POINTS OF VIEW | GALERIE UQO IN COLLABORATION WITH AXENÉO7

 

POINTS OF VIEW

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Galerie UQO presents, in collaboration with AXENÉO7, a series of activities bringing together the artists associated with the project À perte de vue/Endless Landscape and guest speakers to reflect on and discuss the issues raised by the production and presentation of monumental artworks in the Fonderie.
 
The Points of View programming begins with two Discussion Evenings, with the participation of the ten artists who participated in the project — Cedric Bomford, Jim Bomford, Nathan Bomford, Michel de Broin, Alexandre David, Noémie Lafrance, Nadia Myre, Graeme Patterson, Dominique Pétrin and Samuel Roy-Bois — and two guest moderators — Geneviève Saulnier and Stefan St-Laurent — to discuss the issues raised by their artistic projects. Over the course of the summer, four Lecture Evenings will be held, moderated by artistes, researchers, curators and specialists — Louise N. Boucher, Steven Loft, Suzanne Paquet, Jonathan Saughnessy, Ryan Stec, Justin Wonnacott and Jakub Zdebik — who will present their points of view on the project. À perte de vue / Endless Landscape as a whole will be analysed by each of the speakers, raising several avenues for reflection.
 
Galerie UQO organises and supports research and creation projects related to present-day issues in contemporary art and museum studies. It promotes joint efforts involving a variety of fields and contributes to the advance of knowledge and to the production of innovative ways to make knowledge publicly available. Rooted in its community and witness to the social, political and aesthetic questions around artistic creation, Galerie UQO contributes actively to art’s dialogue with its production and exhibition context.
 
 
DISCUSSION EVENINGS
 
Discussion Evenings are a venue for enlightened conversations among the artists who participated in the project and two guest moderators, Stefan St-Laurent, director of the artist-run centre AXENÉO7, and Geneviève Saulnier, restorer of contemporary art at the National Gallery of Canada (NGC). The two evenings will be an opportunity to address numerous questions around the artists’ practices and the production of their works in the Fonderie.
 
 
Wednesday June 14,  2017 at 6PM |
Discussion Evening with the artists Cedric Bomford, Jim Bomford, Nathan Bomford, Michel de Broin, Graeme Patterson and Dominique Pétrin with moderator Stefan St-Laurent
At AXENÉO7, 80 Hanson St., Gatineau
 
What are the opportunities and challenges for artists working today, in the ever changing visual arts landscape? As new technologies emerge, and disciplines converge, how do artists maintain a visual arts practice in the age of interdiscipinarity? Many artists commissioned for À perte de vue / Endless Landscape have intersectional practices that integrate elements of architecture, design and performance — how do they imagine their practice as visual artists in the future? Have disciplinary silos been broken down so much as to give way to a truly transdisciplinary approach in the visual arts? The participating artists will each share their views on their evolving practices, in the context of an art world in constant mutation.
 
Moderator: Stefan St-Laurent
Stefan St-Laurent, multidisciplinary artist and curator, was born in Moncton, New-Brunswick and lives and works in Gatineau. He was the invited curator for the Biennale d’art performatif de Rouyn-Noranda in 2008, and for the 28th and 29th Symposium international d’art contemporain de Baie-Saint-Paul in 2010 and 2011. From 2002 to 2011, he worked as curator of Galerie SAW Gallery, and has been an adjunct professor in the department of visual arts at the University of Ottawa since 2010. His performance and video work has been presented in numerous galleries and institutions, including the Centre national de la photographie in Paris, Edsvik Konst och Kultur in Sollentuna in Sweden, YYZ in Toronto, Western Front in Vancouver and the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia in Halifax. He has been a curator and programmer for a number of artistic organisations and festivals, including the Lux Centre in London, the Cinémathèque Québécoise in Montréal, the Festival international du cinéma francophone in Acadie, the Rencontres internationales Vidéo Arts Plastiques in Basse-Normandie, France, the Festival international du cinéma francophone en Acadie in Moncton, as well as Pleasure Dome, Images Festival of Independent Film and Video and Vtape in Toronto. He is currently director of the artist-run centre AXENÉO7 in Gatineau.
 
