Culture & Conversation

Descending Into La Nuit

A nocturnal tradition in Montreal, Nuit Blanche returns this Saturday for its 7th edition. From 6 pm until 3 am, art lovers can enjoy perusing the 10 venues of Art Souterrain, which will host paintings, videos, photographs, performances, installations and artists. With 104 projects spread across 4 km in the underground, audiences will encounter a rich and varied plethora of art. Here’s just a small sampling of what you will see along your journey beneath the city.

Jocelyn Michel will be showing three new photographs from his “Admission” project featuring Pierre-Luc Brillant, Luc Picard, Claude Legault, Guylaine Tremblay and Antoine L’Écuyer. Michel’s heavily staged images evoke narratives that are humorous, sarcastic, dark and peaceful. Each photographic mis-en-scène creates a little world unto itself and uses brilliant, saturated colours that accentuate its cinematic style. Michel uses props, layering and other post-production techniques to craft his inspired images. He will be at the show in Zone 3 (Palais des congrès de Montréal) from 8 – 10 pm on Saturday.

Also present in Zone 3 is Michael A. Robinson who will be exhibiting a large-scale sculpture that makes reference to the many “comings and goings” of the Palais as a way of commenting on the “speed of contemporary urban life.” His neuronal, starburst compositions show as much balance as they do outward unsteadiness. Like trees that continuously branch out, his sculptures seek no specific goal other than extension. Robinson is scheduled to be at Palais des congrès from 7 – 10 pm.

If you didn’t catch 2Fik’s show at Galerie SAS in the fall, you missed out. Playful, poignant and well-produced, this photographer’s exploration of identity and integration takes him through a myriad of personalities – literally – that allow him to examine the tension that exists between religion and modern society, the individual and social culture, and the paradoxes that arise within self that tries to encompass all these things. A French-born Moroccan-Canadian gay man who was raised in a Muslim family, 2Fik considers the many ways in which we parse our existence in vibrant photographs that are as epic as they are humorous. He will be present in Zone 10 (Complexe Les Ailes) from 10 pm to 3 am.
For a slightly more engaging experience, people in Zone 4 (Centre de Commerce Mondial) are invited to choose one of Jaber Lutfi’s paintings and carry it around for one minute so that others can be introduced to it. While the task may seem easy, his paintings have a grim and heavy style that may evoke aversion before understanding. His iconoclastic, fabling images create vivid and startling mythological tableaux. If you want to learn more about these fantastical narratives, Lutfi will be around between 6 pm and 3 am.
There’s a lot to see and a lot of ground to cover, so it’s a good thing the STM is open all night long. The chance to meet the artists and ask them about their work offers viewers an excellent opportunity to engage in more depth the art on display. Sleep is for the week – spend this Saturday night in the underground, with art.

Check out the Nuit Blanche site for more information on Montreal’s sleepless night.

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