From February 29 to March 22
The Art Souterrain Festival is pleased to unveil 5 key
artists from the program for its 12th edition, which will take place from
February 29 to March 22, 2020. It will be marked by large-scale works: an
architectural installation by Daniel Corbeil, a series of works by Skawennati that will occupy the entire commercial
gallery of the Centre
du Commerce Mondial of Montreal, an immersive projection by Sabrina Ratté, the prints of a radioactive
herbarium by Anaïs Tondeur, as well as the trompe-l’oeil photos
of Sébastien Michaud. Under the theme “RESET, new start”, the
exhibition will be organized on a continuous 5 km route in 6 underground places
as well as in 7 off-path places. A total of 55 local and international artists will take part in this
essential cultural event of the winter season, during which contemporary art
invites itself into Montreal’s underground spaces to meet the public.
5 Key Artists Unveiled
Concerned about the consequences of the environmental
disturbances caused by industrialization and urbanization, Daniel Corbeil will present a monumental
installation which simulates an “eco-technological” habitat evoking by its ovoid shape, a
greenhouse which combines living space with a function of food production. It
will be up to the visitor to determine the utopian or dystopian character of
this playful eco-fiction. Sculptor and photographer, Daniel Corbeil holds a
master’s degree in plastic arts from the University of Quebec in Montreal and
teaches plastic arts at the Cégep du Vieux-Montréal. Through his work, he explores the
idea of technical simulacrum as a fun way to understand and question reality. This
work will be presented in the Guy-Favreau complex, where it will be possible to
visit the interior upon reservation.
For Festival 2020, Mohawk artist Skawennati presents a series of works consisting of films called machinimas, images of cyberpunk avatars, a collection of clothing developed in a digital environment and prints of futuristic calico designs. Her works will take over the entire commercial gallery of the Centre du Commerce Mondial of Montreal. Challenged by the backward-looking nature of representations of indigenous people, as well as by their virtual absence of futuristic narratives, Skawennati imagines cyberpunk avatars interfering in the news, claiming a future for their communities. Her projects address the concepts of history, future and change from an Aboriginal perspective.
In her art, Sabrina Ratté mixes analog, photographic
technologies and 3D animation techniques. She also focuses on the creation of
architectures, abstract compositions as well as surreal landscapes, between the
virtual and physical reality. The work she will present this year at the
festival, “Undream”, depicts an imaginary future where utopia and
dystopia collapse. This work is inspired by photomontages from Superstudio, a
major force in the radical architecture and design movement of the late 1960s.
In addition, “Undream” leads the viewer through an
isolated landscape, overhung by a monumental structure. Carried away by this
ripple movement, visitors are suspended in an impossible and abandoned
territory, between the built environment and the natural world.
Anaïs Tondeur presents the work “Chernobyl Herbarium”, composed of 30 rayograms created by the direct imprint of specimens from a radioactive herbarium on photosensitive plates. The footprints of these plants, which have grown in the soils of the Chernobyl exclusion zone, are captured by a photogram process, a technique that makes visible the effect of extreme exposure to the light of an explosion of atomic bomb. With this series of plant footprints, the artist questions the scars of a tragedy, the material traces of an invisible disaster, images captured on the edge of the visible world.
The artist photographer Sébastien
Michaud will present
“Supermarket Landscape” a series of photographs captured over a
period of four years, everywhere in Quebec. At first glance, they are much
closer to the landscape from another planet (or an idyllic landscape) than the
ones we would like to see after several days of walking in the middle of
nature. They are actually pictures of snowbanks that accumulate in winter in
shopping center parking lots. Faced with these images, the viewer is faced with
a contradiction: the beautiful landscape here is the result of rejection, as
ambiguous as the so-called “natural” landscapes. These landscapes
that modern society still seeks to promise us but which are, in reality, very
often developed and marked out.
Underground and Off-Path Locations
A continuous 5 km underground route will connect the Complex
Guy Favreau, the Palais des congrès of
Montreal, the Édifice Jacques-Parizeau, the Centre de commerce mondial of
Montreal, the Place de la cité internationale and the Place Victoria. This year, the
experience will continue in 7 off-path locations: the Château Dufresne, the Cinéma du
parc, the Institut culturel du Mexique in Montreal, the gallery Ellephant, the
Centre des arts actuels Skol and UQÀM.
About Art Souterrain
Art Souterrain is a non-profit organization founded in 2009
with the mandate to make contemporary art accessible to the general public.
With a view to demystifying works and artistic approaches, the organization
sets up several annual projects that seek to educate the eye and create a link
between the work and its audience.
To achieve its goals, Art Souterrain relies on a strong model which consists in removing art from traditional exhibition places to bring it to meet individuals. By investing in unconventional places, the organization wants to surprise everyone in their daily lives and thus provoke a new kind of interaction.