 
Wednesday June 21, 2017 at 6PM | 
Discussion Evening with the artists Alexandre David, Noémie Lafrance and Samuel Roy-Bois with moderator Geneviève Saulnier
At AXENÉO7, 80 Hanson St., Gatineau
 
In keeping with the history of the Fonderie, the concept of industry in art is examined with direct reference to the works produced for the exhibition and to the body of work of each artist present. In this sense, the infatuation of the arts community — which includes both artists and institutions — for industrial sites will be addressed while at the same time leading the discussion towards the architectural, artistic and technical constraints faced by artists. Unlike the Fonderie’s various vocations since its construction, this exhibition is only temporary. As a restorer, the lifespan of artworks is at the heart of Saulnier’s practice. For this exhibition, some artists have created works which, both physically and semantically, are directly tied to the site. Their permanence is thus intrinsically cast into doubt.
 
Moderator: Geneviève Saulnier
Geneviève Saulnier is a restorer of contemporary art at the National Gallery of Canada (NGC). She holds a B.A. from the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM) and a certificate in chemistry from Concordia University. In 2003 she completed a master’s degree in the restoration of painting at Queen’s University, whereupon she developed her expertise in the restoration of contemporary art, including painting, sculpture, drawing, photography, digital art and installation at the Canadian Conservation Institute (CCI-ICC), the NGC and the Centre de conservation du Québec (CCQ). She joined the NGC in 2004 and has since been involved with numerous projects and local and international organisations, including DOCAM, the American Institute for Conservation (AIC), the Canadian Association for the Conservation of Cultural Property (CAC-ACCR), Galerie SAW Gallery, the University of Ottawa and AXENÉO7.
 
 
LECTURE EVENINGS
 
Lecture Evenings are a venue for discussion among researchers and others active in the artistic community who, through their singular approaches, can help shine light on the issues raised by the À perte de vue / Endless Landscape project. Over the course of four evenings, the issues addressed will include our industrial heritage, public art and public spaces, the atmosphere of exhibition venues, photography, monumental artworks in a museum setting and the affirmation of indigenous identity through art.
 
Wednesday July 19,  2017 at 6PM |
Lecture Evening with Louise N. Boucher
At AXENÉO7, 80 Hanson St., Gatineau
 
The industrial heritage of the Gatineau-Ottawa region has been the creative substratum for a variety of artists, from former times to today. For decades places such as the Fonderie or the Filature have been evocative models, resulting in outstanding iconic artworks. Other works have been incorporated into some of these heritage buildings in the form of public art. Louise N. Boucher, professor at the University of Ottawa and expert in cultural history, offers a presentation which looks both backwards and forwards around the history of these sites seen through the prism of art.
 
Art and Industrialisation in Hull : Historical Perspectives
The industrial history of the city of Gatineau includes several central sites, such as the Filature, the Fonderie and the Chaudière Falls, and the historical contribution of visual artists to evocations of these leading heritage sites deserves to be better known. In fact the iconic artworks of the past centuries are revelatory for both their magnificence and their value as documents of a community life both moving and heroic. Artists such as Krieghoff, Bainbrigge, Bouchette, Julien, Fabien and many others have left a rich legacy of landscapes and infrastructures. Their original and colourful works, populated with workers and entrepreneurs, provide invaluable views of the origins of the region.
 
Louise N. Boucher
Louise N. Boucher has taught at the University of Ottawa since 2008 and is the author of a doctoral dissertation on the Chaudière Falls area. She worked for eighteen years at the Canadian Museum of History, where she contributed to several award-winning projects, including a Quebec tourism Grand Prix laureate. She is the recipient of a Flamand littéraire from the AAAO for one of her publications and a certificate of honour from the city of Gatineau for her exceptional work on the Chaudière Falls. She regularly gives abundantly illustrated lectures both in the Gatineau-Ottawa region and internationally.
 
