Manif d’art 9
Manif d’art 9

Manif d’art 9

Manif d’art 9

Small between the stars
Large against the sky

February 16 to April 21, 2019

This unique winter biennial is presenting talented artists from here and abroad over 60 days in different locations of Quebec City under the theme Small between the stars, large against the sky*.

/\ International curator : Jonathan Watkins

/\ Assistant curator : Michelle Drapeau

/\ 1 central exhibition of 20 artists at the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec

/\ 15 solos exhibitions in 15 places of Quebec City

/\ 10 public art pieces

/\ 100 local, national and international artists


The title of Manif d’art 9, Small Between the Stars, Large Against the Sky, comes from the lyrics of a song by Leonard Cohen (“Stories of the Street,” 1967). Throughout his life, this extraordinary artist was preoccupied with our place in the natural order. From Cohen’s perspective, our cultural achievements should be seen in a universal context much broader than those that define conventional notions pitting art against nature. Jonathan Watkins intends to use this theme to draw our attention to the continuities between art and everyday (human) life. The questions raised will lead us to apprehend where we are, between and against the immensity we usually take for granted.

Biographical notes, Jonathan Watkins
Jonathan Watkins has been Director of Ikon Gallery since 1999. Previously he worked for a number of years in London, as Curator of the Serpentine Gallery (1995-1997) and Director of Chisenhale Gallery (1990-1995).

He has curated a number of large international exhibitions including the Biennale of Sydney (1998), Facts of Life: Contemporary Japanese Art (Hayward Gallery, London 2001), Quotidiana (Castello di Rivoli, Turin 1999, Tate Triennial (2003), Shanghai Biennale (2006), Sharjah Biennial (2007), Negotiations (Today Art Museum, Beijing 2010) and the Guangzhou Triennial (2012). He was on the curatorial team for Europarte (Venice Biennale, 1997), Milano Europa 2000, (Palazzo di Triennale, Milan 2000), and Riwaq (Palestinian Biennial 2007). He curated the Iraqi Pavilion for the Venice Biennale in 2013 and Floating World, Bahrain in 2017. In 2019 Watkins curates Small Between the Stars, Large Against the Sky, at the Quebec Biennial.

Jonathan Watkins has written extensively on contemporary art. Essays have focused on the work of Giuseppe Penone, Martin Creed, Semyon Faibisovich, Yang Zhenzhong, Noguchi Rika, Caro Niederer, Beat Streuli and Cornelia Parker. He was the author of the Phaidon monograph on Japanese artist On Kawara.


Biographical notes, Michelle Drapeau
Currently enrolled in a master’s program in art history at Université Laval, Michelle Drapeau is an emerging curator from Moncton and now based in Quebec City. She has worked as the assistant curator of contemporary art at the Musée des beaux-arts national du Québec and has prepared outreach materials for this same institution. She has been coordinator of the Symposium international d’art contemporain in Baie-Saint-Paul and teaching assistant in art history at Université Laval.

Alongside her mandate for Manif d’art 9 as assistant curator, she is the curator for Images rémanentes, a public art itinerary in Moncton, curator of all exhibitions in the Quebec City Library galleries, and project manager for the Maison de la littérature. She is involved in the artistic community as treasurer on the board of directors of the Foire en art actuel de Québec, as host of the weekly cultural radio program À l’est de vos empires, and as a jury member for various contemporary art awards, in addition to writing critical essays on art.