were health-care facilities meant for children with TB. Ideally located on the coast, their tended cure was based on the purported benefits of sunlight and saline air. Under Mussolini’s reign, their purpose shifts toward indoctrination as they take on the aspect of somewhat militaristic summer camps. Often borrowing from the stylistic vocabulary of the ocean liner and deeply influenced by modernist architectural principles, the imposing buildings convey Party values and constitute veritable spatial instruments for influencing children’s behaviour. After World War II, the seaside colonies eventually establish a pedagogical vocation aiming to promote individual and collective emancipation through non-hierarchical learning activities. Some, in fact, have since been transformed into schools. Most, however, are in a state of neglect, still overlooking the sea, their great carcases strangely punctuating the landscape around seaside towns.

Juxtaposing documentary and fictional fragments, Laganière proposes a free interpretation of the legacies of these heterotopias. Arranged with photographs, videos, low reliefs, small constructions, and even a light, aromatic mist, the exhibition space creates a total environment inspired by what the seaside colonies had once been. The outcome is less a commentary on their controversial past than a subtle look at current issues, in particular with respect to the practices of mass tourism: the accelerated privatization of the coastline and the impact of massive summertime migrations on local communities.

Author: Josianne Poirier

Josianne Poirier is a doctoral student in art history. Her research concerns the fantastical nature of city lights.

PRESS RELEASE (pdf)


PRESS REVIEW

MAVRIKAKIS, Nicolas. «Sur le radar : la nature des chose au Centre Optica», Le Devoir, December 14, 2018.

The DHC/ART Foundation recommends the exhibition of Virginie Laganière: The Prism as part of the DHC/ART Foundation newsletter of December 10, 2018 untitled "This winter at DHC/ART".

L’HEUREUX, Chantal. «Vernissages/événements arts visuels autres du 3 au 9 décembre 2018», Magazine radio In situ, Radio Centre-Ville, CINQ FM - Radio Centre Ville 102.3 FM, December 5, 2018.

MAVRIKAKIS, Nicolas. «Les arts visuels sous le signe de l’engagement», Le Devoir, August 25 and 26, 2018.



With an MFA from UQAM, Virgine Laganière lives and works in Montreal. Her works have been exhibited in Canada, Mexico, Spain, Finland, Japan, and Switzerland. In winter 2019, partnering with Jean-Maxime Dufresne, she will take part in a group exhibition presented at Gallery de l’UQAM.




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Virginie Laganière
Le Prisme, 2018.
Livre d’artiste.
Avec l'aimable permission de l'artiste | The Prism, 2018. Artist's book. Courtesy of the artist

Le Prisme, livre d'artiste de Virginie Laganière | The Prism, artist's book of Virginie Laganière
from November 10th 2018 to December 15th 2018
Publication available at OPTICA

The Italian colonie marine—or seaside colonies, children’s summer camps set up along the Italian coasts—whose origins go back to the middle of the 19th century, were once established as institutions dedicated to children’s physical and “spiritual” health. These heterotopias functioned on the fringes of society, yet were configured as full-fledged instruments of control. Geographically positioned on the periphery of inhabited areas—before urban sprawl and the development of coastal tourism—they had their own regulations and value systems. The maritime cures took place during a summer vacation, in which the children, removed from the familial cocoon, would live in a geographic, social, and architectural environment framed by the horizon and set to a different temporality. From a historical point of view, the seaside colonies fall into three main periods: the seaside hospices, the Fascist colonies, and the pedagogical colonies.

Virginie Laganière
The Prism, 2018
Artist' book, $10
ISBN 978-2-9817858-0-0
© Virginie Laganière

The publication, produced in collaboration with the TagTeam studio, is composed of three booklets each corresponding to a period of the Italian marine colonies (60 pages). It includes text and images of the artist.

Congratulations to Virginie Laganière and TagTeam Studio! A 2019 Grafika Prize for the publication produced in conjunction with The Prism exhibition at OPTICA on November-December 2018.


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Geneviève Chevalier
Bord d’attaque/ Bord de fuite, 2018.
Livre d’artiste.
Avec l'aimable permission de l'artiste | Leading Edge/ Trailing Edge, 2018. Artist's book. Courtesy of the artist

Bord d’attaque/ Bord de fuite, livre d'artiste de Geneviève Chevalier | Leading Edge/ Trailing Edge, artist's book of Geneviève Chevalier
from November 10th 2018 to December 15th 2018
Publication available at OPTICA

While filming and sound recording in Scotland (Ailsa Craig, Bass Rock, Isle of May, Outer Hebrides, Troup Head) during a residency at the Centre for Contemporary Arts in Glasgow, and in Eastern Quebec (Parc national de l’Île-Bonaventure-et-du-Rocher-Percé, Parc national Forillon), I became interested in the North Sea and North Atlantic Seabirds. The video Leading Edge / Trailing Edge loosely evokes, through seascapes, portraits of birds and recent scientific data, the actual situation of boreal seabird species, in the era of climate change.

Geneviève Chevalier
Leading Edge/ Trailing Edge, 2018
Artist’s book
$20
ISBN 978-1-7752726-0-1
© Geneviève Chevalier

A book produced in collaboration with Principal Studio, presents a series of booklets showing photographs of birds and landscapes, as well as specimens and images from scientific collections and scientific publications.