 
Wednesday July 26, 2017 at 6PM |
Lecture Evening with Jakub Zdebik and Ryan Stec
At AXENÉO7, 80 Hanson St., Gatineau
 
Bearing witness to changes to industry and to the factory age, the Fonderie, an imposing building of 5,390 square metres dating from 1913, plays a leading role in the À perte de vue / Endless Landscape project. From processing and manufacturing industries to sport and now contemporary art, this site has carried out many functions and is an economic, social and cultural reflection of the Outaouais region. Constructed for the most part of glass, inside it is sweltering hot in summer. Compared to museums and art galleries, the exhibition space is thus not temperate. Jakub Zdebik, adjunct professor in art history at the University of Ottawa, offers a presentation that will examine art and air and the atmospheric aesthetic of the exhibition space. The artist and researcher Ryan Stec, for his part, will discuss art’s creation of public space and explore ways of thinking about the presence of large-scale works of art in this constantly-changing post-industrial building.
 
Atmospheric Aesthetics
The exhibition space is an isolated and isolating container of art. Cut off from an outside, delimited by walls, the art works are displayed in a space permeated by a palpable atmosphere. What is the link between atmosphere, isolation and exhibition? An atmospheric island, such as a greenhouse or a space capsule, can serve as a model to explore the relationship of art and air. According to German philosopher Peter Sloterdijk, the birth of Modernism coincides with the gas attack at Ypres in 1915. The atmosphere is henceforth tainted, suspicious, threatening. From gas attacks to Salvador Dalí’s near asphyxiation in a diving suit, Sloterdijk traces a link from the invisible threat of the atmosphere to the unnerving air cultivated by avant-garde art. Through Sloterdijk’s writings about toxic air, his concepts of atmospheric islands and his notion of aesthetic formalisation of the weather, Zdebik will explore the exhibition space as network of art related by a conspicuous air.
 
Jakub Zdebik
Jakub Zdebik is assistant professor of art history in the department of visual arts at the University of Ottawa. He received his Ph.D. from the Centre for the Study of Theory and Criticism. He has published in RACAR, The Brock Review, The Semiotic Review of Books, English Studies in Canada and Deleuze Studies. His book Deleuze and the Diagram: Aesthetic Threads in Visual Organization was published by Continuum Press. Recently, he curated an exhibition at the Kennedy Museum of Art in Ohio entitled Art as Information: Maps, Plans and Diagrams.
 
 
Art and the making of public space
Public space is a modern invention. Forged in the crisis of modern life in the late twentieth century, it was a conceptual tool crafted to fight for the places we shared together in the city. The term public space came to stand in for the common world under threat from modern planning, and now for an increasingly long list of common and shared spaces that have been erased, suppressed, burned down, sold off, fenced off, filled in and built upon. By most accounts, public space is on its last legs, but despite this apparent ill health, artists have persisted in their efforts to bring us together, in spaces of all kinds. However, artists (and the best of their objects) do not work to bring us together in some seamless consensual grey mire – this kind of together is a demographic or target market rather than a public. The kind of together brought about through the ambiguity of the art object is one that is full of tension and complexity, and this is the kind of together where the public quality of space really comes to life. It is certain that an ever-transforming post-industrial civic building such as the Fonderie, filled with art works of incredible scale, is not an attempt to recover the nostalgic modern ideal of public space. In these tense and complex times, however, perhaps it is precisely the kind of public space we need.
 
Ryan Stec
Ryan Stec is an artist, educator, producer and designer working in both research and production. Interested in the intersections of technology, creativity and the built environment, his most recent work is focused on interventions that redefine how we experience the city around us. He has been heavily involved in the artist-run culture of Ottawa since 1998 and has been the artistic director of Artengine, a centre for art, design and research here in the capital, since 2005. He is currently a Ph.D. candidate in architecture at Carleton University, where his research is focused on the political potential of temporary art and design interventions into public space.
 
