Welcome to the 23rd edition!
The theme for this year’s edition of Art Matters is: cut/out(be)longing. This theme addresses a dual perspective in relation to community and origin; to be a part of something, or apart from it. Whether it is removing a piece from a group, or a removed portion seeking to return to it, we want to look at the ways in which we relate to ourselves and to others, and how we feel things fit together or stand out.
This year’s theme is balanced on the polarizing line between satisfaction and craving. We consider the mysteries that lay beneath impenetrable surfaces such as history and the future, and the planes of the present we have cut from the cloth of time. As we walk along the rugged edges of the horizon, we ask: “where were we cut from?”, and, “did we even belong in the first place?” The artist is the sum of all of their different parts, good and bad, messy or put-together, their heritage, their memories, their joys and regrets, and with all of these parts, they create their own path forward. With the theme in mind, we want this year’s festival to embrace the return to campus, the return to togetherness and community after 3 years of online learning and separation from one another.
When we think about our community, we think about the lands we stand on. We acknowledge that The Art Matters festival takes place on unceded Indigenous lands. The Kanien’keha:ka Nation is recognized as the custodians of these lands and waters. Tiohtia:ke/Montreal is historically known as a gathering place for many First Nations. We bring you this edition of the festival with the hope that the conversations generated from these encounters and spaces will bring reflection, recognition, respect, accountability, and questioning about our own complicity in the perpetuation of oppressive colonial systems.
We are incredibly grateful, honored, and excited to present you this year’s program, which includes: 8 in-person exhibitions and performances, held at both established, and up-and-coming galleries, as well as 1 speaker series. This program gathers 64 artists, 8 facilitators, a team of more than 20 students, and 9 collaborations. In total, this year’s festival features over a hundred undergraduate artists! Did we mention we have also decided to make this year’s Art Matters a sober festival?
We hope you enjoy it!
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