Congratulations to Geneviève Chevalier and graphic designer Principal! A 2019 Grafika Prize for the publication produced in conjunction with Bord d'attaque / Bord de fuite exhibition presented at OPTICA on November-December 2018.


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Esther B., Sans titre, 2018. Photographie numérique, taille variable. | Digital Photography, variable size.

Les Samedis ensemble en familles | Saturdays with the Family
from November 17th 2018 to December 15th 2018
Trekking with the Birds! Around the work of Geneviève Chevalier

Geneviève Chevalier’s Trailing Edge/ Leading Edge looks at how climate change threatens the survival of seabirds. In this collage workshop, we will look at different birds form North America and explore the theme of migration. Where do they go, where do they come from? We will create a collaborative artwork tracing different trajectories, from those of birds to our own.

Practical Information
November 17, 2018
December 15, 2018
1 PM to 4 PM

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

NEW: also offered in Spanish and Portuguese

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Geneviève Chevalier, Bord d'attaque / Bord de fuite - Leading Edge / Trailing Edge, 2018. Image tirée de la vidéo, dimensions variables. | Video Still, variable size. Avec l'aimable permission de l'artiste
| Courtesy of the artist

Geneviève Chevalier, Bénédicte Ramade, Kyle Elliot
from December 1st 2018 to December 1st 2018
Public Conversation at OPTICA, Saturday, December 1st- 3 pm to 4:30 pm

Public conversation at OPTICA, Saturday December 1st, 3 pm to 4:30 pm on climate changes and relation between art and science with Geneviève Chevalier, *Bénédicte Ramade, art historian, Université de Montréal, and **Kyle Elliott, Assistant Professor; Canada Research Chair (Tier II) Chair in Arctic Ecology, McGill University.

*Bénédicte Ramade is an art historian specialized in ecological questions. She is currently conducting research on the anthropocenization of knowledge and art practices. She is an independent curator and art critic and a lecturer at Université de Montréal.

**Kyle Elliott received his PhD in 2014 from the University of Manitoba, where he was a Vanier Scholar and Garfield-Weston Fellow. He received his two BSc’s in Physics & Math and Conservation Biology from UBC, followed by a MSc at the University of Manitoba. He completed NSERC postdoctoral research at the University of Western Ontario and the University of Guelph prior to starting at McGill in 2015. Kyle recently received the Ned Johnston Young Investigator Award from the American Ornithologists Union. He serves on the board of the Society of Canadian Ornithologists and on the Editorial Board of the Marine Ecology Progress Series. He has conducted research on four continents from the Amazon to the Arctic, but specializes in the Canadian Arctic where he has studied birds on 14 of the islands in the Canadian Archipelago over the past 15 years. The sustainability of Arctic communities depends on their access to clean and abundant food, which is the subject of Dr. Elliott’s research at McGill.




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



Juan Ortiz-Apuy
from January 19th 2019 to March 16th 2019

Opening, Saturday, January 19, 2019 - 3PM to 6PM
Saturday with the Family: January 26 and March 16, 2019.
“Ortiz-Apuy’s installation is certainly a gesture to the invisible forms of labour and care that drive artist-run spaces: moving like cycles of evaporated water, infinitely extracted and re-released in the air.” Sanader, Daniella. “Room Temperature.” Canadian Art, Fall 2018, p. 144-145.

In La Guaria Morada, tropical orchids, an industrial humidifier, dehumidifiers and sky-blue paint are assembled to form an artificial environment in a perpetual state of negotiation and precarity. Dependent on the gallery’s lighting, heating system and staff to sustain them, the orchids parallel not only the art object—maintained via mechanisms that aim to foster and nourish artistic practice—but artist-run centres as well, equally requiring perpetual effort and negotiation in order to survive.

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

Juan Ortiz-Apuy

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

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

PRESS RELEASE (pdf)


REVUE DE PRESSE

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



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




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



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

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

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

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

Author: Esther Bourdages

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

PRESS RELEASE (pdf)


PRESS REVIEW

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



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




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

Les Samedis ensemble en familles | Los Sabados juntos en familia en español y portugués |
Saturdays with the Family

from January 26th 2019 to March 16th 2019
The Magic of Orchids! Around the work of Juan Ortiz-Apuy

En un ambiente tropical, los asistentes serán invitados a explorar las diferentes especies de orquídeas, a identificar sus particularidades y a reflexionar sobre el concepto de ecosistema, gracias a un taller de creación con las dos mediadoras culturales. Podrán fabricar sus propias flores a partir de diferentes papeles, inspirándose en orquídeas de diversos orígenes. Al familiarizarse con las diferentes especies existentes, sus hábitats naturales y artificiales, los participantes serán instados a establecer una relación con las nociones de biodiversidad y de ecosistema, a reconocer su importancia para el medio ambiente y la necesidad de preservarlos para nuestro futuro.

