Making Revolution: Collective Histories, Desired Futures

© Marwa Arsanios

Making Revolution explores forms of struggle and revolution in the Middle East and North Africa through video art and installation. This exhibition curated by Farah Atoui and Viviane Saglier revisits histories of uprisings through the production and circulation of images. While the 2011 upheavals are often considered a turning point in the region’s political history, the six film and video works and the three installations featured in Making Revolution engage with different temporalities, earlier revolutions, and their political and poetic legacies. They foreground the physicality of corporealities in uprisings, thereby drawing attention to the embodiment of revolution through the medium of the moving image. 

This incisive and hopeful investigation seeks to convoke new, grounded imaginaries and understandings for the struggles and movements to come.

Otipemisiwak

Lina Samoukova

Showcasing recent process-based works on paper, textile and 360º animation, Otipemisiwak* celebrates the lives and material cultures of three women: the artist’s great grandmother, Eléanore; her grandmother, Clémence; and her mother, Anita. Works feature a digital-beading technique the artist invented called ‘Berries to Beads’. The technique mirrors spectacular traditional Métis beading; it is both a meticulous and technically demanding practice and art form.

Daphne Boyer is a Canadian visual artist and plant scientist. Her iterative practice combines plant material, high-resolution digital tools and women’s traditional handwork to create art that convokes her family’s Métis heritage and honours plants as the basis of life on earth.

 * People who live by their own rules.

Live In Palestine (suspended indefinitely)

[highlight background=”#e2011e” color=”#ffffff”]— Montreal is in red zone since October 01, 2020. This exhibition is suspended until further notice. See MAI’s latest updates related to COVID-19. —[/highlight]

This exhibition brings together performance work that asks the viewer to consider how bodies, actions and images produce meaning in particular geopolitical spaces. Showcasing prominent and emerging contemporary artists currently living and working in Palestine, Live in Palestine focuses on work that combines performative practices with political engagement, addressing some of the complexities of living in occupied Palestine.

Curated by Anna Khimasia (Los Angeles), Stefan St-Laurent (Gatineau) and Rehab Nazzal (Bethlehem), Live in Palestine was initiated at the Art & Resistance conference in Dar al-Kalima University (Bethlehem). Organized by AXENÉO7 in partnership with DAÏMÔN (Gatineau) and A Space Gallery (Toronto).

 

ONLINE SUPPLEMENT

Documentation surrounding the exhibition, including 360-degres views of the gallery, biographies, photos and media/support/technique information of works presented to put them in context : here.

 

VIDEO PROJECTION

     

Free admission, limited seating – RSVP required. In English and Arabic with subtitles.

  • On September 25, 2020 at 7:30 pm at MAI (Montréal, arts interculturels), screening of a video program related to the exhibition Live In Palestine, in partnership with Vidéographe, AXENÉO7 and Filmlab: Palestine.

 

GUIDED TOURS

Free admission, limited seating – RSVP required. Duration of 45 minutes.

  • September 25, 2020 at 4:00 pm and 5:00 pm, in English, facilitated by Rehab Nazzal.
  • October 2, 2020 at 4:00 pm and 5:00 pm, in French, facilitated by Najat Rahman.

The Novels of Elsgüer (Episode 5); If I saw you, I don’t remember

The Novels of Elsgüer (episode 5); If I saw you I don't remember
© Santiago Tavera et Laura Acosta

The Novels of Elsgüer (Episode 5); If I saw you, I don’t remember is an immersive audiovisual installation and performance piece that translates the movements of an unseen body into visual data in the form of hairlike filament animations, intermittent reflections, and flickering shadows. As a sensorial experience, this work asks how different individuals – visible or not- have the potential to create new spaces, raising questions on perception of visibility, inclusion and exclusion. This is the fifth episode in a series of transdisciplinary installations co-created by Colombian-Canadian artists Santiago Tavera and Laura Acosta since 2015.

Colonial Body-Islands

Colonial Body-Islands
© Payam_Mofidi

In this powerful convergence of collective suffering and individual tale, we are forced to confront our own engagement. This immersive experience tightens the delicate link between perception and action. In an homage to victims of forced migration, the sculpture of a man makes visible vulnerabilities that are too often seen without really being witnessed. Multidisciplinary artist Payam Mofidi explores the fragility of human suffering through a perspective that is both dreamlike and political. With degrees in animation (Paris) and graphic design (Tehran), this Montreal artist of Iranian origin works at the crossroads of traditional media and new technologies.

De l’horizontal au vertical (cancelled-covid19)

De l'horizontal au vertical
© José Luis Torres

José Luis Torres reclaims public space and exhibition venues, repurposing daily objects and hijacking our senses. His ephemeral accumulations of cobbled-together materials play on conventions of artistic monstration. Passersby can’t help but be struck by their architectural dimension – often invasive and spectacular – and their brilliant colours; a reflection or conversation is inevitably sparked. With a background in visual arts, sculpture and architecture, José Luis Torres, originally from Argentina, redefines the artist as s/he who “makes do.” His work has been shown across the continent from Canada to Argentina, in Europe and in China.

