Québec City, March 31th 2009 – Sylvie Fortin, curator of the Manif d’art 5, announces the theme of the 2010 edition of the Québec City Biennial: Catastrophe.

Catastrophe? Quelle Catastrophe! will take over Québec City for Manif d’art’s 5th edition, which will take place from May 1st to June 13th 2010. Fortin’s curatorial project tackles the two faces of the concept: the catastrophic event and its elusive twin—the low-level catastrophe that permeates our daily lives.

“While catastrophe dominates the contemporary imaginary and mainstream media, its real work remains elusive. Its hypervisibility safeguards its foundational, requisite invisibility. Which is to say that the omnipresence of the catastrophic event acts as a smokescreen, ensuring the very invisibility of catastrophe’s real work. Politically, the catastrophic event is used to legitimize the enactment of states of exception. But in recent years, catastrophe has also been put to preemptive use. We no longer need a catastrophe event to be subjected to the logic of catastrophe. As such, its temporality has shifted, its operational terrain expanded to the entirety of time and space. So much so that catastrophe has become the condition of contemporary life, and daily life its theater.”

Catastrophe’s duality will be examined through the citywide presentation of new and recent work in a wide range of media. As such, the event reflects the mission of the Manif d’art, which is to bring the world’s most significant, cutting-edge visual art projects to Québec City, “Catastrophe? Quelle Catastrophe! will feature work by artists from around the world in order to discern and present strategies of resistance to the wreckage of catastrophe’s slow, incessant, non-spectacular work.” The project will entail exhibitions, satellite activities that engage with other artistic and scientific fields, public artworks, a symposium, publications and more.

Visit for additional information on the theme and program.


Source: Lysandre Bouchard & Martine Goulet, Communication advisors, Manif d’art 5 418 524-1917