Informaciones prácticas
16 de marzo de 2019
1 PM a 4 PM
Gratis | Sin reserva Niños de 4 años en adelante
Duración : 1 h15 min

NUEVO : también disponible en español y portugués


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

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

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

NEW: also offered in Spanish and Portuguese

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

Zoë Chan_The Players
from January 31st 2019 to March 2nd 2019
New independant book available at OPTICA

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

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

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




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

Théâtre d’ombres avec Pavitra Wickramansinghe | Shadows theater with Pavitra Wickramansinghe
from February 1st 2019 to April 30th 2019
NEW! Satellite project with the little ones at La Sourithèque

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

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

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

www.souritheque.com

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




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

Juan Ortiz-Apuy
from March 2nd 2019 to March 3rd 2019
Nuit Blanche : La magie des orchidées! con Juan Ortiz-Apuy

Aunado a la exposición La Guaria Morada de Juan Ortiz-Apuy, presentada en OPTICA del 19 enero al 16 de marzo 2019, el evento « La magie des orchidées » le brinda a los jóvenes visitantes y a sus familias la oportunidad de descubrir la instalación en presencia del artista y de las mediadoras culturales del centro.

Visita comentada por el artista en español a las 20h Y en inglés a las 22h

La exposición La Guaria Morada de Juan Ortiz-Apuyintroduce orquídeas tropicales, un humificador industrial ultrasónico y deshumificadores con el fin de crear un ambiente artificial en un estado de negociación y de precariedad perpetua. Dicha instalación, cuyo verdadero ecosistema frágil se centra alrededor de la flor nacional de Costa Rica, hace referencia al país natal del artista y remite a las situaciones dadas en condiciones tan inciertas y vulnerables. Dependiendo de la iluminación de la galería y del personal necesario para su mantenimiento, las orquídeas se asemejan al objeto de arte, mantenidas por sistemas destinados para favorecer y nutrir la práctica artística.

Además de poder beneficiar de la presencia del artista en la galería de 19h a 22h en un ambiente tropical, los asistentes serán invitados a explorar las diferentes especies de orquídeas, a identificar sus particularidades y a reflexionar sobre el concepto de ecosistema, gracias a un taller de creación con las dos mediadoras culturales. Podrán fabricar sus propias flores a partir de diferentes papeles, inspirándose en orquídeas de diversos orígenes.

Al familiarizarse con las diferentes especies existentes, sus hábitats naturales y artificiales, los participantes serán instados a establecer una relación con las nociones de biodiversidad y de ecosistema, a reconocer su importancia para el medio ambiente y la necesidad de preservarlos para nuestro futuro. El taller se llevará a cabo de manera continua hasta 1 AM. Se les servirán jugos y frutas a los noctámbulos. Esta actividad está particularmente destinada a un público joven y a sus familias, pero podrá ser adoptada a todas las edades.


Part of the exhibition "La Guaria Morada" by Juan Ortiz-Apuy, presented at OPTICA from January 19 to March 16, 2019, the event "The magic of orchids" offers to young visitors and their families the opportunity to discover the installation in the presence of the artist and the cultural mediators of the center.

Visit commented by the artist in Spanish at 8 pm and in English at 10pm.

Juan Ortiz-Apuy’s exhibition La Guaria Morada uses tropical orchids, dehumidifiers, and an ultrasound industrial humidifier to create an artificial environment in a constant state of negotiation and precariousness. Centred on Costa Rica’s national flower, the installation—a truly fragile ecosystem—refers to the artist’s home country and to situations caught in conditions as uncertain as they are vulnerable. Dependent on gallery lighting and the staff required for its maintenance, the orchids are like art objects, which are maintained by systems that favour and sustain artistic practices.

In addition to enjoying the presence of the artist in gallery from 19h to 22h in a tropical atmosphere, visitors will be invited to explore the different species of orchids, identify their particularities and think about the concept of ecosystem through a creative workshop with the cultural mediator. They will make their own flowers from different papers inspired by orchids of various origins. The participants will be asked to make a correlation with the notions of biodiversity and ecosystem, to recognize their importance for the environment and the need to preserve them for our future.

The workshop will run continuously until 1AM. Juice and fruit will be served to night owls. This activity is particularly aimed at young people and their families, but can be adapted to all ages.




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Atelier à la Sourithèque avec Pavitra Wickramasinghe,
février 2019.
Crédit photo : Tanha Gomes



Pavitra Wickramasinghe et les souriceaux
from March 14th 2019 to May 17th 2019
Youth Exhibition_at the Sourithèque

souritheque
OPTICA + La Sourithèque

Théâtre d’ombres
with Pavitra Wickramasinghe
et les souriceaux

Poster of the project, high resolution (pdf)

Arthur Nadon
Daphné Marois
David Anthony Adejor
Elsa Malenfant
Ibsan Chowdhury
Maxence Ledoyen
Phillipe Poitras-Jean
Roméo Roy
Victor Begin
Sam-Yan Bradette Dutremble

Opening at La Sourithèque
March 14, 2019
5PM – 6PM
Parents and friends are welcome!

Following a series of workshops with artist Pavitra Wickramasinghe, the souriceaux performed a collective kinetic work, a fantastical shadow play temporarily set up in their own environment at La Sourithèque.

Come discover their artworks: an invitation to travel and to meet each other!

Exhibition Théâtre d’ombres
From March 14 to May 17, 2019
Monday to Friday
7AM – 6PM

La Sourithèque
CPE La Sourithèque's mission is to provide a stimulating living environment for children in the Center-Sud neighborhood, while ensuring their health, safety, and full development and well-being.
Théâtre d’ombres is OPTICA's first youth exhibition in a daycare centre.

In partnership with
La Sourithèque
Geneviève Courcy – Director
Linda Lambert - Educator

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

OPTICA receives support from the Canada Council for the Arts, the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec, and the Conseil des arts de Montréal. The educational program is supported by the Foundation of Greater Montreal, Community Initiatives Program 2018, and the Caisse Populaire Desjardins du Plateau-Mont-Royal.

