This is Art Pop

Here’s the lowdown on how to get your art on at Pop Montreal 2013.

Still from Elizabeth Price’s The Woolworth’s Choir of 1979.

Now in its ninth edition, the behemoth indie festival’s art arm settles in at Pop HQ, curated by the Nymphets’ Johanna Heldebro. The space accommodates 10 discrete exhibitions and site-specific installations, as well as hosting several artists’ talks and an indie print archive reading room. Art Pop kicks off with free talks by two of the more established international artists featured in the programming, followed by a vernissage for all the Art Pop exhibits, the first entrée to the week-long Pop party smorgasbord.

The big name this year is British video artist Elizabeth Price, whose 2012 Turner Prize-winning The Woolworths Choir of 1979 comes to the Musée d’art contemporain Oct. 9–Dec. 1. The artist and ex-Talulah Gosh singer is the first video artist to win the prestigious U.K. art prize in 10 years, with this meditation on a tragic 1979 department store fire. Price will present excerpts of the work during the talk about her art practices. Talk Sept. 25, 3–4:30 p.m.

The other kind-of-a-big-deal artist in town for the fest is New York-based conceptual artist Dan Graham, who has been documenting the hardcore scene since its inception in the early ’80s. Graham’s 1983 film Minor Threat, following an early show by the band at CBGB’s, will screen in the gallery space, and Graham will also speak about his work, hardcore and masculinity. Talk Sept. 25, 5–6:30 p.m.

After the artists’ presentations, stick around for the new exhibits’ vernissage. Seven local-ish artists present their work (I know you all have your guides on-hand, so I’ll spare you the paraphrase), while the looping Music Videos (A-Z) provides a primer on local music history plus a meditation on the video as an art form, showing a history of local bands’ videos since the ’80s.

Archive Montreal, a project dedicated to preserving the city’s rich culture of show posters, zines and other indie ephemera, celebrates its 15th anniversary this year. Expozine and Archive Montreal present a reading room at Pop HQ, where you can chill and check out their vast collection, all week.

Finally, after the vernissage party passes, you can check out the Art Pop exhibits at Quartiers Pop in your own time, plus the fest offers a few events off-site. Over at Espace Pop (5587 Parc), a collection of Andi State’s portraits grace the walls. Sept. 26, 9 p.m.–3 a.m.

For one night only, D’Eon plays with Cory Arcangel, whose exhibit Cory Angel: Powerpoints is on display at DHC (see our profile of Arcangel here). The two iconoclastic artists fuse art and music in what is sure to be one of the fest’s highlights. Sept. 26, PHI Centre (407 St-Pierre), 8 p.m., $10

Art Pop Sept. 25–29, Quartiers Pop (3450 St-Urbain). Vernissage for all exhibits Sept. 25, 6–7:30 p.m., free 

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