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Exibitions 2007

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Index of artists, authors and curators

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OPTICA Fonds (Concordia University Archives)

Guidebooks to help in consulting the archives

Electronic Reproduction Fees

Alexandre David
From January 19th 2007 to February 24th 2007
Exposition solo

You walk into a room, feel the floor crack under your footsteps, or the hardness of the floorboards in your knees. You sit down on a chair and rest your arms on the table, you raise your head toward the ceiling to see how high it is, look at the ceiling light and the moldings, if there are any. The work shown here arose from the simple differentiation between a space one can only look at and a space that one can move around in. I have no desire to recapture this familiar spatial experience, nor to categorize architecture one way or the other. Our everyday architectural sensations are, however, a necessary background for my work.
- Alexandre David

Alexandre David lives and works in Montreal. His work has been shown at venues throughout Canada, the United Kingdom, and the Netherlands. He has had solo exhibitions, at L’Oeil de Poisson in Quebec City, in 2003, and in Montreal, at the Musée d’art contemporain in 2002, and at Quartier Éphémère and Galerie B-312 in 2004. He was awarded the Prix Louis-Comtois in 2006.

- Mavrikakis, Nicolas, «Art d’ici», Voir Montréal, 11-18 janvier 2007, p.42.
- Mavrikakis, Nicolas, «Entre les lignes», Voir Montréal, 25 janvier – 1 février 2007, p.46.
- Tousignant, Isa, «Spring into Winter», Hour, 11-18 janvier 2007, p.14.
- Viau, René, «Chaudes, chaudes, les expositions...», Le Devoir, 20-21 janvier 2007. p.C7.
- Viau, René, «Contreplaqués et poses loufoques», Le Devoir, 10-11 février 2007. p.E6.

Derek Sullivan
From January 19th 2007 to February 24th 2007
Cold Open 2006

The artists who participated in the project are : Mathieu Beauséjour (Montréal), Krista Buecking (Guelph and Toronto), Patrick Coutu (Montreal), Luke Sandler IV (Toronto), Derek Sullivan (Toronto)

In television as in cinema, “cold open” refers to an opening sequence that establishes the action and setting before the title and credits even appear. It usually lasts between one and ten minutes. The best example of this technique, plunging us right into the action, are the sequences that begin every James Bond movie since From Russia With Love, (1963).
Derek Sullivan applied this cinematic convention to an exhibition context, producing five posters whose full meaning becomes apparent when they appear to be publicizing exhibition information. Yet these posters are not signed, nor do they refer to a gallery exhibition. As supporting media, each poster serves to disseminate information that complements that given in the gallery mailing while also remaining self-contained as presentational object and context. Of a conceptual nature, this project raises several questions relating to the traffic of art and the organization of exhibitions as they are conceived in the milieu.

Sullivan is interested in the context of art’s dissemination and in what goes into its exhibition : how do the images a gallery publishes instill a sense of connection with the exhibition venue? Who receives the information? What are the audience’s expectations? Those who receive the posters by mail — a cold open — have a different understanding of the process than those who see them for the first time while visiting the gallery. The repetition inherent to the process and its form of dissemination suggests a sense of déjà vu. In this project, Sullivan gives critical attention to the conventional exhibition space and to forms of presentation by reconnecting with a promotional tool prevalent in the seventies, borrowing a presentational sequence from the world of media to create a “splash.”

Derek Sullivan lives and works in Toronto. He took part in several group exhibitions, at Galerie René Blouin (2006) in Montreal, at Power Plant (2005) in Toronto, and at such international fairs as Art Forum Berlin (2003), among others. He is represented by Jessica Bradley Art & Projects, in Toronto.

Olivia Boudreau, Les vaches (détail | detail), 2005.
Installation vidéo | Video installation.
Gracieuseté de l'artiste | Courtesy of the artist.