La Sourithèque
1750 Saint-André street
Montréal Québec H2L 3T8
www.souritheque.com



fondationdugrandmontréal


Pavitra Wickramasinghe is interested in new ways of conceptualizing the moving image and in the conventions of seeing. Her current work is an exploration of notions of travel, the fluidity of place, and memory. She uses light and shadows as extensions of the projected image to create installations where the viewer occupies filmic space within the work instead of viewing it from the outside.

She is a recipient of numerous residencies, awards and grants including UNESCO-Aschberg Bursaries Programme for Artists, Changdong Art Studio, National Museum of Contemporary Art (South Korea), Canada Council for the Arts and The Claudine and Stephen Bronfman Fellowship in Contemporary Art. She has exhibited in Asia, Canada and Europe.

www.pavitraw.com




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Avec / With Sophie Bélair Clément, Rebecca Belmore, Olivia Boudreau, Marie-Claude Bouthillier, Marie-Ève Charron, Sorel Cohen, Raphaëlle de Groot, Philippe Dumaine, Vera Frenkel, Andrea Geyer, Cynthia Girard-Renard, Clara Gutsche, Rashid Johnson, Marie-Josée Lafortune, Suzy Lake, arkadi lavoie lachapelle, Maryse Larivière, Emmanuelle Léonard, Deirdre Logue, Allyson Mitchell, Wanda Nanibush, Abdi Osman, Camal Pirbhai, Claire Savoie, Johanne Sloan, Jana Sterbak, Thérèse St-Gelais, Camille Turner, Rinaldo Walcott, Giovanna Zapperi.
from March 15th 2019 to March 23rd 2019
Montreal and Toronto Launches, new publication: ARCHI-FÉMINISTES!

NEW PUBLICATION
ARCHI-FÉMINISTES!
Contemporary Art, Feminist Theories
Montreal and Toronto book launches

March, 15, 2019
6 PM – 8 PM
L’Euguélionne, librairie féministe

1426 Beaudry street
Montreal, QC H2L 3E5

March, 23, 2019
3 PM – 5 PM
Critical Distance Centre for Curators
No. 302 — Artscape Youngplace
180 Shaw Street
Toronto, ONT M6J 2W5

Publisher
OPTICA, centre d’art contemporain
Edited by
Marie-Ève Charron, Marie-Josée Lafortune, Thérèse St-Gelais

Paperback
15,8 x 23,18 cm
160 pages / ill
Text FR + EN
ISBN 978-2-922085-15-0
[$35]
Launch Price: $30
To order online:
distribution@optica.ca

Bringing together an important body of work produced between 1970 and the present, this publication analyzes historical and current issues of feminisms by proposing crossed perspectives on the field of art history and its oft-interrogated construction. Feminist manifestations are examined in light of practices that persist in their resistance and that compel us to reexamine social norms through activism, citizen mobilization, and sharing communities. Striving to bring new insights to our attention, these contributions take up theoretical feminist models, but also reference cultural, decolonization, and queer studies.

Archi-féministes! is the title of the eponymous exhibition presented by contemporary art centre OPTICA in 2011 and 2012, which highlighted the contributions of female artists to its history and to the network of Canadian artist-run centres.

L’Euguélionne is a feminist bookstore and non-profit solidarity co-op in Montreal, also known as Tiohtià:ké, on unceded Mohawk and Algonquin territory. We offer a large selection of new and used books, zines and print art. The bookstore specializes in women’s literature (fiction, poetry, comic books, essays, young adult fiction and children’s books) and feminist, queer, lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, intersex, asexual and non-binary, two-spirited, anti-racist, anti-colonial works, etc. We also host diverse literary feminist events including launches, reading circles, talks, workshops and round table discussions. www.librairieleuguelionne.com

Critical Distance is a not-for-profit project space, publisher, and professional association devoted to the support and advancement of curatorial practice and inquiry in Toronto, Canada, and beyond. With a focus on critically engaged, collaborative, and cross-disciplinary practices, underrepresented artists and art forms, and community outreach and education in art and exhibition-making, Critical Distance is an open platform for diverse curatorial perspectives, and a forum for the exchange of ideas on curating and exhibition-making as ways to engage and inform audiences from all walks of life. www.criticaldistance.ca

CDCC is located at Artscape Youngplace, a wheelchair accessible building with a ramp at the 180 Shaw Street doors, an elevator servicing every floor, and an accessible washroom on every level. The TTC’s 63 Ossington bus stops nearby and is wheelchair accessible.




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Adam Basanta, A Large Inscription, 2018.
Installation, médium mixte, microphone, amplificateurs, gravier, métal, moteur, pièces électroniques, dimensions variables. | Mixed media installation, microphone, microphone stand, amplifiers, gravel, steel, motor, electronics, variable size. Avec l'aimable permission de l'artiste | Courtesy of the artist Crédit | Credit: Emily Gan

Adam Basanta
from April 13th 2019 to June 15th 2019

Opening, Saturday, April 13, 2019 - 3PM to 6PM
Family Saturdays: May 4 and June 15, 2019.
The philosopher Edmund Husserl spoke of two basic modalities of time, fixed and flowing, and turned to melody to illustrate their knitting-together. For him, the experience of unified time involved retaining the immediately preceding—what just happened—in such a way as to anticipate what was yet to come. It is on these terms that Adam Basanta’s latest works invite us to contemplate an impasse in our time-consciousness.

