RESET, 12th edition of
Art Souterrain Festival
55 local and international artists will take part in this essential cultural event of the winter season
The Art Souterrain Festival is pleased to unveil five 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, 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 six underground places as well as in seven 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.
The Art Souterrain Festival is pleased to unveil five key artists from the program for its 12th edition, which will take place from February 29 to March 22.
Five Key Artists Unveiled
Concerned about the consequences of the environmental disturbances caused by industrialization and urbanization, Daniel Corbeil will present a monumental installation that 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 the 12th edition of the festival, 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.
‘Under the theme RESET, new start, the exhibition covers a continuous 5 km route in six underground places as well as in seven off-path places.’
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 an 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
Art Souterrain relies on a strong model that consists of 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.
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 seven 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.
ÉCHAPPE-TOI, UNE AVENTURE IMMERSIVE
Festival Art Souterrain, in collaboration with Échappe-toi, is pleased to unveil its family program for the 12th edition, which will allow young festival-goers to discover works of art on the underground route thanks to interactive activities made specially to them. As of February 29, and every day during the spring break, they can take part in the world’s biggest escape game to discover the exhibition in a fun and unusual way.
Diving into the greatest immersive escape adventure to date entitled Journey to the Centre of the Earth: The Forgotten City, participants will be able to live an in situ experience taking place over 5 km of Montreal’s underground network and answer riddles, meet different characters and discover clues that will allow them to escape with the treasure of the Forgotten City. 80 professional actors and ambassadors will be brought together at the heart of the Art Souterrain course to help players experience this unique escape game.
“This hunt for puzzles is a fun and accessible way to create an unusual link between the viewer and the work of art. This will certainly open up the world of contemporary art to an audience less inclined to attend visual arts exhibitions”, explains Frédéric Loury, general director of Art Souterrain.
“Playing in the underground city of Montreal and participating in the development of the artistic and architectural heritage is an opportunity that we could not miss and which has been corresponding to our mandate for over five years” explains Emmanuel de Gouvello, president and founder of Échappe-toi – Immersive Adventure.
Tickets are now on sale at the unique price of $ 25 plus taxes – places are limited.
February 29, March 1, 6, 7 and 8, 2020. Duration 1 hour. For more details, visit echappetoi.com.
12th edition of Festival Art Souterrain
Fom February 29 to March 22, 2020
For more information, visit artsouterrain.com
Images : Festival Art SouterrainRead also: Other public art exhibitions
Art Souterrain is a non-profit organization founded in 2009 with the mandate to make contemporary art accessible to the general public. With a desire to demystify 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. artsouterrains.com