April 29, 2010 - Manif d’art – Quebec City Biennial - We all live in a catastrophic world
April 29, 2010

We all live in a catastrophic world

Catastrophe? Quelle Catastrophe!
We all live in a catastrophic world

May 1 – June 13, 2010

Preview: April 30, 2010

Curator: Sylvie Fortin

Québec City, Canada


Manif d’art 5, the Québec City Biennial’s fifth edition, casts the historical city as a protagonist in the exploration of catastrophe’s role in contemporary life. The catastrophic event is always distant, at something of a remove on our television screen or repressed by our psychic coping mechanisms. But catastrophe is also always here—variously present. Its battlefield is exceptionally vast, encompassing mathematics, physics, biology and their applied fields, in addition to philosophy and the arts. Simultaneously here and elsewhere, catastrophe’s dual, paradoxical nature makes it all the more politically potent.

Catastrophe is absolutely central to Western thought, where it has worked its ravage through the millennia, uniquely able to refresh its appearance to meet the needs of each new era. Each of its reinventions has just the right balance of conformity and excess to seemingly fit pre-existing narrative structures while it operates deep social, economic and political reconfigurations.

While catastrophe dominates the contemporary imaginary and mainstream media, its real work remains elusive. Its hypervisibility safeguards its foundational, requisite invisibility. Which is to say that the omnipresence of the catastrophic event ensures the invisibility of catastrophe’s real work. Politically, the catastrophe is used to legitimize the enactment of states of exception. But in recent years, catastrophe has also been put to preemptive use. We no longer need a catastrophic event to be subjected to the logic of catastrophe. As such, its operational terrain has expanded to the entirety of time and space, and catastrophe has becomes the condition of contemporary life.

Manif d’art 5 features new and recent works by thirty-six artists and collectives from 13 countries:
Patrick Altman
Salvatore Arancio
Bill Burns
Luca Buvoli
Sarah Emerson
Carole Epp
Brendan Fernandes
Amélie Laurence Fortin
Laurent Grasso
Johan Grimonprez
Milutin Gubash
Maryam Jafri
Loup Gris
Gwen MacGregor
Lynne Marsh
Daniel Joseph Martinez
Michael Jones McKean
Gean Moreno
Ahmet Ögüt
Ernesto Oroza
Iván Navarro
Trevor Paglen
Christodoulos Panayiotou
Gwendoline Robin
Samuel Roy-Bois
Katherine Taylor
Myriam Yates

Sylvie Fortin is an independent curator, art historian, critic and editor. She became Editor-in-Chief of ART PAPERS in October 2004, spearheading the magazine’s redefinition and redesign, which positioned it as a leading international contemporary art magazine. Fortin was Curator of Contemporary Art at the Ottawa Art Gallery (Ottawa, 1996-2001), Program Coordinator at la chambre blanche (Québec City, 1991-1994), and a collaborator with OBORO (Montreal, 1994-2001). Her critical essays have appeared in a variety of Canadian, American and European publications including Art Press, C Magazine, Espace, Fuse, NKA: Journal of Contemporary African Art, and Parachute. She lives in Atlanta.

Manif d’art 5 connects a number of temporary public sites to Québec City’s main cultural institutions (Avatar, Engramme, Folie/Culture, Galerie des arts visuels de l’Université Laval, La Bande Vidéo, la chambre blanche, Le Lieu, L’Œil de Poisson, materia, Musée de la civilisation de Québec, Regart and VU), creating a walkable itinerary through the city’s central, historic sectors.

An illustrated bilingual catalogue (French/English) accompanies the exhibition, featuring essays by Manuel DeLanda, Sylvie Fortin, Michaël La Chance, Gean Moreno + Ernesto Oroza, Jalal Toufic and Maya Van Leemput.

Manifestation internationale d’art de Québec was created in response to the local arts community’s wish to host an important international visual art event in Québec City. The artist-run centre L’Œil de Poisson launched the first Manif d’art in fall 2000. Manifestation internationale d’art de Québec officially became an independent organization in 2002 in order to develop Manif d’art as a sustainable Biennial.

Media Contact
For additional information, images, or to request an interview, please contact: Marie-Ève Charlebois, Communications Sira ba +1.418.524.4648, marie-eve@sira-ba.com

For general inquiries on Québec City and Manif d’art 5, please contact: communication@manifdart.org

Manif d'art 5 – The Québec City Biennial

Manif d’art – Quebec City Biennial
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