What happens to time’s succession, and our self-awareness as lived through it, once we find ourselves totally habituated to coordinated universal time? What happens when, in spite of cultural differences that variegate time’s experience, we objectify our lives so thoroughly as to be paralyzed from imagining any shared anticipation of the future? Updating Husserl, the philosopher Bernard Stiegler diagnoses the problem as one of hypersynchronization. As all of us punctuate our days with constant injunctions to communicate, to ‘have our say’ no matter how mundane, Basanta’s pieces index a fraught moment in our modern relationship to time, even as they evoke certain ancient pathologies around time’s accomplishment.

Exiting city streets caught up in a seemingly never-ending cycle of destruction and reconstruction, we come upon their elementary machine choreographies. We see the futility of Sisyphus, as a microphone is cyclically dragged over gravel, experiencing its amplification through the indifferent temporal encounter of non-living matter. We hear the Golem of Chełm at work in an encased, pile-driving microphone, its assemblage fruitlessly but efficiently performing whatever difference between noise and sound. Taken together, we may also see these gestures less as mutually-ensnared loops than resonant or vibratory structures, suggesting something more opportune: the passage of time as movement. As Husserl insisted in his schema, “…when the concrete present is at an end, a concrete, flowing retentional past must be joined on.”

Neal Thomas

Neal Thomas is a media studies scholar, living and instructing in the Kitchener-Waterloo area. His first book, Becoming-Social in a Networked Age, was published with Routledge in 2018.

Public conversation at OPTICA,
Saturday, May 25th, 3 pm to 4:30 pm between Adam Basanta and Eli Kerr.

PRESS RELEASE (pdf)



Adam Basanta’s work explores technological practices as performances distributed throughout a variety of human, cultural, material and computational agencies. His work has been exhibited worldwide, including at Fotomuseum Winterthur (CH), Arsenal Art Contemporain (CAN), National Art Centre Tokyo (JPN), and the V Moscow Biennale for Young Art (RUS).


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Jo-Anne Balcaen, David Zwirner, Tuesday, January 13, 2015, 5:24 pm, 2015-2019.
Impression jet d'encre sur polypropylène, 106,7 x 157,5 cm. | Inkjet print on polypropylene, 106,7 x 157,5 cm cm. Avec l'aimable permission de l'artiste | Courtesy of the artist

Jo-Anne Balcaen
from April 13th 2019 to June 15th 2019

Opening, Saturday, April 13, 2019 - 3PM to 6PM
Family Saturdays: May 4 and June 15, 2019.
Internal Dynamics, an installation of photographs with soundtrack by Jo-Anne Balcaen, is the latest iteration of works that delve into the psychic experience of artists who grapple with what Bourdieu called the inverted economy, where artists don’t make work to earn a living but earn a living in order to make work. Conditioned by years of experience as a former exhibition coordinator, Balcaen’s candid perspective on the art world results from the artist’s own ambiguous position within the field as both an insider and an outsider and the effect this condition has on her psyche as she strives for self-actualization.

Distilled from dozens of pictures surreptitiously taken while visiting the internationally renowned galleries of New York’s Chelsea district, the large, lush architectural portraits seemingly bring the galleries’ private spaces within reach, while photos of the barriers used to limit access reinforce the feeling of distance. In contrast, others document the more humanizing details that reside in the shadow of the white cube’s persistent aura: dirt, storage, cluttered desks. The large-scale gallery images fit seamlessly into OPTICA’s gallery space, leaving one to wonder about the elusive reputational metrics that determine the spectacular gap that exists between high-end galleries and artist-run centres, and the artists who make it and those who don’t.

Overhead, a soundtrack plays an inner dialogue that will strike a chord with those who share a similar experience as artists and cultural workers nesting multiple roles within the art world, not only to survive, but to thrive, as singular subjects with agency over their destiny despite limited opportunities and bouts of crippling doubt. Balcaen’s white cube is a generative site of existential enquiry, offering opportunities she continues to respond to, at her pace, and for our experience.

Anne Bertrand

Anne Bertrand was involved at Skol, a Montréal based artist-run centre, from 2005 to 2012 and is currently the Executive Director of ARCA, a national advocacy organization that federates the nine artist-run associations from Québec and Canada.

PRESS RELEASE (pdf)

PRESS Review

ALLARD, Benjamin J. Interview with the artist Jo-Anne Balcaen about the exhibition "Internal Dynamics" presented at OPTICA, un centre d'art contemporain, Le Retour, Radio CIBL 101.5 FM, June 10, 2019.

MAVRIKAKIS, Nicolas. «Dynamique interne: le cube blanc renversé», Le Devoir, April 20th and 21st, 2019.



Jo-Anne Balcaen is a Montreal-based artist who has worked in video, installation, sculpture, and photography. Her work, which has drawn on references as diverse as popular music and the inner workings of the art world, has been presented throughout Canada, in the US and in Europe. She holds a BFA from the University of Manitoba, and an MFA from Concordia University.


