QC Art Potluck: Journées de la culture

What’s on deck this weekend for Journées de la culture, Quebec’s annual free art smorgasbord.

Isabelle Arcand and Simon-Xavier Lefebvre in Guillaume Paquin’s Aux Limites de la Scène
Photo by Ina Lopez

Les Journées de la Culture is Quebec’s officially sanctioned potluck of art and culture. Artists and creators volunteer their time and energy to share their oeuvres from conception to completion. For Montreal, this means every crack and crevice is oozing with activities this weekend, ranging from audio installations to Zumba. The problem with a democratic potluck, though, is that someone always shows up with mayonnaise salad. With over 3000 free events on the culture menu province-wide, Cult MTL is ready with a few recommendations for your discerning palette.

Can’t decide between a two-hour workshop on screen printing (La Bourgeoise Sérigraphe, 5243 Berri) or a glassblowing demonstration (Espace VERRE, 1200 Mill)? A highly recommended first stop is the official website for Les Journées de la culture. Create a personalized calendar according to time of day, event type, location, and age appropriateness. Hands-on activities are available for everyone.

Art galleries and museums roll out their welcome mats all weekend. Those who bask in the iconic, minimalism of Serge Lemoyne’s Les Canadiennes can see some of his major works installed at the Yves Laroche Projet Beaumont (550 Beaumont). In the Belgo building, always an artistic hotspot, the Joyce Yahouda Gallery features humorous videos and self-referential photographs by Serbian-Canadian Milutin Gubash (372 Ste-Catherine W., 516). For those who prefer their art in the great outdoors should check out Lise Coulombe’s installation of coloured sticks at the north end of Parc LaFontaine.

Auto/Pathographies, curated by Tamar Tembeck, is on display at Oboro Gallery.
Photo by J. Spence and D. Roberts.
Guided tours and curator talks give unique insight into works. Tours are offered all weekend at the Musée Plein Air de Lachine’s sculpture park (398 Berge du Canal, Lachine). The Oboro art centre has a curator-led visit to Auto/Pathographies, an exhibition of international art and media around the theme of identity and (self-)representation in the face of illness (4001 Berri, #301, Sept. 29, 1 – 5 p.m.). Alternatively, check out a curated talk on Japanese-Parisian sound artist Ryoji Ikeda at the DHC Art Gallery (465 St-Jean, Sept. 30, 4 p.m.). Trevor Gould is at the VOX (Centre de l’image contemporaine) to give a guided tour of his exhibition entitled Philosopy’s Self Image (2 Ste-Catherine E., Sept. 29, 2:20 p.m.).

Musical offerings include demonstrations of singing bowls and the Irish frame drum (Poème boutique, 5687 St-Laurent), as well as ukuleles (Espace La Fontaine, 3933 Parc, Sat. 2 p.m.). The Schulich School of Music presents a talk and concert related to John Cage (555 Sherbrooke W., Sept. 28, 6:30 p.m.).

In the not-quite-sure-what-to-call-it category, the aforementioned Joyce Yahouda Gallery has performances by Céline B. La Terreur (“electrokitsch” “pro-lingerie masculine éblouissante”) along with mixed-media artist Nadège Grebmeier Forget, and Moosy (Sept. 29, 2:15 p.m.). La Baraque, a cozy, semi-secret venue on Ste-Catherine known for experimental performances, has a few of its latest on offer with tantalizing names like “The Sleepwalker,” “Cut Pieces: an Homage to Yoko Ono” and the interactive “Blind Date” (928 Ste-Catherine E.)

For the cinematic scene, the Moment Factory screens 60-second videos (6250 Hutchison, Sept. 28, 7 p.m.). FIFA, the International Film Festival on Art, is showing two films by award-winning directors: Aux Limites de la Scène by Guillaume Paquin and Frèdèric Back: Grandeur Nature by Phil Comeau (Musée des Beaux-Arts de Montréal – Auditorium Maxwell-Cummings, 1380 Sherbrooke W., Sept. 30, 2 p.m.). One of our community’s most precious gems, Dans la Rue is screening short films as well (Dans la Rue Chez Pops, 1662 Ontario E., Sept. 29, 5 p.m.).

Ever proud of its four-line metro, the STM is hosting events in the Berri-UQÀM, Jean-Talon, Lionel-Groulx, and Snowdon stations. Solo artists and groups who put the spoon man to shame promise to surprise riders with mime, dance, choral song, stand-up comedy, and even a fashion show.

All in all, anyone with an interest in culture, whether high or low, will find something of interest. ■

Journées de la culture is taking place all over Québec, Sept. 28 – 30. All events are free. See the festival’s program for more info.

Leave a Reply