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2015 - 2016

Programming

Julien Discrit
from September 1st 2016 to October 8th 2016

Simon Belleau
from September 1st 2016 to October 8th 2016

Edith Brunette
from September 1st 2016 to June 17th 2017


from September 3rd 2016 to September 5th 2016


from September 8th 2016 to September 8th 2016

Les samedis famille + Journées de la culture
from September 10th 2016 to October 8th 2016

Knut Åsdam
from October 20th 2016 to January 14th 2017


from October 29th 2016 to January 14th 2017

Exposition des élèves de 5e et de 6e année de l'école Saint-Enfant-Jésus (Mile End) sur une proposition d'Étienne Tremblay-Tardif
from December 2nd 2016 to December 17th 2016

Nelson Henricks
from January 28th 2017 to March 25th 2017

Jim Holyoak
from January 28th 2017 to March 25th 2017

Nadège Grebmeier Forget
Ursula Johnson
Autumn Knight
Michelle Lacombe

Commissaire | Curator : Nicole Burisch

from April 22nd 2017 to June 17th 2017




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Julien Discrit, Animation (détail), 2016
Image tirée de la vidéo, vidéo 4k, couleur, son. | Video still, 4k video, color, sound.
Avec l'aimable permission de l'artiste et de la Galerie Anne-Sarah Bénichou|
Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Anne-Sarah Bénichou

Julien Discrit
from September 1st 2016 to October 8th 2016
Nature. Culture.

Borrowing by turns from installation, performance, photography, and video, Julien Discrit’s work draws on the potential for dialogue between the humanities and the natural sciences and proposes art as a topos by which the two fields may interact. His art practice examines the gap between the actual experience of a territory and its visual or material representation, going on to investigate the divisions between ideas and practices, between concepts and percepts.

For his work presented at OPTICA, Discrit focuses on the Möbius strip (or band), a paradigmatic object in topology. Flourishing in the nineteenth century, the science of topology was concerned with the possibility for continuous transformation of space. The strip featured in this work bears the name of German mathematician August Ferdinand Möbius, who submitted the discovery as his own to the French Academy of Sciences in 1858. While the strip remained an object of fascination for mathematicians throughout the 19th century, it was quickly taken up by some very influential thinkers in the human and social sciences. Lacanian psychoanalysis, for instance, uses the Möbius strip as a spatialization model for the work of the unconscious. 1 As for formal dimensions of Discrit’s video, they refer to a series of drawings and woodcuts produced by M.C. Escher in the early 1960s depicting nine red ants crawling along a Möbius strip, usually placed vertically.

Following a precise contortion, the Möbius strip—which becomes a felt space in the video— reveals the cyclical relationship between the physical elaboration of a mathematical concept, its reuse in the social sciences, its potential artistic representations, and the experience it can afford as a physical phenomenon. Conjuring these various contexts simultaneously, Discrit’s proposition highlights the connections between mathematical abstraction and organic realism, the artist stating that “any conception emanating from the psyche must be based on its grounding in the body, by the sensory perception of a concrete and external object.” 2

1. See, among others, Jacques LACAN (2001 [1972]), “L’étourdit”, Autres écrits. Paris: Seuil, pp. 449-495.
2. Our translation. Fernande SAINT-MARTIN (2010), L’immersion dans l’art. Comment donner sens aux œuvres de sept artistes. Québec: Presses de l’Université de Québec, p. 4.

Author: Daniel Fiset
Daniel Fiset is an art historian and educator. He lives and works in Montreal.

Translator: Ron Ross

PRESS RELEASE(pdf)

Julien Discrit was born in 1978 in Épernay, France. A graduate from the École supérieure d’art et design de Reims (2004), he lives and works in Paris. His works have been the subject of solo exhibitions (Ensapc Ygrec, Paris, 2015; Institut français de Roumanie, Bucarest, 2006; Jeu de Paume, Paris, 2005) and group shows (Centre Pompidou-Metz, 2016; Galerie Thomas Henry Ross, Montreal, 2014; Fundación Proa, Buenos Aires, 2012; La Biennale de Lyon, 2011).


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Simon Belleau, Film Still (détail), 2016
Impression jet d'encre, 43 x 36 cm| Inkjet print, 43 x 36 cm.
Avec l'aimable permission de l'artiste | Courtesy of the artist.

Simon Belleau
from September 1st 2016 to October 8th 2016
SOIF

The Royal moth has no mouth.
Royal Saturniid caterpillars will eat until surrender. Melting and rearranging themselves with the raw materials of their adolescence, they reappear, fuzzy and fat, with a silent face and no digestive tract. Insatiable, burdened with an impossible itinerary, they make slow triangles and moon eyes, executing the gesture of their singular potential.

And they will fuck until they die, still thirsty.

Mars lost his war and his atmosphere fled, drying up promises of a dazzling garden and leaving behind dire warnings in a red oxide dust.