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Adam Basanta, A Great Noise, 2019. Installation, médium mixte, microphones, amplificateur, ciment, câble, métal, moteur, pièces électroniques, dimensions variables | Mixed media installation, microphones, amplifier, cement, cable, steel, motor, electronic pieces, variable size | Photo : Paul Litherland

Adam Basanta, Eli Kerr
from May 25th 2019 to May 25th 2019
Public Conversation at OPTICA, Saturday, May 25th, 2019 - 3 pm to 4:30 pm

Part of his solo exhibition at OPTICA, A Large Inscription / A Great Noise, Adam Basanta meet with Eli Kerr in the form of a public conversation.

Eli Kerr is a curator and writer based in Montréal. In 2016 Kerr co-founded VIE D’ANGE with Daphné Boxer. The project exists as a broad framework for curatorial activities which both emanate from, and extend beyond an old auto body garage, that serves more as an apparatus than a site for their initiatives. With a focus on supporting new, intimate and experimental artist’s projects, their exhibition programme exists as an episodic series of sequential, yet nonlinear narratives. Kerr has been awarded curatorial residencies at International Studio and Curatorial Program, New York (2017) and at Rupert, Vilnius, Lithuania (2018). He is the recipient of the 2019 Hnatyshyn Foundation Award for Canadian curators under 30 and will be in residence at Fogo Islands Arts, Newfoundland, Canada, this fall.

Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/430930737709565/




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Image trouvée | Found image

Les Samedis ensemble en familles |
Saturdays with the Family

from June 15th 2019 to June 15th 2019
Around the work of Jo-Anne Balcaen, Adam Basanta!

Oyé young sailor!


OPTICA invites you to live a great adventure with the two cultural pirates of the center. Together, we will go to discover the exhibitions of Adam Basanta and Jo-Anne Balcaen. We will sail on the great sea of contemporary art and confirm a well kept secret. In order to find the treasure, you will have to complete the ultimate test of making your own seal.

Practical Information
May 4, 2019
June 15, 2019
1 PM to 4 PM

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

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Programme éducatif public 2019-2020, détail.
Graphisme : Tamzyn Berman, Pastille rose. | Public Education Program 2019-2020,
detail. Graphic design:
Tamzyn Berman, Pastille rose.

Programme éducatif public | Public Educational Program | 2019- 2020
from September 7th 2019 to July 13th 2020

OPTICA aims to be a site of proximity, discovery and experimentation in contemporary art for all audiences. We offer educational activities to childcare centres (CPE), primary and secondary schools, CEGEPs and universities as well as families and community groups.

To book an activity or to get more information on our educational programming, contact Sandrine Côté: mediation@optica.ca

CONSULTATION OF THE ANNUAL PROGRAMMATION_PUBLIC EDUCATIONAL PROGRAM_PDF (pdf)

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SATURDAYS WITH THE FAMILY
Free and open to all
For children aged 4 and older
The workshop is open to the whole family and will run continually+


-->MOMENTA | Biennale de l’image
The Life of Things, organized by curator María Wills Londoño in collaboration with Audrey Genois and Maude Johnson.

The Forgetten Stories of Objects!

Workshop around the work of Batia Suter
As part of MOMENTA | Biennale de l’image, OPTICA is presenting the work of artist Batia Suter: she collects, accumulates and classifies images she finds in photo albums, world atlases, illustrated encyclopedias, art and history books, animal magazines, and much more.
With family or friends, OPTICA invites you to play the artist's game during a creative workshop on image transfer. Come, in turn, to assemble, disassemble, arrange, disturb, rearrange and combine the images until a sensible imagination emerges from this chaos of found images.

September 14, 2019 - 1 pm to 4 pm
September 28, 2019 - 1 pm to 3 pm – Part of Journées de la culture
October 19, 2019 - 1 pm to 4 pm

-->Silent Diner

Family Diner, Around the work of Shannon Cochrane

Following their visit, the young people will take part in a workshop inspired by month-long residency of Shannon Cochrane (Toronto) at OPTICA during which a series of performances will be presented with Deaf and hearing groups.

November 16, 2019 - 1 pm to 4 pm
December 14, 20197 - 1 pm to 4 pm

-->Curatorship of Nuria Carton de Grammont: Un, dos, tres por mi y mis compañeras

On Your Mark, Get Set, Create!

Around the art works of seven women artists practices pioneers of Latin American performance.
January 25, 2020 - 1 pm to 4 pm
March 14, 2020 - 1 pm to 4 pm

-->Scott Benesiinaabandan : Carte blanche

Out Loud

Following their visit, the young people will take part in a workshop inspired by the works of Scott Benesiinaabandanpresented presented at OPTICA.

April 18, 2020 - 1 pm to 4 pm
June 13, 2020 - 1 pm to 4 pm

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CONTEMPORARY LABS, MONDAYS
DAYCARE CENTRES AND PRE-SCHOOL

Creative workshops and interactive tours
Duration: up to 1 hour and 15 min. (visit 30 min. + creative workshop 45 min.)
Contemporary Labs, Mondays
Free and by reservation only


In a friendly atmosphere, the littlest ones become acquainted with contemporary art by by learning to interact with the artwork and to share their observations in a group, the centre’s educator. They are then asked to create a work, often collectively, as a continuation of the reflection begun with the visit. This approach enables them to better understand and appropriate the artist’s creative process. Since 2015, we have welcomed more than 400 children to our gallery.

