Artists: Oana Avasilichioaei, Scott Benesiinaabandan, Karina Champoux, Sarah Chouinard-Poirier, Daria Colonna, Cool Cunts, Pascale Drevillon, Sophie Dubois, toino dumas, Ray Ellenwood, Ellen Furey, Émilie Graton, Mathieu Grenier, Leticia Hamaoui, Hanako Hoshimi-Caines, Benoit Jutras, Fanny Latreille, Soleil Launière, Nikki Little, Anna Lupien, Kamissa Ma Koïta, Noémi McComber, Dana Michel, Chloé Ouellet-Payeur, Dominique Pétrin, Simon Portigal, Marie-Pier Proulx, Marie-Ève Quilicot, Dave St-Pierre, Patricia Smart, Andrew Tay, Becca Taylor, France Théoret, Stephen Thompson, Marilou Verschelden
Curators - Visual arts: Doriane Biot, Camille Richard
Curator - Live arts: Véronique Hudon
May 16, 2018 - June 16, 2018
Opening: May 15, 2018, 5:30 pm
With the participation of Oana Avasilichioaei, Scott Benesiinaabandan, Alix Dufresne, Sarah Chouinard-Poirier, Daria Colonna, Cool Cunts, Pascale Drevillon, Sophie Dubois, toino dumas, Ray Ellenwood, Ellen Furey, Émilie Graton, Mathieu Grenier, Leticia Hamaoui, Hanako Hoshimi-Caines, Benoit Jutras, Alanna Kraaijeveld, Fanny Latreille, Soleil Launière, Niki Little, Anna Lupien, Kamissa Ma Koïta, Noémi McComber, Dana Michel, Chloé Ouellet-Payeur, Dominique Pétrin, Simon Portigal, Marie-Pier Proulx, Marie-Ève Quilicot, Dave St-Pierre, Patricia Smart, Andrew Tay, Becca Taylor, France Théoret, Stephen Thompson, Marilou Verschelden
Starting May 16, Galerie de l’UQAM presents the group exhibition Refus contraire. Conceived in the context of the 70th anniversary of the publication of Refus global, Refus contraire seeks to reactivate the principles of commitment, interdisciplinarity and community that animated the signatories of this striking manifesto. Constantly changing, Refus contraire places great emphasis on performative, collective and political practices. Through an abundant events program, the exhibition is thought of as a space for exchanges, collaborations and dissent, questioning both the boundaries between disciplines and the rules and limits imposed by the gallery space.
In the public imagination, Refus global is associated with revolutions, upheaval, and challenging the status quo. Just as it did 70 years ago, art today must continue to reimagine Québec’s societal stage, even though the set has changed. Cultural oppression has taken on more complex forms, but the reasons to oppose it are ever more pressing. This is why our reimagining of Refus global contains multiple refusals. Refus contraire [Contrary Refusal] is a double negative that invites the public to reconnect with the manifesto’s productive radicalism. Now more than ever, the power of refusal can serve the potential for resistance.
This exhibition shows contemporary artists redefining cultural, identity, and gender representation in various performative, poetic and visual modes. It is a place to take the temperature of our artistic and intellectual communities. Whereas the official story on Refus global has emphasized the Automatistes’ pictorial work, this exhibition will provide a space to converse, occupy, and act in ways closer to the original artists’ intentions. Refus contraire reveals the unseen story of the manifesto: histories of women too often dismissed by critics, and examples of interdisciplinary practices that hold up in the light of an appreciative contemporary rereading.
The works assembled here embody the energy and the struggle for freedom that are at the core of Refus global. The exhibition space will be in a state of flux, echoing an original hope of the manifesto signatories, that the transformative power of art could be activated for collective “better life.” Now, artists are reclaiming this legacy in order to express their own refusal of the status quo, in which our future can be embraced or despaired, but the responsibility for it still shared.
Doriane Biot is an M.A. candidate in Museology as part of Université du Québec à Montréal and Université de Montréal’s joint program. She holds an M.A. in Visual Culture from the University of Aberdeen (Scotland) and a B.A. in Visual Arts and Animation from École de recherche graphique (Belgium). Straddling theory and practice – animated film, drawing, and documentary –, her interests lie in cultural and gender representations through various mediums, as well as in practices that combine art and politics. Meanwhile, Biot also accumulates various international experiences in festival coordination, animation, and video editing.
Camille Richard is an M.A. candidate in Art History at Université du Québec à Montréal. Throughout her research, she has developed an interest in conceptual, feminist and queer practices that redefine traditional notions in regards to exhibition spaces. Her masters deals with relationships of mutual influence between contemporary artistic practices, museum architecture and institutional functions. Moreover, she is the co-coordinator for Hypothèses, a series of lectures, and will act as coordinator for the 2018 edition of the Symposium international d’art contemporain de Baie-Saint-Paul – L’art et le politique –, directed by Sylvie Lacerte.
Véronique Hudon is a PhD student in Études et pratiques des arts at Université du Québec à Montréal. Her research deals with curating live arts. She is the co-director of Curating Live Arts, a collective publication to be released in fall 2018 (Berghahn Books). Writer-in-residence at Centre de creation O Vertigo (CCOV, 2018), she is involved in the fields of dance and theatre. She is also the co-founder of aparté | arts vivants magazine (UQAM) of which she directed the first three issues, and has regularly been published in various magazines in the arts field.
Refus contraire is the inaugural exhibition of RADAR, a new initiative of Galerie de l’UQAM for emerging curators. It allows a group of students from UQAM’s graduate programs in Art History, Museology as well as Visual and Media Arts, selected by a jury, to contribute to the definition, development and organization of an exhibition presented as part of Galerie de l’UQAM’s annual program.
Coordination: Philippe Dumaine
Consulting Committee: Jennifer Carter, Barbara Clausen, Marie-Fei Deguire, Louise Déry, Jean Dubois, Sophie Jodoin
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