Quebec City, Friday, June 6, 2014 – The 7th edition of Manif d’art – The Quebec City Biennial proved very popular. For five weeks, an estimated 157 000 visitors flocked to the exhibitions and took part in activities held in Quebec City, Lévis and Wendake, making this the most successful Manif d’art to date. The compelling theme, Resistance – And Then, We Built New Forms, appealed strongly to the public, who accepted the invitation extended by Curator Vicky Chainey Gagnon in droves. From May 3 to June 1, visitors saw exhibitions by more than 120 artists from the national and international art scene and participated in several activities at Espace 400e Bell, as well as at 35 indoor and outdoor venues.
“Visitors were able to further explore the notion of resistance through artwork inspired by current events and discover the various forms of resistance-based strategies, as proposed by the artists, that reflect and refract profound social, cultural and political changes that have impacted on our time,” says Chainey Gagnon.
Matthieu Dugal, Manif d’art 7 Spokesperson, is pleased that the theme was able to elicit such a strong reaction from the public. “Manif d’art succeeded by challenging us to think about a word often taken for granted: resistance, a figurative pebble in one’s shoe. In a world where everything is, in theory, accessible via the Internet, it’s still very ironic that it doesn’t take much for a cultural production to make waves. Manif was able to prove to us that it’s possible to be intelligently provocative.”
Manif d’art outdid itself since the previous edition in 2012 and took downtown by storm with seven striking outdoor works of art that were viewed by thousands of passers-by. Original pieces accounted for over 60% of the art displayed at the many exhibit venues, which were linked by four separate walking circuits. Hundreds of people followed the opening itinerary during the official launch of the biennial on May 3 and watched three memorable performances by Regina José Galindo, Julie Andrée T. and Les Fermières Obsédées.
This edition also set itself apart with a rich educational program by Yaël Filipovic, Cultural Outreach Co-ordinator, who implemented several opportunities for the public to be involved in demonstrations, discussions, guided tours and workshops. Among others, there were four evenings of freestyle sound and cinematographic performances organized by Guest Curator Érick d’Orion, who brought together media artists exploring the themes of resistance and community. The audience experienced the intensity of resistance through an intimate sound performance by renowned artists. Thanks to a partnership with the Gabrielle-Roy Library, where workshops were held for primary school and preschool-aged children, student participation jumped from 200 students in 2012 to 700 in 2014.
Executive and Artistic Director Claude Bélanger emphasizes the outstanding involvement of the Quebec City art community. “Manif d’art is so much more than exhibitions and activities; it also represents close co-operation between local organizations and artists. For five weeks, the city was transformed into a vast laboratory, where discoveries were made by the public and artists alike. Our event was the perfect venue to create new works of art and form artistic partnerships.”
Exhibitions still open to the public
Some of the Manif d’art exhibitions will still be open to the public after June 1: an original sculpture by artist Jean-Robert Drouillard at the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec until September 14; L’art se trame en ville at Maison Hamel-Bruneau until June 15; Resistance: Idle No More! at theHuron-Wendat Museum until November 4; La p’tite Manif at the Gabrielle-Roy Library until June 8; and exhibitions in four Quebec City libraries, ending between June 8 and 15.
To prolong the experience, the Resistance – And Then, We Built New Formscatalogue can be purchased from Manif d’art’s online boutique or at one of the following points of sale. This theoretical piece, produced during the organization of the biennial, was unveiled at the Manif d’art 7 Benefit Premiere Event on Friday, May 2, 2014. It includes a selection of theoretical texts on resistance and a colour portfolio of 36 artists chosen by Curator Vicky Chainey Gagnon.
Manif d’art 7 in figures
157 000 visitors
Exhibition displays comprised more than 60% original works
7 outdoor installations
36 program partners
800 educational activity participants
214 people contributed to the event
This edition would not have been possible without the help of the 36 program partners, who helped make this international festival an unforgettable experience for everyone involved. This year, 16 co-presenters worked closely with the curator. There were also four special collaborators, along with 16 satellite organizations,who presented their own interpretation of resistance.
Manif d’art would also like to thank the following promotional partners for their generosity: the CSN for its role as associated partner of the biennial’s activities; ICI Québec for producing a Web series and the RTC for offering OPUS cardholders a discount on pins. Special thanks go to lg2 for its expertise in designing and producing advertising material for the event.
Press relations Quebec City and regions:
Marie-Ève Charlebois, Communications Sira ba
Press relations Montreal:
Marie Marais, Press Agent
Press relations outside Quebec:
Patrick Fournier, Director of Communications, Manif d’art