-->Around the work of Batia Suter
September 16, 23, and 30, 2019
October 7, 2019

-->

Around the performative work of Shannon Cochrane
November 18 and 25, 2019
December 2 and 9, 2019





 -->Around the work of the exhibition Un, dos, tres por mi y mis compañeras, curatorship of Nuria Carton de Grammont
January 27, 2020
February 3, 10, 17 and 24, 2020
March 2 and 9, 2020

-->Around the work of Scott Benesiinaabandan
April 16, 23 and 30, 2020
May 4, 11, 18 and 25, 2020
June 1 and 8, 2020

Special Interactive Tours – New!
For Elementary and High School Students (7-16 years)
Welcoming School Groups
For elementary and high school welcome classes, we provide an illustrated activities notebook during exhibition tours at the centre. The activities, adapted to this clientele, offer a different experience for learning French. During their visit, youngsters are encouraged to express themselves and to articulate their observations upon contact with the works in an atmosphere that promotes discovery and exploration.
Special Education Groups
Particular attention is given to the needs of special education students having learning difficulties, or suffering from autism spectrum disorder or a hearing impairment. These groups have the benefit of distinct activities and visual resources to accompany them in their artistic discoveries.


COLLEGE AND UNIVERSITY GROUPS
Visites interactives et rencontres
Free and by reservation only 



Guided tours of current exhibitions are offered to college and university students. On request, we can organize discussions or round tables on various themes such as OPTICA's mission, the mandate of artist-run center or any other subject related to the current art. These meetings take place in the AGORA space of OPTICA.





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Miguel Angel Ríos, The Ghost of Modernity (Lixiviados), 2012, image tirée de la vidéo (détail) couleur, son, 5 min 4 s. | video still (detail), colour, sound, 5 min 4 s.
© Miguel Angel Ríos.



Miguel Angel Ríos
from September 7th 2019 to October 19th 2019
MOMENTA x OPTICA Miguel Angel Ríos: The Geopoetics of Things

Opening_ Friday, September 6, 2019 - 5PM to midnight
Family Saturdays: September 14 and October 19, 2019.

MOMENTA | Biennale de l’image is proud to present its 16th edition, The Life of Things, organized by curator María Wills Londoño in collaboration with Audrey Genois and Maude Johnson. The biennale joins forces with OPTICA for the exhibition Miguel Angel Ríos: The Geopoetics of Things.

Miguel Angel Ríos makes works about the symbolic figure of “Latin America”. Exploring the metaphorical possibilities of objects, he focuses on representing the dynamics of territoriality and displacement through them. In the videos The Ghost of Modernity (Lixiviados) and Piedras Blancas, Ríos presents two works that probe the object’s transmissive power. Combining geometry and geography, they problematize modes of representation and contexts of migration by means of objects choreographically activated in the landscape. The videos reveal the profound disorder of a culture in which social, political, and economic crises follow each other with such intensity that chaos becomes normalized. Ríos asserts the need to be politicized, through a formal minimalism, giving substance to a “geopoetics” of things.

Mix and Match Tour
Guided Tours of the exhibitions at OPTICA
Saturday, September 14, 2019, 3:30 pm to 5 pm in French
Friday, October 4, 2019, 12 pm to 1 pm in French and English

PRESS RELEASE (pdf)

PRESS REVIEW

BEHA, Claire-Marine. « 25 expositions d'art visuel pour accueillir la rentrée », Le Baron, September 2nd, 2019.



Miguel Angel Ríos: born in 1943, Catamarca, Argentina
Lives in Mexico City, Mexico / New York, United States

Exhibitions / projections Solo:

Landlocked, Röda Sten Konsthall, Göteborg (2019); Miguel Angel Ríos: Torn to Shreds, Sicardi | Ayers | Bacino Gallery, Houston (2019); Miguel Angel Ríos: On the Edge, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (2019); Miguel Angel Ríos: A Morir (To the Death), Ackland Art Museum, Chapel Hill (2017); Miguel Angel Ríos: Acirema, No es agua Ni Arena la Orilla del Mar, espaivisor – Galería Visor, Valencia (2017); Landlocked, Arizona State University Art Museum, Tempe (2015); Endless, Sicardi | Ayers | Bacino Gallery, Houston, (2015).

Group:
Creatures: When Species Meet, Lois & Richard Rosenthal Center for Contemporary Art, Cincinnati (2019); Land of the Lustrous, UCCA Dune, Qinhuangdao (2019); Lubricated Language, AKINCI, Amsterdam (2019); Words/Matter: Latin American Art and Language at the Blanton, Blanton Museum of Art, Austin (2019); Broken Lines, Gallery Wendi Norris, San Francisco (2018); Portrait, Sicardi | Ayers | Bacino Gallery, Houston (2018); Linee di forza + varie sensazioni, Galleria d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea di Bergamo, Bergamo (2018); Truth or Dare: A Reality Show, 21c Museum Hotel, Nashville and Cincinnati (2017–19); Home—So Different, So Appealing, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles (2017).

Represented by Sicardi | Ayers | Bacino Gallery (Houston)

sicardi.com/artists/miguel-angel-rios



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Batia Suter, Radial Grammar, 2018,
épreuve au jet d’encre, dimensions variables |
inkjet print, variable dimensions.
© Batia Suter.



Batia Suter
from September 7th 2019 to October 19th 2019
MOMENTA x OPTICA Batia Suter: Radial Grammar

Opening_Friday, September 6, 2019 - 5PM to midnight
Family Saturdays: September 14 and October 19, 2019.