Olivia Boudreau
From January 19th 2007 to February 24th 2007
Exposition solo

The time and space of 5 cows in relation to the time and space of 5 cows, the time and space of 5 cows in relation to the time and space of my body, the time and space of my body in relation to the time and space of the first camera shot, the time and space of the first camera shot in relation to the time and space of the second camera shot, the time and space of the second camera shot in relation to the time and space of the viewer, the time and space of the viewer in relation to the time and space of the field, the time and space of the field in relation to the time and space of my body, the time and space of my body in relation to the time and space of the viewer, the time and space of the viewer in relation to the time and space of the first camera shot, the time and space of the first camera shot in relation to the time and space of 5 cows, the time and space of 5 cows in relation to the time and space of the first camera shot, the time and space of the first camera shot in relation to the time and space of the field, the time and space of the field in relation to the time and space of 5 cows, the time and space of 5 cows in relation to the time and space of the viewer.
- Olivia Boudreau

Olivia Boudreau is currently pursuing a master’s degree in visual and media arts at UQAM. Awarded the McAbbie grant in 2003, she participated in the group exhibition "Repliques réflectives : collectif de la relève" (2004, Galerie Verticale). Her work was shown at the Périmètre festival (2005, Dare-Dare), and at Centre Clark during the "Itinéraire Bis" event in 2005.

- Crevier, Lyne, «Fermière obsédée», ICI, 1-7 février 2007, p.42.
- Tousignant, Isa, «Spring into Winter», Hour, 11-18 janvier 2007, p.14.

Manon De Pauw
From March 16th 2007 to April 21st 2007
L'atelier d'écriture

In the last few years I have been conducting an audio and video examination of the act of writing, of the physical and mental states that it brings about, its materiality and tone. What fascinates me is that such an introspective act can resonate in public space, and that it can be so prevalent in an artist’s everyday actions — not just the paperwork, but also its instrumentality in organizing one’s thoughts, in making sense of the bustling images and concepts. I firmly believe in the creative power of scribbling.

L’atelier d’écriture, or writing workshop, explores various ways of amplifying the gesture and of giving it poetic existence: audio capture, exercises in translation, drawing, performance, video-bricolage. Above all, it is a pretext for choreographed interaction with other artists. I first set the stage, providing a period of time, a camera, microphones, paper, pencils, a table, some chairs, and a guest for each of them. The latter come together in silence to create an ever-changing group work rendered on the screen. Throughout the session, the act of writing is transformed into line, drawing, collage, and audible rhythm. It is creative and destructive by turns. Physical attitudes reveal group levels of synchrony, complicity, tension, or confusion. The tabletop becomes a field to invest or to share, a sensitive zone of interactions between individuals and the community. On human, visual, and audio levels, anything can happen. These experiences demand a degree of concentration from participants, but can also afford intense pleasure, akin to that of children at play.
— Manon De Pauw

Saturday, March 24, 3 p.m.
Collective video performance
With : Alexis Bellavance, Manon De Pauw, Maggie Hallam, Michel Laforest, Patrick Mailloux, Billy Mavreas, Marie-Andrée Rho et Laurence Wegscheider.

This project began in the summer of 2006, at the Banff Centre, as part of a thematic residency titled Babel, Babble, Rabble : On Language and Art. My warmest thanks go to those who have participated up to now : Nancy Atakan, Marilyn Booth, Marna Bunnell, JR Carpenter, Paulo da Costa, Joey Dubuc, Simon Glass, Janice Gurney, Catherine Hamel, Rachelle Viader Knowles, Ernie Kroeger, Nate Larson, Laurel MacMillan, Michael Maranda, Billy Mavreas, Joni Murphy, Emilie O'Brien, Baco Ohama, Sylvia Ptak, Jen Rae, John Richey, Adriana Riquer, Nina Serebrianik, Ken Singer et Jessica Wyman.

I would also like to thank Patrick Mailloux, of the Banff Centre, and Yan Giguère from atelier Clark. L’atelier d’écriture received financial support from the Canada Council for the Arts.

Manon De Pauw’s work has been shown in several solo and group exhibitions and video programs in Canada, Europe, and Latin America, including such venues as La Chambre Blanche, Expression, Dare-Dare, Théâtre La Chapelle, and the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal. She lives in Montreal, where she teaches at Concordia University.


