Quebec City, September 17, 2015 – Manif d’art, in collaboration with the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec (MNBAQ), is proud to reveal the name of the principal curator of Manif d’art 8–Quebec City Biennial. Alexia Fabre, the Director and Chief Curator of MAC VAL (Musée d’art contemporain du Val de Marne in France), has been chosen to pilot the 8th edition of the biennial, which will be held in the winter of 2017. She will be on the artistic committee of the next biennial, joining Bernard Lamarche, the current Curator of Contemporary Art at MNBAQ, and Claude Bélanger, Executive and Artistic Director of Manif d’art. Anne-Sophie Blanchet will serve as Assistant Curator, representing emerging artists.
“The entire Biennial team, our colleagues at MNBAQ and our faithful collaborators are delighted to be able to work with a curator of such international stature,” declared Claude Bélanger. “Her experience at a major museum like MAC VAL and her innovative ideas will help to make this eighth edition truly exceptional. Already, various leading international artists have been approached. Their works, alongside those of Quebec and Canadian artists, will make Manif d’art 8 a biennial to remember!” Line Ouellet, Director and Chief Curator of MNBAQ, was equally enthusiastic: “Alexia Fabre is one of France’s leading lights. It is a real privilege to welcome her to Quebec City for the upcoming biennial of Manif d’art. She will not only infuse the event with her outstanding artistic sensibility, but will use her broad international network to benefit this great celebration of current art, whose central exhibition will be held at a world-calibre site for contemporary art: the Pierre Lassonde Pavilion.”
A theme, in tune with current international trends, quickly emerged: The Art of Joy. The title of a work by Goliarda Sapienza, The Art of Joy is a coming-of-age novel whose heroine makes happiness and self-discovery her sole mission in life. This highly charged and open-ended theme will allow the event to explore the notion of joy not in pure illustrations of the concept, but rather in the expression of its multiple facets. Through existing or new works, it will pursue and ponder this search for a specific relationship with the world, past and present, and everything underpinning it. What will result is a tension between joy and its opposite, between its radiant side and its reverse, darker side.
To express how she sees her role within the team of Manif d’art, Alexia Fabre borrowed the words of the great French artist Christian Boltanski. “When one is an artist, one is a projection of the wishes of others.”
A Canada-wide call for proposals will be launched in a press release within the next few days. Something to keep an eye on!
Alexia Fabre: Biography
As Chief Curator of Heritage, Alexia Fabre has directed the MAC VAL since its opening in 2005, and has contributed to its development since 1998. Her curatorial projects featuring the collections of the museum, which will celebrate its 10th anniversary in October 2015, represent and express the world’s diverse subjects, from the most locally rooted to the universal. She has striven to demonstrate the diversity and richness of current art, while building bridges between generations of artists, from the 1950s to the present. She has also curated private exhibitions by Christian Boltanski (2010) and Ange Leccia (2012), and was the artistic director, together with Frank Lamy, of Nuit blanche – Paris (2009, 2011). From 2007 to 2011, she taught at the École du Louvre. She is the Chair of the Jury for the Diplôme national supérieur d’arts plastiques at the Beaux-arts de Paris (year of 2015), and will curate the exhibition of honoured students in 2016.
About Manif d’art
One of Canada’s foremost contemporary art biennials, the Manif d’art – Quebec City Biennial presents the work of some 100 artists from all disciplines. In addition to exhibitions, the event offers an array of activities based on a central theme, distinct for each edition. Since its inception in the fall of 2000, over 30 cultural organizations have helped to make this international festival an absolute must on the arts scene. Its far-reaching program appeals to specialists and novices alike. The 8th edition of Manif d’art – Quebec City Biennial will be held in 2017.
The Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec is a museum complex unlike any other in Quebec, combining art, architecture and nature. The Museum’s extensive collection, a benchmark for Quebec art, comprises over 38,000 works, recounting 400 years of history. It includes one of the most important collections of religious art in Quebec, the largest collection of Inuit art in Quebec, as well as some 9,000 contemporary works: sculptures, engravings, ceramics, photographs, drawings, videos, installations, digital and media art. In 2016, a fourth building will be inaugurated, the Pierre Lassonde Pavilion, which will house works from the 1960s to the present. In this glass and steel structure, a marriage of heritage and contemporary elements, Quebec contemporary art—including Inuit art, decorative art and design—will be in the spotlight.
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