Québec City, Wednesday, June 23, 2010 — With the fifth edition of the Québec City biennial ending Sunday, June 13, the Manif d’art organizers are looking back with pleasure and pride on the contemporary visual arts event that attracted thousands of visitors again this year. Organized in collaboration with numerous art organizations in downtown Québec City and Lévis, the Québec City biennial met and even exceeded its mark.
Thousands of people converged on the heart of the city over a 6-week period to be seduced by works inspired by the theme of catastrophe. Lending itself to myriad interpretations, this theme spurred reflection among 50 artists from around the globe, who rendered the fruit of their imagination through a multitude of means.
As stated by Lucie Lefebvre, chair of the board of directors of Manifestation internationale d’art de Québec:
“The Manif 5 allowed us to reflect on the aberrations of our world, its fragility, through artistic proposals that were intimate, poetic, or socially or politically oriented. Bearing a darker theme than previous editions, the Manif d’art 5 confronted us with strong images that were not, however, sensationalist, and which seduced us through their pertinence and truth.’
From May 1 to June 13, 2010, 23 indoor and outdoor exhibition venues had something for art- lovers and curiosity-seekers alike. The presentation of 50 artworks, most seen for the first time, and 15 satellite activities encouraged visitors to buy the official Manif d’art 5 activity pass, providing them access to a bold itinerary.
“As the General and Artistic Director of Manifestation internationale d’art de Québec, it was an immense pleasure to organize this unique event in collaboration with several players from Québec City’s artistic scene. I am seizing the opportunity to thank curator Sylvie Fortin for the fruit of her deliberations,” declared Claude Bélanger at the close of the biennial, which he described as unforgettable.
Some collaborators saw their regular attendance figures double during the six weeks of the event. Avatar, La Bande Vidéo, L’Œil de Poisson, VU, Engramme, LA CHAMBRE BLANCHE, Galerie des arts visuels, Le Lieu, MATERIA, Musée de la civilisation and centre d’artiste Regart saw a 10% increase in attendance over the Manif d’art 4, noteworthy in light of the fact that the fourth edition took place during Québec City’s 400th anniversary celebrations.The four works shown at various outdoor venues also raised the interest. The installations of Laurent Grasso, Patrick Altman, Doyon/Demers and Folie/Culture (LOUP-GRIS) surprised tens of thousands of residents and tourists on their walks throughout the city.
If the event benefited from generous press coverage that extended beyond borders, it was also highly visible in downtown Québec City. The colour pink held sway through big and small banners, posters and numerous flags. The message was clear: catastrophe is everywhere!
The Manif d’art 5 was also a testimony to cooperation, as numerous collaborators and partners joined forces to make the event a cultural must. On the local, national and international scenes, the Québec City biennial benefited from several showcases in which to display itself. The presence of the Manif d’art at the VentoSul biennial in Curitiba, Brazil, at Miami Art Basel, at the Toronto International Art Fair and at the Armory Show in New York City are particularly noteworthy. In addition, through multiple service exchanges, almost a dozen specialized art journals joined various media partners to promote the Manif d’art 5.
With 50 well-known artists, the majority from abroad, the event allowed Québec artists to stand out. Just as curator Sylvie Fortin predicted, the works by Québec artists stood the test when juxtaposed those by highly renowned artists. The event contributed to providing a superb forum for Québec talent, both here and elsewhere.
One of the most ambitious projects, the installation Souvenirs du future by French artist Laurent Grasso, set up in front of Québec’s parliament, attracted special attention. Made possible with the help of Québec Horizon Culture, this project represented an exceptional showcase for Québec in France and, if one considers the impressive number of tourists who immortalized it, elsewhere as well.
The event organizers extend their gratitude to the board of directors and team of Manifestation internationale d’art de Québec, its public and private partners, interns and volunteers, all of whom were necessary to make Manif d’art a success.
The MANIF D’ART 5 CATALOGUE
Next year, a bilingual, illustrated catalogue will provide an opportunity to look back at the works presented at the Manif d’art 5 – the Québec City biennial. It will include essays by Manuel DeLanda (New York City, USA); Sylvie Fortin (Atlanta, USA); Michaël La Chance (Chicoutimi, Canada); Gean Moreno (Miami, USA); Jalal Toufic (Istanbul, Turkey) et Maya Van Leemput (Brussels, Belgium). Following an official launch, the catalogue will be available from the offices and website of Manifestation internationale d’art de Québec.
LA MANIF D’ART – THE QUÉBEC CITY BIENNIAL
Held in the heart of Québec City’s artistic quarter, the Manif d’art takes place every two years in May and June. Dedicated to the promotion and presentation of contemporary art, each edition of the event is developed around a different theme. Held in various venues in the city’s downtown core, the event unites an important number of local and international collaborators from the cultural and artistic scene.
For photographs and archives linked to the Manif d’art 5, go to www.manifdart.org
Source: Martine Goulet and Christian Talbot, Communication liaisons, Manif d’art 5 418 524-1917
Press relations: Marie-ève Charlebois, Communications Sira ba 418 524-4648 email@example.com