- Mavrikakis, Nicolas, «Art d’ici», Voir Montréal, 11-18 janvier 2007, p.42.
- Viau, René, «Chaudes, chaudes, les expositions...», Le Devoir, 20-21 janvier 2007, p.C7.
- Viau, René «Ateliers d’écriture», Le Devoir, 31 mars - 1 avril 2007, p.E3.

Yam Lau
From March 16th 2007 to April 21st 2007

Yam Lau’s computer-generated animation entitled "Room" is an attempt to explore new forms of spatial expression and presentation. It involves the reconstruction of Lau’s bedroom in Toronto through the media of video and 3-D animation software. In this work, representational space is expressed within the order of the virtual. That is, representational video footage of Lau’s daily routine of returning home, getting changed and going to bed is composed, or distributed within an architectural schema in virtual space. This schema functions as a kind of shorthand, diagrammatical expression of the room. In this sense, "Room" is an attempt to complicate representational space with other forms of spatial expression.

Born in Hong Kong, Yam Lau received his MFA from the University of Alberta. His work explores new expressions and presentations of pictorial space, and traverses diverse media including painting and animation. Lau is also a regular contributor to art publications. Currently he is assistant professor at York University.

- Viau, René «Ateliers d’écriture», Le Devoir, 31 mars - 1 avril 2007, p.E3.

Chih-Chien Wang
From May 11th 2007 to June 16th 2007
Yushan Is Here, and A Proper Story

This project has two parts. One is the creation of Yushan, as a character, and the other is an approach to language, as storytelling. These two parts are connected by the uncertain experience of everyday reality; though we live in the real, we somehow forge our status beyond reality.

We may owe this status beyond reality to the fact that life is hard to face. So we perform. We pretend that life is what occurs on stage, and we pretend that we are playing, like kids playing at being adults. The status of reality shifts, then, and this sense of playing blurs our perception of life. Cruelty seems less horrible under these circumstances.

For this project, I consider three categories in life. They are work, language, and living environment. These three topics are dealt with from the point of view of a newcomer in Montreal. Yushan is a newcomer. So am I.

When I speak of Yushan, I am talking about a fictionalized character, even though Yushan is really here. Yushan’s personality contains a mixture of both reality and unreality — she likes to play. I know Yushan is beyond the person I know. Within the project, Yushan transforms into rhythm and colour.

The story also transforms into rhythm and colour.

In the process of telling a story, I observed that narrative transited through concepts, words, symbols, and their appearances. They caught my attention one after another until I was lost. The perceptual uncertainty in language leads the story to transform itself. Stories become mixed up and fragmented.

The project, therefore, becomes the tinge of colour made by Yushan and the stories.
- Chih-Chien Wang

Chih-Chien Wang would like to thank the Conseil des Arts et des lettres du Québec

I was born in Taiwan then moved to Montreal in 2002. In Taiwan, I learned to observe the way people reveal themselves in front of a camera during eight years of filming docu-mentaries. I am currently working on photo and video projects that reflect my concern with the subtle gestures of daily life.

- Dion, François, «Portefolio : Combinaisons», Spirale, no 215, juillet-août 2007, pp.32-33.
- Mavrikakis, Nicolas, «Et la lumière fut», Voir, 31 mai 2007.

Diane Morin
From May 11th 2007 to June 16th 2007

Diane Morin continues her exploration of light with "Effondrements", an audio and visual projection interlacing short sound-bursts with similarly brief illuminations of shadows and objects. An explosion marks each event : a percussive sound accompanying the appearance of a shape as it suddenly emerges from darkness and, just as suddenly, disappears. Is this really a collapse (effondrement) or the repeated staging of a failure ? The video answers the question.

Early on, Morin was interested in the shadows cast by moving objects that she had created, in the traces they left while moving, and in documenting their unpredictable trajectories on photo-sensitive paper in a series of photograms (Axenéo7, 2006). She drew complex sketches from them, tracing the slow, regular movements of her anthropomorphic kinetic devices onto the gallery walls (Circa, 2005). Wishing to move or reanimate inanimate elements (Daïmõn, 2006) and fascinated with the effects of light gliding over objects and their resulting transformation, Morin, in "Effondrements", continues her investigation of light as revelatory agent : shadow, trace, print, image, form, movement. The black and the white of the projected image accentuates its photographic dimension (here, literally an inscription through light).

