Art this week

A media art histories conference, neon lights, haute couture, cultural identities, skateboard art and lots more.


Work by Ute Wolff at Canadian Guild of Crafts.

Montreal’s art scene is having a big week, with over 30 new shows opening, plus a stacked deck of artist talks, performances and other special events. Before I get to the highlights though, let me take a moment to note a little format change for this column. We’ve pinned a button labelled ‘Art Listings’ directly onto our homepage, so you can always find our comprehensive list of vernissages, last calls and ongoing shows by scrolling down the homepage just a little bit and clicking the button on the right hand side of the page. If you’d like to have your own show listed, please get in touch with me at Right, so we’re good? Now back to business.

This week it’s Montreal’s turn to host the travelling international Media Art History Conference, which takes place every two years in a different city. The organization Hexagram, run jointly by UQAM and Concordia, will host the 2015 conference, entitled Re-Create, which features keynote speakers including influential performance artist Joan Jonas and Montreal-based new-media artist Skawennati, plus a number of satellite activities and exhibitions. Check out the website for more details. 175 President-Kennedy and 1515 Ste-Catherine W., Nov. 5–8, tickets range from $8.50 for keynote presentations to $264 for a full conference pass.

FOFA WhiteFeather Hunter

Work by WhiteFeather Hunter at FOFA Gallery.

On Thursday, Concordia’s FOFA Gallery hosts a conference-related panel discussion followed by a vernissage for Tourmente by Jean Dubois and Biomateria and Contagious Matters by WhiteFeather Hunter and Tristan Matheson. Both shows deal with using technologies that react and interact with our physical biologies. 1515 Ste-Catherine W., Thursday, Nov. 5, panel discussion 6–7:30 p.m. and vernissage from 7:30–9 p.m.

Also Thursday, the Canadian Guild of Crafts opens the group show Neon, Materials Highlighted with 25 works from 18 artists who work across materials from textiles to ceramic to wood combine their craft with neon light in ways that are both rejuvenating to traditional artisanal techniques as well as explorative of ideas about our relationships with urbanity, light, time and consumer-driven production. A number of artist talks are planned in relation to the exhibit, with a handful this week beginning with Thursday afternoon’s talk with sculptor Andrée Bélanger. 1460B Sherbrooke W., Thursday, Nov. 5, artist talk 2:30 p.m., vernissage 5–7 p.m.

Work by Rad Hourani at Arsenal.
Work by Rad Hourani at Arsenal.

Another big Thursday show is haute couture designer Rad Hourani’s multidisciplinary show Neutrality at Arsenal Montreal, for which the artist uses painting, sculpture, photography and video to illustrate the development of a person from childhood into a fully-formed grown-up with the freedom of being nationless, genderless, ageless, raceless and limitless. Also opening at Arsenal is y2o_duality, an exhibition of works by Dominique Skoltz. 2020 William, Thursday, Nov. 5, 6–9 p.m..

As for some smaller shows Thursday, you can check out the brand-new Novembre: Concept Store Éphémère in the Plateau, which hosts a vernissage for a group exhibition featuring Tyson Bodnarchuk, Pony (Gabrielle Laïla Tittley) and Benjamin Deshaies. 4685 du Parc, Thursday, Nov. 5, 5–9 p.m.


Work by Tyson Bodnarchuk at Novembre.

It’s also time for a new exhibit at Fresh Paint Gallery, which opens Thursday with an Art Attack vernissage featuring live painting by Swarm, ZEL, Zacharie Potvin Williams and Naylemonstre. 221 Ste-Catherine E., Thursday, Nov. 5, 7–11 p.m.

Friday is an equally big day, with the new group show Imagine Brazil opening at DHC/ART, with a group of young Brazilian contemporary artists showing works, and who have in turn hand-picked works to exhibit from their influencers, among the diverse country’s more established artists for a representative show-within-a-show. 451 & 465 St-Jean, Friday, Nov. 6, 5:30 p.m.

DHC Jonathas de Andrade

From Imagine Brazil at DHC/ART.

Also on Friday, Centre des Arts actuels Skol explores the idea of Otherness with a multimedia exhibition from Olivia McGilchrist (also a Cult MTL contributor) in collaboration with Jean Small. The exhibition uses sculpture, video, photography and virtual reality installations to explore themes of cultural identity and otherness, informed by McGilchrist’s experience as a Jamaican national with European heritage and Small’s as a Guyanese-Jamaican elder storyteller. 372 Ste-Catherine W. (Belgo Bldg #314), Friday, Nov. 6, 5:30 p.m.

SKOL Olivia

Work by Olivia McGilchrist and Jean Small at SKOL.

You could also swing by Chez Boris on Friday for the group show Escape Bored Vol. 2 featuring 16 artists including Wolfe Girardin Jodoin, Miss Teri, Bosny, Frame and more, working directly on skateboard decks among other media. Zines and t-shirts from Get Born, Serial Skateboards and Visual Pollution will be on hand too, along with special eats from Chez Boris After Dark’s cooking crew, who will be whipping up some extra special quesadillas for the occasion. 5151 Parc, Friday, Nov. 6, 8 p.m.

Saturday’s big story is a brand-new gallery opening in the Quartier des Spectacles area (with a sister gallery in Toronto) called Ellephant—which will be focussing their programming on women artists, beginning with their first exhibition, Letters Home by Karen Elaine Spencer. The show features works of hand-painted lettering, painted with ink on Aches paper into grid-like arrangements that resemble crossword puzzles, where words from song lyrics, quotes from social media and literature, and other sources overlap across space and language, inviting the reader to unlock the codes to decipher the messages contained in the works. 1201 St-Dominique, Saturday, Nov. 7, 3 p.m.

ELLEPHANT on_and_on_2014

Work by Karen Elaine Spencer at Ellephant.

Work by Sophie Wilkins at La Galerie.
Work by Sophie Wilkins at La Galerie.

At La Galerie in the Village on Saturday, you can see an exhibition of paintings by Sophie Wilkins, whose works, often featuring photorealistic portraits of women accompanied by animals, were included in this summer’s Woman x Women exhibition at Station 16. 1200 Amherst, #102, Saturday, Nov. 7, 5–10 p.m.

Finally, a new set of exhibitions will open at Art Mûr on Saturday, featuring kinetic sculptures from Ingrid Bachmann, paintings and photographs from Jessica Houston, LED and fluorescent light-based works by the duo IvanovStoeva and monochromatic canvases from  Eric Lamontagne. 5826 St-Hubert, Saturday, Nov. 7, 3–5 p.m.

ART MUR Crossing the Line by Jessica Houston

Work by Jessica Houston at Art Mûr.

These shows are just a small hint of what’s on offer for you this week, so make sure to check out our comprehensive art listings for the week here. See you out there!