Symposium 2009
Paths and Traces

Artistic director: René Derouin

Curator: Pascale Beaudet

The theme of the upcoming symposium, Paths and Traces, picks up the thread of the 2007 event, which tackled the notion of travel. It is inspired at one and the same time by human geography and by visual arts. Eleven artists from the Americas, including six from Québec, two from the rest of Canada, two from Cuba and one from the United States were chosen for the particular theme this year, which explores the material and immaterial connections that develop among beings and the transposition that results from them in the work of artists.The history of Québec (and of America) rests in part on the adventurers known as coureurs des bois (wood runners – the unlicensed fur traders). Over the centuries their attitude was passed on and transformed, in writers for example like Jack Kerouac or very recently D. Y. Béchard in his Vandal Love ou Perdus en Amérique ; authors of restless wandering, in search of their roots. On the Road, Kerouac’s principal work, is emblematic of a modern form of nomadism in the U.S.

This nomadism is also the fact of artists who attend creative residencies and who crisscross the world to display their projects. If war and the search for food oblige millions of people to look for a new earth, artists in a way embody a positive version of the nomad. Those paths and traces that they create by traveling, whether they come from as far away as South America or from closer – say from Montreal – often find echoes in their artistic practice.

The paths and traces of the title are to be interpreted in a broad way: a line in the forest, a drawing on the ground, architectures, objects that travel from one place to another, and even – which is most possible – connections between artists and the public.