In commenting "Effondrements", the artist speaks of events. They are certainly tragic, as the object vanishes as soon as it appears. But they are also disappointing — the anticipated destruction of the light —revealed object never comes about. Despite the explosion, nothing blows up, nor is anything destroyed. In an exemplary photographic moment, the explosion here serves only to make visible an object lying still in the darkness and to reveal it as an image of that object disappearing before our eyes. In "Effondrements", Diane Morin clearly demonstrates her penchant for the non-spectacular. She turns our attention toward a series of anti-events, where a silent wait in obscurity leads to a tale of repeated vanishings.
- Nicole Gingras, April 3, 2007

Originally from the region of Kamouraska, Diane Morin lives and works in Montréal. Since 1998, she has been creating kinetic, sound and video installations. Some of her recent activities include participating in Sound + Vision, Collaborative Creative Residency, at the Banff Centre (2005), carrying out a solo show at Circa in Montreal (2005) and participating in the exhibition Meanderings at DAÏMÕN and AXENÉO7 in Gatineau (2006). In 2007, she has also shown her work at Mercer Union in Toronto and at the gallery Rotor 2, Valand School of Arts, Göteborg, Sweden.

- Mavrikakis, Nicolas, «Et la lumière fut», Voir, 31 mai 2007.

Diane Morin
From September 1st 2007 to November 30th 2007
Résidence de recherche jeune création - Valence

Emmanuelle Léonard, Noyade, Rivière-des-Mille-îles, Laval, 2007.
48 x 32 pouces.
Impression jet d'encre | Inkjet print.
Gracieuseté de l'artiste | Courtesy of the artist.

Emmanuelle Léonard
From September 7th 2007 to October 13th 2007
Une sale affaire (A Dirty Business)

Le Mois de la Photo à Montréal

Always squeeze the shutter release as
you do the trigger on your gun.*
- Crime Scene Photography course, RCMP

The driver and his truck sank into the river’s icy waters. The image of a man — the owner of a house near the scene of the tragedy — is broadcast over the media. Emmanuelle Léonard’s Une sale affaire (“dirty business”) brings the investigation to life, with all the mundane details and the flurry of spawned documents. Here, though, investigative procedures accompany a photographic fiction that brings something new to the evidence: the image itself.

With her previous series, "Les travailleurs" (2002), "Les travailleurs de l’église Sainte-Rita", Nice (2003), and "Les marcheurs" (2004), Léonard had seasoned us to a practice midway between conceptualism and photo-journalism. Her investigation of realism, often expressive of a social universe, here leads her to question the objectivity of the photographic document, considered from a judicial perspective. To be accepted in court, police photography must respect simple though strict guidelines meant to ensure efficiency and objectivity, as summed up in the statement: “The photograph must not appeal to the emotions.” (Field Evidence Technician Course, California State University). Applying this rule to picture-taking, Léonard circumscribes every angle, every exit from a building. The intent is to take pictures that reconstruct the scene leading up to the investigation. These photographs and a brief noirish video sequence call us to witness. The camera’s eye attempts to persuade us. But of what crime?

In the basement corridors leading to the archives at the Quebec City court house, Léonard has access to items of evidence for closed cases, among them photographs taken by the police. Numbered and bound, they are free to be consulted and photocopied for they no longer have any judiciary use. In a sense, they’ve returned to the public domain, like the events recounted in the second hall of the gallery. Elsewhere, equipped with a portable radio, Léonard listens in on police communications, on the lookout for incidents requiring immediate action. Thus equipped, and attentive to what’s happening on TV and the Internet, she observes public events, follows press photos: accidents, raids, shootings, drownings. While a picture printed in the newspaper is meant to elicit emotion, police photos muster the evidence. Between the photo attached to a police report and exhibitions in the printed press, between the programmed neutrality of the one and the sensationalist intentions of the other, can we measure the visual divide?