L’Exhumée

L'Exhumée
© OB Médias

CURATOR: FABIENNE PARISIEN

Through a series of vibrant works mixing video, music, text and sculpture, L’Exhumée delves into the complex dynamic between resilience and fragility. Artist Julie Robinson plumbs her personal experience to unearth a tragedy buried for twenty years – a ruptured aneurysm when she was eighteen. What emerges is a body radiant with paradoxes, at once socially dislocated and radically exalted by its constraint. Trained in photography, Robinson also has a self-taught practice in sculpture and painting. She is the cofounder and co-organizer of the XL biennale, and of the multidisciplinary artistic community Cercle CréatiC. She lives and works in Montreal.

Phantom stills & vibrations

Places and bodies – broken, betrayed, defiled. Secret, hidden stories gush to the surface in Phantom Stills & Vibrations, an immersive experience that pays tribute to the victims of the former Pelican Falls residential school in Sioux Lookout in northwestern Ontario. A cultural genocide that continues, that leaves traces and open wounds. Inspired by visits to the land of her ancestors, choreographer Lara Kramer has crafted a performance art exhibit in collaboration with Stefan Petersen, a reminder of the repercussions of the traumas passed on from generation to generation.

A photograph of the former residential school (now a high school) and a soundscape of the north underpin a minimalist performance. Kramer portrays the excruciating reality of abused children and questions the possibility of moving forward. How can there be a rebuilding when violence is perpetuated? The exhibit stirs, disturbs, leads to reflection and meditation. A work of essential, powerful remembrance.

Lara Kramer is an Oji-Cree choreographer and multidisciplinary artist. Her works have been hailed by critics including Native Girl Syndrome, which exposes the marginalization and victimization of Indigenous women and the effects of cultural genocide.

earth. sea. sky. constellations for my relations

Watersong. 2014. Hannah Claus © Robert Dube

In this exhibition, Hannah Claus highlights the relationships between various elements that structure our world. It features ‘water song’, an imposing yet intricate veil of thread and digital imagery that replicates the audio waveforms of a Mi’kmaq water song. Uniting voice, water and song, the installation itself is based on the principles inherent to kahion:ni, or wampum belts, in which sea and sky are united.

Hannah Claus is a visual artist of English and Kanien’kehà:ka / Mohawk ancestries living in Tiohtià:ke (Montreal). In her installations, she uses process and materials to address memory and transformation from within an Indigenous worldview.

A Paradigm of Fusion

Tomoyo Ihaya, "Eyes Water Fire" © Tomoyo Ihaya

Deux corpus d’œuvres où les artistes y vont d’un dialogue vivant, empathique et poignant autour des notions d’exil et de protestation tout en remettant en question notre relation avec la culture de production de masse.

Eyes Water Fire
Tomoyo Ihaya (Vancouver)

«Ihaya’s simple yet powerful depictions of candlelight processions, three-stranded rivers, blue lotuses, white yaks, green trees—and portraits of Tibetan Buddhists who have self-immolated in protest of Chinese occupation of their land and repression of their culture.»
STRAIGHT

«The acute and sincere grief in her work, the capacity to feel and convey the suffering of others, cannot leave any viewer unmoved.»
SEMINAR

Dans Eyes Water Fire, Tomoyo Ihaya propose vidéos, installation en techniques mixtes et dessins à petite et grande échelles qui font écho au réconfort qu’elle apporte depuis longtemps aux miséreux réfugiés tibétains installés dans le Nord de l’Inde.

Native du Japon et vivant maintenant à Vancouver, Ihaya possède une maîtrise en beaux-arts (gravure) de l’Université de l’Alberta. Depuis 2005, elle a visité l’Inde plus d’une douzaine de fois et y a noué des amitiés sincères avec plusieurs membres des communautés tibétaines en exil.

 

Bliss Points
Shyra De Souza (Calgary)

«A touch of the macabre with some backbone will be on display (…) Shyra De Souza’s mesmerizing installation (…) Phantom Limb resembles a mythical skeleton, yet is made out of re-configured thrift store finds included trinkets, ceramics and various knickknacks.»
WESTERN WHEEL

Avec Bliss Points, sorte d’épine dorsale où fusionnent de vieux objets restaurés, l’artiste interdisciplinaire Shyra De Souza soumet en quelque sorte le spectateur à sa stratégie d’exacerbation mimétique.

Installée à Calgary, De Souza a présenté ses œuvres en sols canadien, américain et européen. En 2016, le centre Oboro situé à Montréal a présenté Vestigial Manoeuvres, une installation de grande envergure entièrement composée d’objets trouvés dans les boutiques d’occasion locales.