Art Souterrain Festival 11th Edition Starts Saturday until March 24

Art Souterrain Festival

Unveils its Complete 11th Edition Program


Public indoor art trail, guided tours, family activities, meetings, workshops, art interventions


March 2 to 24, 2019

The Art Souterrain Festival is pleased to announce the programming for its 11th edition, dedicated this year to the theme “True and False”. This major public art festival will take place from March 2 to 24 in a 6 km segment of RÉSO, Montréal’s underground pedestrian network, and in 8 satellite locations.

This 11th edition of Art Souterrain Festival invites the public to discover contemporary art works by roughly 60 international and local artists, free of charge and accessible 24/7 over a three-week period. These works have been selected by three well-known curators: Maude Arsenault, photographer, artist and curator, founder of the collective, Martin Le Chevallier, artist and filmmaker, and Joyce Yahouda, gallery director and former consultant to the Conseil des Arts de Montréal.

The event also includes workshops and a family trail tailored to children ages 5 and up, to help them discover the works on exhibit in a novel, kid-friendly fashion.



As our society and our behaviours continue their digital transformation, it has never been easier to access information – or harder to differentiate true from false. Individual mythologies cultivated on social media also increasingly blur the borders between fact and fiction. Far from counteracting this trend, artists enjoy being actively involved in playing with reality. In fact, all art is essentially an illusion of reality – a way to alternately represent, deny, and query it. The works chosen for this 11th edition will allow the public to interrogate, contemplate, play with and be surprised by notions of “truth”, at once universal and subjective, which address an important issue in today’s social reality: the relationship between representation and authenticity.




The 11th edition of the Art Souterrain Festival offers a broad range of artistic and cultural experiences through several novel activities, free of charge. These will include the “Running Visit, which will mingle physical fitness with exploring the art trail, accompanied by a fitness trainer and exhibition guides; guided tours suited to both neophytes and amateurs, which will include three themed routes allowing festival attendees to experience art underground from different angles; the presence of artists on site during the Nuit Blanche festival, each accompanied by guides whose mission is to inform the public about the artist’s work and practice; and finally, art appreciation sessions held on weekdays at noon and on weekends to learn more about and discuss the works on display in the underground network.

There will also be activities specifically for film buffs around the paranoid cinema at Cinéma du Parc.

Finally, each satellite location will also offer a planned activity including meet the artists, creative workshops and round-table discussions.



A map made just for children ages 5 to 12 will give families a novel and family-friendly way to discover the works presented during the event. There will be a specific self-guided free activity around a selected work in each of the buildings on the art trail. Each of these works will also be accompanied by a descriptive panel created especially for children. Alexander Pilis, curated by Joyce Yahouda, will also offer a special family workshop “Parallax Architecture: Vision of Difference, Difference of Vision”. This one will take place at the Place Ville Marie Observatory level on Wednesday March 6 from 10 a.m. to noon and 2 to 4 p.m.



French artist  Alain della Negra and Japanese artist Kaori Kinoshita will sow confusion between the real and the virtual by presenting their short film NEIGHBORHOOD, recounting the life story of their avatar to fans of the Sims game; THE BEST AVAILABLE EVIDENCE from visual artist Rebecca Marino is based on a document she discovered about proof of the existence and the legitimacy of Unidentified Flying Objects (UFOS) –  her work calls into question the thresholds of personal belief by playing with the idea of proof; at the Palais des Congrès du Montréal, artist and sculptor Philippe Ramette uses photography to make poetry of the world with humour and strangeness while reflecting on the concept of the “irrational”; Holly Andres is offering a series of photographs inspired by childhood memories and set in carefully orchestrated melodramatic cutscenes. Her work echoes that of Siàn Davey who will celebrate family life in its unpredictable complexity with a quasi-documentary approach. The “True or False” theme will also be addressed through painting and the representation of popular imagination; self-taught Quebecois artist and former animator Emmanuel Laflamme will amplify cultural references in his work FAKE IT UNTIL YOU MAKE IT by diverting man’s first step on the Moon, while questioning the authenticity of the event; conceptual artist Steve Giasson will question our beliefs with his work SANS TITRE (CINQ RUBIS), specially created for the UnderGround Art Festival. We’re told the artist has hidden five rubies in the buildings of the underground network, raising many questions, even about the existence of the work; Marc Lee will turn a critical eye on the limits of our information society with his video installation POLITICAL CAMPAIGN – BATTLE OF OPINION ON SOCIAL MEDIA. Starting from the premise that social media reflect our own opinions back to us, he offers through his work a wacky version of a continuous news stream that mixes real images, videos and tweets in real time; artist Philippe Battikha will amuse himself with a truly Montréal concept: construction sites. His sculptural and sound installation PREVENTIVE MAINTENANCE plays with the spectator who will doubt what he perceives; another monumental installation, LE TERRIL, will be presented by Edward Hillel, who uses humour to denounce the economic, political and social powers of multinational corporations; finally, Montreal artist Dominique Pétrin will enjoy demonstrating ways to alter perception and conscience such as fooling the cognitive processes of vision and the use of hypnosis in performance in her work LE VRAI DU FAUX.



The Art Souterrain Festival will once again take over the symbolic underground spaces for which Montréal is renowned: Place Guy-Favreau, the Palais des congrès, the Édifice Jacques Parizeau, World Trade Center Montréal and 1000 de la Gauchetière.  In addition, Place Bonaventure will host artistic performances taking place on March 2 during Nuit Blanche. The Festival’s activities also extend to the four corners of the city, thanks to 8 satellite locations, including Arsenal Contemporary Art Montréal (in Griffintown), the Cinéma du Parc (in the Quartier des spectacles), the Ubisoft exhibition space (Mile-end), the Espacio México Montréal cultural centre (Ville-Marie), the Maison de la Culture in Pointe-aux-Trembles and, for the first time, the Maison de la Culture in Verdun and the Place Ville Marie Observatory.

The 11th edition of the Art Souterrain Festival will run from March 2 to 24, 2019.

About Art Souterrain

Art Souterrain is a non-profit organization, founded in 2009, whose mandate is to make contemporary art accessible to the public. In a spirit of demystifying artistic works and processes, the organization carries out several annual projects that aim to educate the eye and create connections between works and their viewers.


To achieve its goals, Festival Art Souterrain relies on the proven approach of bringing art out of traditional exhibition spaces to create individual encounters. By exhibiting in unconventional spaces, the group hopes to surprise each and every passerby and stimulate new kinds of interactions.

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