September 27, 2007

Emmanuelle Léonard lives and works in Montreal. Since 1996, her photography, distinguished by its conceptual qualities, has reengaged the documentary genre and reexamined its photographic purpose. Léonard has shown her work and participated in numerous local, national, and international exhibitions, most notably in "Territoires urbains" (Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal, 2005; "Oakville Galleries", (2006), "Trafic inter/national d’art actuel en Abitibi-Témiscamingue" (L’Écart, Rouyn-Noranda, 2005), "Arbeitshaus Einatmen, Kunsthaus Dresden", Dresden, Germany, 2005), "Lieux anthropiques" (Casa Vallarta, Guadalajara, VOX, la saison du Québec au Mexique, 2003). In 2005, she was awarded the Pierre-Ayot prize, from the Association des galeries d’art contemporain and the City of Montreal. In 2006, she was the recipient of a workshop-residency in Basel, from the Christoph Merian Foundation and the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec. Her works are part of the permanent collection of the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec as well as that of the City of Montreal.

- Delgado, Jérôme, «Fabuler autour du fait divers?», Le Devoir, 15-16 septembre 2007, p.E9.
- Mavrikakis, Nicolas, «L’émoi de la photo?», Voir, 4 octobre 2007, p.45.
- Redfern, Christine, «Art of darkness», Mirror, 13-19 septembre 2007, p.60.

Campagne OPTICA 35 ans
October 4th 2007
Concert bénéfice avec Pierre Lapointe

October 4th 2007, OPTICA is celebrating 35 years of production in contemporary art. Since its foundation in 1972, the centre has been at the forefront in promoting artists that have earned Montreal an international reputation. Recognized on the local, national, and international scenes, OPTICA has an exceptional vantage point on the emergence of a new generation of artists reflecting the vitality of this city’s vibrant culture.

On October 4th, we invite you to join us in celebrating this anniversary and artistic energy at the Monument-National. Become a partner in our forthcoming projects by purchasing one or more tickets to our benefit concert featuring the highly original Pierre Lapointe. Rounding out the evening is an exhibition of works by visual artists embodying the vitality of creative endeavour in Quebec — BGL, Gwenaël Bélanger, Michel de Broin, Manon De Pauw, Pascal Grandmaison, Isabelle Hayeur and Emmanuelle Léonard.

During the VIP cocktail before the show, come meet the distinguished members of our honorary committee: Honorary Chair, Alice Keung, Senior Vice President and CIO, Information Technology, at the National Bank of Canada, Monique Giroux, host on Radio Canada’s PremieÌ€re ChaiÌ‚ne, Pierre-François Ouellette, director of Galerie Pierre-François Ouellette art contemporain, and Pascal Grandmaison, artist represented by Galerie René Blouin. Also in attendance will be the artists whose works are presented in the exhibition.

By purchasing a ticket, you automatically make a donation! A donation, in fact, that will be tripled by virtue of the Gouvernement du Québec’s Placements Culture pairing program. Management of endowment funds will be placed in the care of the Foundation of Greater Montreal for a period of ten years. Your donation or attendance of the concert therefore represents a significant gesture toward OPTICA’s future. Help us meet the challenge of ensuring the centre’s continued activity in the production of exhibitions, symposia, and publications.

Your contribution will also help launch the William A. Ewing Visual Arts Research and Residency Program, in honour of OPTICA’s founding director. This annual program, which will award recipients a $25,000 grant, also includes an educational component addressing young artists and the public alike. Be among the first contributors to an innovative program fostering research and creative work in contemporary art!

Conseil des arts du Canada Culture et communications Québec Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec Ville de Montréal Conseil des arts de Montréal
Université Concordia placementsculture

Angela Detanico, Rafael Lain
From November 3rd 2007 to December 8th 2007
Exposition duo

Angela Detanico and Rafael Lain, originally from Brazil, work on the intersection of graphic design and semiology. Their interventions are inscriptions of the everyday and of the practice of writing, incorporating their interested in typography — letters, characters, with special emphasis on Helvetica —, and transposing the alphabet into visual and three-dimensional form. They draw inspiration from digital interfaces, ideograms, and architectural symbols to create a visual and conceptual vocabulary having a naturally mnemonic residual dimension.

