Art, fashion & artisan action at POP

POP Montreal packs in much more than music.


THE POWERS by Justice Eruption

If you’re anything like me, you’ve been impatiently counting the days to POP Montreal since the closing cymbal crash of last year’s edition, and today’s the day we can finally bust out our POP passes, hop on our bikes and bounce from one stellar offering to another for five jam-packed days of music, film and art adventures.

You’ve already seen our hip hop and film previews, now I’m here to give you a rundown of what’s up in the visual arts and fashion components of this year’s line-up.

Today, Wednesday, things kick off with an opening party at Quartiers POP that also serves as the vernissage for no fewer than 11 different arts installations on the premises. There’s plenty to see and do at the opener, but it does tend to get crowded, so I highly recommend stopping by POP HQ at non-peak times as well, to take in the artworks at a more leisurely pace. More about these shows in a second. 3450 St-Urbain, 6 p.m., free.

Fashion POP 2013
Fashion POP 2013

After you’ve popped by the opening party, head uptown to the Rialto to scope out some fresh threads by six up-and-coming local fashion designers at Fashion POP. Irina Lazareanu and Beaver Sheppard host, with DJ Babi Audi on the turntables. Designers include Mariana Mustapic (Ruzica), Marie-Ève Lecavalier, Rachel Denkers (no neko), Katarzyna Agnieszka & Wesley Burness (Eolith), Paulina Wonders (Atelier Wonder) and Bianca Charneau. Put your money away friends, this banger is free. 5723 Parc, Wednesday, Sept. 17, 8:30 p.m., free

Now, let’s take a look at the Art POP programming, put together by Johanna Heldebro, artist and drummer of the Nymphets. The first thing you’ll see will be a large scale exterior installation of painted and screen-printed works on the outside walls of Quartiers POP, called Technology vs. Reality. The pieces were created during workshops led by multidisciplinary artist Dominique Pétrin, by youths who took part in Media Arts & Leadership programs offered by youth violence prevention organization LOVE (Leave Out Violence).

Photo by Richmond Lam
Photo by Richmond Lam

Once inside, nearly a dozen separate installations await your eyes and ears. Some highlights with local music scene themes include photographer Richmond Lam’s portrait series of Mile End musicians, shot in beautiful black and white, and the collaborative project Tracé/Mapped – Trajectories of Musicians in Montreal, which traces the steps of 25 Montreal musicians across one day, with photos, videos and maps. This exhibition was previously displayed for a few days in April at Espace POP, so if you missed it then, you’ve been given a second chance.

Sights and sounds abound with audio/visual offerings like THE POWERS by Justice Eruption — this immersive installation involves pulses of light, ambient audio and video feedback and the spectacle of a digitally created flaming diamond. This is grouped as part of Participation – Elements of Sound along with artists Naomi Cook and Rebecca Baxter.

More moving images will come at you via the WIVES Collective, with You, Me, Desert: Forever — their collection of 20 short videos following the Mojave desert adventures of two fur-clad women straddling the line between fantasy and reality. This is grouped as part of In this world we… with artists Jacinthe Loranger and MT JR.

In a mega collaborative effort with dozens of artists, curator Mohammad Rezaei has created POP Life, a series of GIFs based on how each artist interpreted their role as a cultural producer within the realm of pop culture.

Besides the above exhibitions which can be viewed at Quartiers POP anytime the building is open throughout the festival, Art POP is offering a number of scheduled events you won’t want to miss.

TWWLOn Thursday, Sept 18, a video installation created by Phil Collins (not THAT Phil Collins) called dunia tak akan mendengar will be screened at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. The video, shot in Indonesia, depicts karaoke renditions of the entirety of the Smiths’ 1987 compilation The World Won’t Listen. 1380 Sherbrooke W., Thursday, Sept. 18, 7 p.m., $5

If you enjoyed that, go see creator Phil Collins in conversation with Damon Krukowski and Naomi Yang (founding members of Galaxie 500) on Friday, Sept 19 at Quartiers POP. 3450 St-Urbain, Friday, Sept. 19, 4:15 p.m., free

Later on at HQ, there’s Naomi Yang’s silent film Fortune, exploring a man’s struggles to come to terms with both his own identity and the difficult relationship he had with his late father after inheriting the gifted artist’s oeuvre of work. 3450 St-Urbain, Friday, Sept. 19, 8 p.m., $15.

On Sunday, Halifax-based artist Rebecca Baxter, creator of the interactive Sound Machines installation at HQ, will host a workshop demonstrating how to build the multi-voice oscillators used in her installation. Get ready to learn some circuitry – no previous experience required. 3450 St-Urbain, Sunday, Sept. 21, 1–3 p.m., free

Also on Sunday, Casa del Popolo will play host to an intersection between music and ceramics created by Maher Shalal Hash Baz, a group led by Japanese musician and ceramist Tori Kudo, in their first Canadian appearance. Live throwing and firing of ceramic pieces will animate the music at this sure-to-be unusual and interesting show. 4873 St-Laurent, Sunday, Sept. 21, 4 p.m., $10

One last note: in between all the music and film screenings and art installations, be sure to set aside a bit of time to visit Puces POP, one of the city’s best artisan and craft markets, setting up shop this year in the Eglise St-Denis. 5075 Rivard, Friday Sept. 19, 2–8 p.m., Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m.–6 p.m., free.

And there you have it. Get out there and Pop ’til you drop! ■