The amount of available moisture in an enclosed room is recorded on every surface, and every surface is recorded in the whole of the eye. Seeing requires attention, recognition, interpretation. It also requires an image, even one not there, and at least one orifice.

At its center, Simon Belleau’s work travels in two separate but simultaneous directions; pulling focus both inward and outward. Inward, towards the core of desire, past hunger and sex, towards death; and outward, through narrative, language and the production of the image. It is here, in his careful negotiation between the image and the act of production, that Belleau’s installations become an act of transmutation: a mushroom erupts from a tactical dry bag and time becomes material; your eye travels swiftly over the steely surface of an unreflective mirror, drinking in humidity and time, turning obligatory sips of water into corrosion; the stone foot of Michelangelo’s David is suspended in motion, set in a singular film still.

In Antonioni and Wender’s film, Beyond the Clouds, the narrator, a director himself, muses, “[W]e know that behind every image revealed, there is another image more faithful to reality, and in the back of that image there is another, and yet another behind the last one, and so on, up to the true image of the absolute mysterious reality that no-one will ever see.”

Our desire for that last true image ruptures any stillness and shatters the blank mirror on the floor. It is quite the gift, to leave your gaze resting on the floor like that, with no obligation to harbor it when it labors back.

Author: Elena Ailes
Elena Ailes is interested in both that which makes her a better person and a worse person, especially in theory. In reality, she is an artist and writer living and working in Chicago.

COMMUNIQUÉ DE PRESSE (pdf)

Conseil des arts du Canada



Simon Belleau has exhibited in several solo and group exhibitions in Canada, the United States, and Europe. He is the recipient of the Jacques and Natasha Gelman Trust Scholar Award, a Project Grant from the Canada Council for the Arts, and the Contest jeune tête d’affiche from Dazibao. Currently based in Chicago, he is the co-founder of the curatorial project Jeux d’été.


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Edith Brunette, 2016

Edith Brunette
from September 1st 2016 to June 17th 2017

In partnership with OPTICA, artist Edith Brunette will undertake a documentation and art intervention project during the coming year in which she attempts to bring the worlds of art and multimedia closer together. This project falls in line with the artist’s ongoing focus on the economy of the art milieu.


Edith Brunette blends her art practice with theoretical research. Concerned with the discourses at work in the arts and with the political forces and power relationships they reveal, her recent projects have dealt, among other things, with video surveillance (Caméraroman, 2011), speaking out in times of social crisis (Consensus, 2012) and artists’ political agency (Faut-il se couper la langue?, 2013; Cuts Make the Country Better, 2015, in collaboration with François Lemieux).




from September 3rd 2016 to September 5th 2016
Closed on Saturday, September 3rd - Labour Day

Please note that OPTICA will be closed on Saturday September 3, 2016 due to Labour Day.

Regular opening hours will resume on Tuesday September 6, 2016.

Thank you for your understanding.


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from September 8th 2016 to September 8th 2016
Rentrez! de Gaspé - New cultural Season - 5 pm to Midnight

On September 8, come celebrate and kick off the new cultural season with Atelier Circulaire, Centre CLARK, Dazibao, Diagonale, Occurrence, OPTICA, Perte de signal and TOPO.

Openings, outstanding exhibitions, video mapping, an overflowing bar and a DJ, food, friends, mingling, a party and maybe even a little bit of dancing!

Join us for this festive evening!

See you Thursday, September 8 from 5 pm at 5445-5455 de Gaspé Avenue (Ground floor).

EVERYONE IS WELCOME
FREE ADMISSION

PROGRAMMING

Dj TELEMARK from 8 pm

Live video mapping with userZero and Danny Perreault

ATELIER CIRCULAIRE
Rolande Pelletier et Mathieu Matthew Conway – Formes primes

CENTRE CLARK
Jen Aitken – 2 volumes + Michelle Lacombe – Of All The Watery Bodies, I Only Know My Own

DAZIBAO
Ali-El Darsa + Gabriela Golder + Roberto Santguida + Sandra Volny

DIAGONALE
We Make Carpets – BEND AND STRETCH

OCCURRENCE
Michel Archambault – Stigma + Jérôme Nadeau – Still Statues

OPTICA
Simon Belleau – SOIF + Julien Discrit – Nature. Culture.

PERTE DE SIGNAL
Yannick Jaquet et Frédéric Penelle – Mécaniques discursives

TOPO
Julien-Robert Legault-Salvail – Fit in the crowd




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Photo : Daniel Fiset

Les samedis famille + Journées de la culture
from September 10th 2016 to October 8th 2016
Tour and Creative Family activity at OPTICA

Explore living movement during a workshop tour of the exhibitions of Simon Belleau and Julien Discrit. With the centre’s mediator in attendance, you will see elements transform before your eyes, from proliferating mushrooms that take strange shapes to colossal ants going on a stroll. In a friendly, playful environment, you’ll then take part in the creation of a collaborative installation inspired by the Moebius Strip and the connections between art and the natural sciences.  

