Travel Blog

20 Feb

Art goes underground in Montréal with Art Souterrain

Winter will be warming up on February 27! It’s one of the city’s most exciting happenings ever, Nuit Blanche, the all-night, all-arts party that unites thousands. Best of all, that’s also the date that kicks off the underground art fair: Art Souterrain.

Nuit Blanche Montreal en lumiere 3Nuit Blanche could not be more Montréal – in a testament to Quebecers’ indomitable spirit, crowds of thousand gather in sub-zero temperatures to trek the city in the small hours of the morning, in search of art. That enchanted evening is also the best time to get started on your exploration of Art Souterrain, the seven-kilometre-long art walk through Montréal’s famous underground city.

Art Souterrain 2016, curated by Marie Josée Rousseau, Anaïs Castro and founder Frédéric Loury, runs from February 27 to March 20 and asks the question: Must Art Seduce? Over 80 artists turned their attention to that question over 14 sites underground and 10 extra satellite spaces all over the city’s core. There are also tons of special activities, like meetings with the artists, talks, tours for kids and adults, and exclusive visits through private collections.

There are artists from all over the country and even a couple of internationals in this edition, but since we’re all about Montréal, here are five local artists you’ll want to check out at Art Souterrain 2016.

1) Cooke-Sasseville, with the work L’incarnée, presented at 1000 De La Gauchetière

This Montréal duo, composed of Jean-François Cooke and Pierre Sasseville, make a cynical type of art filled with absurd humour. This sculpture represents of a dart piercing a surface akin to human flesh strikes straight to the heart of the matter: how seductive are violence and the wounds of love?

Sublime_transcendent-Holly_King2) Holly King, with the series Sublime Transcendent, presented at Art Mûr

King makes large, incredible landscape photographs out of tiny models she painstakingly builds to strike the perfect balance between artifice and believability. This body of work is a group of colour photos that explore seduction through imagery skies and reflective water. Don’t’ miss her talk at Art Mûr on March 12, from 3 to 5 pm.

Dope-Caro_Caron3) Caro Caron, with the exhibition DOPE, at Ellephant

This raucous Montréal painter and comic artist explores the powerful attraction of substance consumption and walk the line of addiction in an exhibition that presents an overdose of colours and allegorical imagery. Don’t miss an audience with the artist on March 5, from 2 to 5.

4) Fred Laforge, with a studio tour

Laforge is a multidisciplinary artist who’s interested in the representation of the atypical body. He explores the value judgments we ascribe to appearance and normality in occidental cultures through visceral, nearly touchable drawings and sculptures of unusual human shapes. The tour of his studio takes place on March 9, starting at 6 pm – his presentation will be in French.

Jeux_de_Tables-Michel_de_Broin5) Michel de Broin, with the work Jeux de Tables at L’Arsenal

De Broin uses mundane structures like, in this case, tables, as an archetype of both communion and division (we must all choose sides, after all). This work transforms 24 ordinary tables into a game with multiple levels, where interiors and exteriors are confused. See the work on a tour of the Arsenal collection on March 2 at 6 pm.

The Details

Art Souterrain, February 27 to March 20, 2016


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