The works presented at Optica are steeped in visual poetry and in a particular temporality. As is often the case with Detanico and Lain, while such applications “don’t offer complete and immediate comprehension, they create new possibilities for information and communication, and for many levels of meaning.”(Stephen Feeke, Au bon vouloir des étrangers, catalogue, Paris, Musée Zadkine, 2007.). Against the wall, a row of piled sheaves wrapped in Kraft paper suggests a minimalist sculpture or a storage area. Each pile “is an instance in fact of concrete writing; each letter corresponds to a given number of reams — one for A, two for B, and so on, in increasing oder —, the closer the letter is to the end of the alphabet, the taller the pile. (Raphaël Brunel, Angela Detanico et Rafael Lain. Équation du temps, [www.paris-art.com].) Variations are endless, and allow for systems of writing created from accumulations of sugar, bricks, cartons, books, bags of earth, etc. One only has to repeat the base unit. Ce qui compte (pilha), 2007, takes its system of representation from objects that suggest a local economy, governed by the materials and the exhibition space, its significance obviously affected by whether it is shown in a gallery or in a public space.

A given time in a given space (zulu time), 2007, suggests a displacement within an already fragmented temporality. Taking the form of a sectioned planisphere, this mural defies our understanding, placing us before an unconventional geographic distribution derived from time zones. In the same vein, Clock wise, 2007, reduces the typographic sign to the positions on a clock face, suggesting another manifestation of our subjection to space and time, though sensitizing us to the acceleration and permutation of the notion of trace and origin that we encounter every day in our displacements, in life and on the Internet.

November 3, 2007
North-American premiere in presence of the artists

Born in Caxias do Sul, Brazil, Angela Detanico (1974) and Rafael Lain (1973) have been working together since the 1990s. In 2002, they were awarded an eight-month residence at the Palais de Tokyo, which took them away from São Paulo to Paris, where they have been living and working ever since. Graphic designers by profession, Detanico and Lain set out to reexamine writing systems. No surprise, then, that the invention of typography lies at the heart of their creative process and founds their practice. In 2006, they took part in the 27th São Paulo Biennial. In 2007, they represented Brazil at the 52nd Venice Biennial. Their work is shown throughout Europe, Latin America, and Asia, where they take part in countless video, media arts, and performance festivals.

- «Ateliers d’écriture», Canadian Art, vol. 24, no 3, automne 2007, p.52.

Jake Moore
From November 3rd 2007 to December 8th 2007
Exposition solo

The space of Jake Moore’s mythologically laden installations is shared with life-sized animals forms which often serve as a matrix and support for the transmission of sonic elements, seemingly by way of amplifying their electrical resistance. In an interactive environment that questions our rapport with traditional forms of knowledge, they create a heightened sensory universe whose effects are found in the viewers’ personal associations to the objects and in the objects’ relationships to one another.

Moore uses animals in her work to suggest an “other” which although does not directly reflect ourselves, can be easily recognized as sentient. She is interested in how animals have simultaneously been undervalued in culture and have occupied a curious place within it as analogies for human behaviour—they have been used to teach us how to be human. This relationship plays out in simple turns of phrase like “busy as a bee”, but is also more densely invested in texts where animals, as denizens of a natural world (without thought or language) are used as allegory for moral conduct.

She uses space, materiality, and language as tools to create potential points of entry for viewers as participants in her work. As opposed to following an imposed literal narrative, viewers navigate the installation through their own personal experience. This engagement of the body offers optimism and hope—the vision that the submersive environment provides new ground where different connections can potentially be made.
Testing, testing...

Jake Moore is a Prairie-born, Montreal-based, intermedia artist who considers teaching and social organization to be part of her creative practice. She has exhibited within galleries nationally and at numerous site-specific locations. Moore has received many scholarships and awards for her work from the Canada Council for the Arts to the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. Motivated by social criticism and personal uncertainty, her practice proposes that objects serve as mediating devices and are in themselves complex carriers of information being “transceptive” in nature. She views her studio practice as a starting point for change, and as a request for engagement.