Let your creativity take over OPTICA—we’re counting on it! The workshop is open to the whole family and will run continually. Feel free to join in at any time. 

PRACTICAL INFORMATION
Saturdays
September 10 – 1 pm to 4 pm
October – 1 :30 pm to 3 pm – Journées de la culture
October 8 -1 pm to 4 pm  

Free
For children aged 4 and older.

For more information, please contact Daniel Fiset: mediation@optica.ca

OUR ANNUAL PROGRAMMING (pdf)

OPTICA's educational program is supported by the ministère de la Culture et des Communications and the City of Montreal as part of the Entente sur le développement culturel de Montréal, and the Caisse Desjardins du Plateau-Mont-Royal.



Entente sur le développement art3




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© Knut Åsdam, Egress (détail), 2013
Film numérique 5K à 2K, couleur, 5.1. audio, 41:00 minutes
Produit par Knut Åsdam, co-produit par Vitakuben Film
Avec l'aimable permission de l'artiste

Cette oeuvre est protégée par le droit d'auteur et il est strictement interdit de la reproduire.

© Knut Åsdam, Egress (detail), 2013
5K to 2K digital film, colour, 5.1 audio, 41:00 minutes
Produced by Knut Åsdam, co-produced by Vitakuben Film
Courtesy of the artist

Copyright laws protect this art work and it is strictly forbidden to copy or reproduce this image.

Knut Åsdam
from October 20th 2016 to January 14th 2017
Biennale de Montréal - Le Grand Balcon

The Biennale de Montréal and OPTICA present Knut Åsdam as part of BNLMTL 2016, Le Grand Balcon.

Curator: Philippe Pirotte

Knut Åsdam is a filmmaker, installation artist, sculptor and photographer. The central focus of his work tracks the psychological and material effects of everyday life in contemporary society. Åsdam investigates, through diverse forms, the usage and perception of public urban spaces, including their structure of political power and authority. For this occasion his films Egress (2013) and Tripoli (2010) are presented.

Egress follows the life of a young woman whose job at a gas station on the outskirts of Oslo makes her both witness and subject to consumerism, social hierarchies, the repetition and alienation of daily life, violence, and the insecurity belying the sanitized appearance of the location. Consisting of documentary material, this experimental film focuses at once on a place and on the characters to approach the experience of work in today’s society, but also the highly hierarchical oil industry and its locus of power.

For its part, Tripoli unfolds in the city of Tripoli in northern Lebanon, more precisely on the site of a major architectural project associated with the famous Brazilian architect, Oscar Niemeyer, and interrupted in 1975 due to the civil war. Combining documentary language on architecture and a meeting of narrative fragments, the film metaphorically brings to life the charged past of this place, which was used as a weapons depot during the war and whose political echoes and violence reverberate in today’s society.

PRESS RELEASE(pdf)

Biennale de Montréal Office for Contemporary art Norway



Born in Trondheim (Norway) in 1968, Knut Åsdam lives and works in Oslo. His work has been shown widely, in solo exhibitions including as part of the project Oslo Pilot, Oslo (2016); at Šiuolaikinio meno centras kino (Lithuania, 2013); Galerija Vartai (Lituania, 2012); Tate Modern (England, 2011); Bergen Kunsthall (Norway, 2010); Museum Boijmans van Beuningen (Netherlands, 2007); Objectif Exhibitions (Belgium, 2006); Fonds régional d’art contemporain de Bourgogne (France, 2006); Kunsthalle Bern (Switzerland, 2005); Museet For Samtidskunst (Norway, 2001); Tate Britain (England, 2000); Nordic Pavilion as part of the 48th Venice Biennale (Italia, 1999); and at the Norwegian Pavilion as part of Melbourne International Biennial (Australia, 1999). Åsdam’s work has also been featured in Manifesta 7 (Italia, 2007) and in group exhibitions at Museo d’Arte Contemporanea Roma (Italia, 2007); MoMA PS1 (United States, 2006); Istanbul Biennial (Turkey, 2003); Moderna Museet (Sweden, 1998-1999); and Musée d’Art moderne de la Ville de Paris (France, 1998).

http://www.knutasdam.net



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Photo : Julie Alary Lavallée


from October 29th 2016 to January 14th 2017
Family Saturdays - Conception of a 3d Collaborative Storyboard Workshop

The places in our everyday lives are possessed of stories that yearn to be told. Accompanied by the gallery’s educator, young participants will be introduced to the art of directing and take part in the conception of a 3D, collaborative storyboard. A modular mock-up will be installed at the centre, which youth will be invited to transform or to embellish as they invent characters and weave their tall tales.