MOMENTA | Biennale de l’image is proud to present its 16th edition, The Life of Things, organized by curator María Wills Londoño in collaboration with Audrey Genois and Maude Johnson. The biennale joins forces with OPTICA and LE BAL (Paris) for the exhibition Batia Suter: Radial Grammar.

Batia Suter collects images from various sources, recontextualizing them as photo animations, sequences, and collages in site-specific installations. In the installation Radial Grammar, Suter combines printed and projected images portraying objects of all sorts—some clearly identifiable and others rather ambiguous. Whether caused by a slight discrepancy, an unusual arrangement, the absence of colour, or a muted style, a sense of uncertainty emanates from the photographs in the gallery, which becomes an immersive atlas, its walls covered with large-format prints. Images are given multiple meanings and connotations so that the content of the representations is both eclectic and coherent. Suter formulates a new syntax of the image: the interplay of association and correspondence forms a visual language.

An exhibition produced in collaboration with LE BAL (Paris), thanks to the financial support of the Mondriaan Fund.


Mix and Match Tour
Guided Tours of the exhibitions at OPTICA
Saturday, September 14, 2019, 3:30 pm to 5 pm in French
Friday, October 4, 2019, 12 pm to 1 pm in French and English

COMMUNIQUÉ DE PRESSE (pdf)

PRESS REVIEW

BEHA, Claire-Marine. « 25 expositions d'art visuel pour accueillir la rentrée », Le Baron, September 2nd, 2019.



Batia Suter: born in 1967, Bülach, Switzerland
Lives in Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Exhibitions/projections Solo:
Radial Grammar, LE BAL, Paris (2018); Sole Summary, Centre culturel suisse, Paris (2018); Nature Grammar, Gare de Paris-Montparnasse, Paris (2018); Sea of Ice, KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin (2015); 25x25x25/, LWL Museum für Kunst und Kultur, Münster (2014).

Group: des attentions, Le centre d’art contemporain d’Ivry—le Crédac, Paris (2019); Parallel Encyclopedia Extended, Polygon Gallery, Vancouver (2018); Swiss Art Awards, Bundesamt für Kultur, Art Basel, Basel (2018); Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation Prize, The Photographers’ Gallery, London (2018); Rendez-vous met Frans Hals, Frans Hals Museum, Haarlem (2018); Some Things Hidden, Framer Framed, Amsterdam (2018); Spaces without drama or surface is an illusion, but so is depth, Graham Foundation, Chicago (2017); À l’antique, Musée des Antiquités, Rouen (2017); Les Nouveaux Encyclopédistes, Fotographia Europea, Reggio Emilia (2017).

batiasuter.org




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Planche illustrée : Arthropodes

Les Samedis ensemble en familles |
Saturdays with the Family

from September 14th 2019 to October 19th 2019

As part of MOMENTA | Biennale de l’image, OPTICA is presenting the work of artist Batia Suter: she collects, accumulates and classifies images she finds in photo albums, world atlases, illustrated encyclopedias, art and history books, animal magazines, and much more.
With family or friends, OPTICA invites you to play the artist's game during a creative workshop on image transfer. Come, in turn, to assemble, disassemble, arrange, disturb, rearrange and combine the images until a sensible imagination emerges from this chaos of found images.

Practical Information
September 14, 2019 - 1 pm to 4 pm
September 28, 2019 - 1 pm to 4 pm – Part of Journées de la culture
October 19, 2019 - 1 pm to 4 pm

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

For more information, please contact Sandrine Côté: mediation@optica.ca




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Shannon Cochrane, Silent Dinner, 2015, FADO Performance Art Centre/Progress Festival The Theatre Centre, Toronto. © Henry Chan

Shannon Cochrane
from November 9th 2019 to December 14th 2019
The Silent Dinner

Artist Shannon Cochrane (Toronto) presents The Silent Dinner, a series of food-related performances that bring together as participants, people from the Deaf community who express themselves through sign language and hearing groups. This cycle of performances, which takes place over three Saturdays, offers a unique structure: in front of the audience, the performers prepare a meal together in silence in the space of the gallery transformed into a kitchen, without communicating in their original language. By involving different layers of language in interaction, Cochrane develops a reflection on communication and performative practices.

We thank the Conseil des arts de Montréal and the Fondation des Sourds du Québec for their support.







Claudia Bernal, Christine Brault, Constanza Camelo, Livia Daza-Paris, Maria Ezcurra, Helena Martin Franco, Giorgia Volpe
Commissaire | Curator : Nuria Carton de Grammont

from January 18th 2020 to March 14th 2020
Un, dos, tres por mí y mis compañeras

The exhibition Un, dos, tres por mí y mis compañeras seeks to make visible the artistic practice of women who were pioneers of Latin-Canadian performance. Although their professional practice is now largely consolidated in the Canadian and international arts community, there is still a gap in understanding and analyzing their collective involvement. These artists have developped a praxis within the cross-border space of Canada and Latin America by positioning themselves in the current debate on the place of cultural diversity in Quebec society.





Scott Benesiinaabandan
from April 11th 2020 to June 13th 2020

Scott Benesiinaabandan, an Anishinabe artist working in new technologies (VR), will occupy the two main galleries with a new sound installation. Benesiinaabandan continues his exploration of language, focusing on the transmission of Amerindian languages and their constant evolution.