Starting this Wednesday, Art POP is offering up tons of free events throughout the city for five whole days. We, “Other” being one of them. Originally part of this year’s Art Matters programming, We, “Other” is back with a twist. I spoke to Miles Petrella, curator, about what’s new and what to expect.
After getting tons of positive feedback for We, “Other” in March, Petrella had the challenge of setting up the show in a new, and non-traditional space. Of course, this has its advantages: “The last space was a white cube gallery,” he explained, “[The POP Quarters] was more challenging, but it’s a bigger space. We’re able to now have each piece in its own environment.” The large room has multiple divisions, and even a smaller room off to the side. “The show is the same, but expanded,” he said. “We’re pushing the installation aspect, making it more immersive.” Monika Rekas’ video piece, for example, will now be projected on a larger-scale.
We, “Other” was Petrella’s first experience curating. Based on his own artistic practice, he wanted to incorporate theory and practice: “I was interested in having lots of theoretical background. My point of departure was 18th and 19th century aesthetics. I wanted to apply them to a contemporary audience, with contemporary artists, and present-day issues.” He describes the show as a “Neo-Victorian play with time.”
We, “Other” features:
Alexandre Pépin, a multidisciplinary artist working with sculpture, ceramics, painting and computer generated imagery. For We, “Other”, he presents La Floraisons des Bibelots, a series of four paintings.
Brent Morley Smith, a Montreal-based photographer who documents his everyday life. His piece, Shag, is a hand-hooked shag carpet portraying an image of a naked man, both figurative and abstract, who is reclined and masturbating.
Cindy Phenix‘s artistic practice materializes in painting, drawing installations, and sculpture. Her pieces Decadence 3 and Play with me 1, 2, 3 present a series of paintings based on various analyses made across Montreal. Her practice is informed by the feminist movement, social policy issues and individual’s psychological complexity: “I bring my subjects into a pictorial space where tension dominates by the material aspects; medium layers, abstraction and figuration forms, and flatness and perspective elements. The composition transforms the subjects into an ephemeral element and concealing any landmark through time and space. Through my artistic works, I desire to create an empowered identification effect on the viewer.”
Kara Sterne works in drawing and fibres. Her work is a series of felted objects, part of a project called Variety Meats. She is attracted to the spontaneity of felt, and its “great, fluffy capacity for crudeness. [The pieces are] anti-monuments to the body, its substances, and everything that’s uncomfortable about a material existence.”
Katherine Lewis, working in video and print. In Mallwalk, you can take the escalator or visit the restroom to alter your mood with a single click. The game recreates the interior aspect of a walk through a mall with visual cues that emphasize its classic spatial features paired with an ASMR map of the space.
Laurence Philomene, a queer photographer and curator, explores color theory, still lifes and portraiture. Her series, Me vs others, is one she’s been working on since 2015. She explains: “I photograph other people as myself / create self portraits through other people.”
Monica Rekas, an emerging artist currently living on occupied Kanien’kehá:ka territory and working primarily in film and video, centered on themes of identity politics, sexual representation, and afro-cyber resistance. Her piece XXX Source Footage works to explore “the curious irony of our publicly-private sex lives, and more specifically the representations of niche fetish markets on the internet, the absurdity of porn, the object as sexual being, and vice versa.”