Come tell us your stories!

The workshop is open to the whole family and will run continually.

PRACTICAL INFORMATION
Every Saturday from October 29, 2016 to January 14, 2017
Closed on December 24 and 31, 2016

From 1 pm to 4 pm
Feel free to join in at any time.  

Free
For children aged 4 and older.

For more information, please contact Daniel Fiset: mediation@optica.ca

OUR ANNUAL PROGRAMMING (pdf)

OPTICA's educational program is supported by the ministère de la Culture et des Communications and the City of Montreal as part of the Entente sur le développement culturel de Montréal, and the Caisse Desjardins du Plateau-Mont-Royal.



Entente sur le développement art3




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Photo : Daniel Fiset, 2016

Exposition des élèves de 5e et de 6e année de l'école Saint-Enfant-Jésus (Mile End) sur une proposition d'Étienne Tremblay-Tardif
from December 2nd 2016 to December 17th 2016
Artiste à l'école

Opening, Tuesday December 2, 2016 from 5pm to 6pm

ENGLISH TRANSLATION SOON TO COME

Cet automne, une soixantaine de jeunes de 5e et 6e année de l’école Saint-Enfant-Jésus participeront à un projet créatif conçu par Étienne Tremblay-Tardif dans le cadre du programme Artiste à l’école.

Le projet s’inspire des oeuvres de l’artiste qui recourt à divers procédés en art de l’impression et en installation pour réfléchir à l'enchevêtrement de l’histoire et de l’actualité politique et culturelle dans certains espaces publics. Dans le cadre du programme, les jeunes prendront d’abord part à des activités d’observation architecturale afin de voir leur école et leur quartier sous un angle nouveau. Ils et elles concevront ensuite des pochoirs et fabriqueront des assemblages inspirés de leurs découvertes, témoignant des réalités architecturales et sociales de leur environnement immédiat.

Les oeuvres des élèves seront présentées au public lors d’un vernissage qui aura lieu le 2 décembre 2016, de 17h à 18h et seront exposées au centre jusqu’au 17 décembre 2016.

OPTICA tient à remercier le personnel et les élèves de l’école Saint-Enfant-Jésus, et plus particulièrement Nadine Legendre, enseignante en arts plastiques avec qui nous collaborons depuis 2014.

For more information, please contact Daniel Fiset: mediation@optica.ca

OPTICA's educational program is supported by the ministère de la Culture et des Communications and the City of Montreal as part of the Entente sur le développement culturel de Montréal, and the Caisse Desjardins du Plateau-Mont-Royal.



Entente sur le développement art3





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Nelson Henricks, Life Session, 2016.
Film 16mm, 2 minutes 30 secondes| 16mm film, 2 minutes 30 secondes
Avec la permission de l'artiste | Courtesy of the artist

Nelson Henricks
from January 28th 2017 to March 25th 2017
Life Session

Nelson Henricks’ work draws on popular culture and on the artist’s own mind. Often mounted onto film, his videos break with linear editing to focus on the production and reproduction of the staging, like an allegory of work. Interested in language, translation, and intervals, Henricks transposes an idea from one mode of expression to another, engaging visual and temporal gaps between images of the present and past, where the counterfeit rubs shoulders with the authentic. Running through a multitude of approaches and temporalities, his works deal in particular with the themes of sex and love, communication and its absence.




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Jim Holyoak, Book of Nineteen Nocturnes, 2002-2016
Avec la permission de l'artiste | Courtesy of the artist

Jim Holyoak
from January 28th 2017 to March 25th 2017
Book of Nineteen Nocturnes

Composed of drawing-installations and artist’s books, Jim Holyoak’s practice is concerned with the imagination as an ability to experiment and to create connections between the real and unreal, nature and culture, the biological and the fantastical, the present and the past. Besides the large-scale mural drawings, produced in collaboration with Matt Shane, his works vary in size. They demonstrate a recurring human empathy toward an array of species—of the past, those on the brink of extinction, even the totally fabricated—and the difficulty of sounding out millions of years of existence and world to come.




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Autumn Knight, Documents, 2016
Avec l'aimable permission de l'artiste | Courtesy of the artist

Nadège Grebmeier Forget
Ursula Johnson
Autumn Knight
Michelle Lacombe

Commissaire | Curator : Nicole Burisch

from April 22nd 2017 to June 17th 2017
I've Only Known My Own

Nicole Burisch proposes a group show of performance works understood as an extension of feminist and conceptual art, and as partaking in a reflection on the ephemerality of the medium. Exploring the way the materiality of the body is translated and communicated through measurements, process, technology, and documentation, this evolving exhibition examines how the material body may become at once a tool for and driving force in the expression of il-logical systems. It is concerned with processes of material embodiment as a means of resistance and with the measured body reared up at the junction of new communication technologies.