 
Wednesday August 9, 2017 at 6PM |
Lecture Evening with Suzanne Paquet and Justin Wonnacott
At AXENÉO7, 80 Hanson St., Gatineau
 
À perte de vue/Endless Landscape is an exhibition of monumental public artworks which appear to be the result of a transposition from the outside to the inside — ex-situ to in situ. These works are at one and the same time enduring, ephemeral and furtive. They take up residence in the Fonderie for two months only and contrast considerably with public artworks which usually endure in time and space. In this sense, images become imperative to document and even remember these temporary works. Suzanne Paquet, professor in the art history and cinema studies department of the Université de Montréal, and the artist Justin Wonnacott offer two presentations on the spatio-temporal effects of photography on different kinds of public displays from both a theoretical and a practical perspective.
 
Art and Sites: Public Art and Urban Art, between Placement and Displacement
Through the study of several works of public art of two kinds, on the one hand more traditional public art — generally monumental and commissioned art which endures and is exhibited in the public domain — and on the other hand ephemeral interventions described as “furtive art” or “micro-interventions”, often made in a clandestine manner on public thoroughfares, Suzanne Paquet will examine the socio-technical linkages formed by the interaction of artworks, artists and art lovers who circulate on-line photographs of the works. In light of the intense propagation of images in communicative public spheres and spaces, should we be rethinking the spatio-temporal regimes of artworks and envision real action on the part of the public for contemporary art?
 
Suzanne Paquet
Suzanne Paquet is a professor in the art history and cinema studies department of the Université de Montréal (UdeM). Her main fields of teaching and research are photography and the sociology of art; she also studies the arts of space, in particular land art and public art. Her work has been published in a number of anthologies and in scholarly and specialised journals. Recently, she edited the books La part artistique de l’habiter: perspectives contemporaines, with Olivier Lazzarotti and Guy Mercier (2017), Errances photographiques: Mobilité et intermédialité (2014) and Le Paysage entre art et politique, with Guy Mercier (2013), and has in addition edited a special issue of the magazine CV Ciel Variable entitled “cyber/espace/public” (2013).
 
 
Everything According to Plan: Photographs of Public Art from Gatineau and Ottawa
Wonnacott will discuss his current exhibition of photographs of works of public art and how he sees it as creative work. Some issues he will briefly speak about are the constant push and pull of politics in all public art and its creation, how it is impossible to re-occupy the same site culturally as readings for artworks change over time and some of the decisions he makes when he makes the photographs.
 
Justin Wonnacott
Justin Wonnacott was born in 1950 and moved to Ottawa in 1974. He is a photographer and a teacher who also writes about his subject. He is known for long-term photographic projects in a variety of genres including the still life, landscape, street photography and images of public art. These portfolios are accompanied by publications. He has a long exhibition history in Canada and many national, provincial and municipal institutions collect his work. In 2005, he received the Karsh Award and in 2009 he was inducted as a member of the Royal Canadian Academy.
 
 
Wednesday August 16, 2017 at 6PM | 
Lecture Evening with Jonathan Saughnessy and Steven Loft
At AXENÉO7, 80 Hanson St., Gatineau
 
Multiple artworks and interventions make up À perte de vue / Endless Landscape. By their forms and methods they are seen as public art; in some cases they are tangible and monumental, in others intangible and performative. In either case, they are not lasting and have been produced for this temporary project. These creations suggest the constraints around the activities of museums in acquiring, preserving and presenting art and raise several issues around the presence of such works in a museum context. Jonathan Saughnessy, curator of contemporary art at the National Gallery of Canada (NGC), offers a concrete examination of this kind of contemporary production, more specifically with respect to acquiring it. In every respect, the project plays a crucial role in the resurgence of the affirmation of indigenous peoples, thereby proclaiming their presence. Surveying artistic practices, Steven Loft, director of the program Creating, Knowing and Sharing: The Arts and Cultures of First Nations, Inuit and Métis Peoples at the Canada Council for the Arts, advances a number of theories to demonstrate theoretically the manifestation of the social, political and cultural rights of indigenous peoples.
 
Unwieldy Collecting? Working with the Site-specific, In-situ, and Otherwise in Contemporary Art
In this presentation Jonathan Shaughnessy will reflect on some of his experiences working with contemporary artists whose productions exceed the bounds of the traditional formats of the art object and the museum. Can a national institution collect such pieces? Should they? What is the nature and history of such production both in Canada and internationally? How does such work “challenge” the ontology of the artwork, and/or is this still a valid question? And finally, do large-scale site-specific projects inherently run counter to the goals and mandates of “permanent” collections of works of art?
 
Jonathan Saughnessy
Jonathan Shaughnessy is a curator based in Ottawa where he has worked in the contemporary art department of the National Gallery of Canada since 2005. His exhibitions include Carsten Höller: Three Shows (2007); Louise Bourgeois 1911-2010 (2011-12); Builders: Canadian Biennial 2012 (2012-13); and Vera Frenkel: Ways of Telling (at MoCCA, now MoCA, Toronto, 2014). He has written on the work of many Canadian and international artists and is the curator for the 2017 Canadian Biennial at the National Gallery, Ottawa, which opens October 2017. Shaughnessy is an adjunct professor in the visual arts department of the University of Ottawa and a Ph.D. student in the Institute of Comparative Studies in Literature, Arts and Culture (ICSLAC), Carleton University, where his research interests include Canadian and international contemporary art production and its institutional collection as related to issues of globalisation, transnationalism and diaspora.
 
 
Indigenous art created to proclaim Indigenous presence, resistance and sovereignty within colonial structures and frameworks
At a time when as a nation-state we are re-examining the place and space of Indigenous sovereignty, what is the place of Indigenous arts-based discourse in the shifting landscape of conciliation and decolonisation? If we accept the proposition that colonial space is both mutable and immutable, that is, its construct presupposes its superiority while reality inevitably shatters that notion, then we must take the position that we are all agents of either stasis or change. For every act of political, social or cultural agency that challenges the status quo, there will always be competing forces of colonial entrenchment/privilege, oppositional paranoia or, simply, inertia. Dene scholar Glen Coulthard writes, “authentic decolonisation must directly confront more than mere economic relations; it has to account for the multifarious ways in which capitalism, patriarchy, white supremacy and the totalising character of state power interact with one another to form the constellation of power relations that sustain colonial patterns of behaviour, structures and relationships.”In our communities, in this country, and around the world, Indigenous peoples are continuing to assert their social, political, cultural and inherent rights. Art, culture and its many manifestations have and continue to play a vital role in this resurgence. Steven Loft will examine the concept of Indigenous art created to proclaim Indigenous presence, resistance and sovereignty within colonial structures and frameworks.
 
Steven Loft
Steven Loft is a Mohawk of the Six Nations with Jewish heritage. He is currently director of the program Creating, Knowing and Sharing: The Arts and Cultures of First Nations, Inuit and Métis Peoples with the Canada Council for the Arts. A curator, scholar, writer and media artist, in 2010 he was named Trudeau National Visiting Fellow at Ryerson University in Toronto. Loft has also held positions as curator-in-residence, indigenous art at the National Gallery of Canada, director/curator of the Urban Shaman Gallery, Winnipeg; aboriginal curator at the Art Gallery of Hamilton and producer and artistic director of the Native Indian/Inuit Photographers’ Association (Hamilton). He has curated group and solo exhibitions across Canada and internationally; written extensively for magazines, catalogues and arts publications; and lectured widely in Canada and internationally. Loft has co-edited the books Transference, Technology, Tradition: Aboriginal Media and New Media Art (Banff Centre Press, 2005) and Coded Territories: Indigenous Pathways in New Media (University of Calgary Press, 2014).
 
 
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