Paloma Torres | Maribel Portela | Pierre Dostie | Normand Ménard
Guest Speakers
Jean Désy | Henri Dorion | Pierre Nepveu | Michel Allard | Manon Regimbald

Jean-Jules Soucy | Jean-Denis Boudreau | José Luis Torres | BGL | Pascale Girardin | Terrance Houle | Cal Lane | Betsabeé Romero
Composer and poet
Cristina García Islas | Joséphine Bacon
Guest Speakers
Dinu Bumbaru | Denys Delâge | Gérald Grandmont


Paloma Torres
Residence: Mexico D.F. (Mexico)
Photo credit: Belinda Garren

Paloma Torres’ work belongs in a territory where sculpture and architecture meet and overlap: between the monument and the city, or between ornamentation and functionality. To a certain degree, her work reverts to a Mexican tradition that has tended to close the gap between both these disciplines until they blend into each other. The forerunners Juan O’gorman, Luis Barragán, Mathias Göeritz, Ricardo Regazzoni or Alberto Kalach gave us fine examples of this, on both sides of that intangible frontier that allowed a library building to become a mural, a wall to become a monument and some water towers to become urban icons....

Maribel Portela
Residence: Mexico D.F. (Mexico)
Photo credit: Rodrigo Ojeda

Her organic sculptures and installations deconstruct the existing codes and languages through a symbolic representation of reality and nature. The motivation for starting a project arises out of a process of deliberation on various concerns, interests and dreams. Her approach to achieving a potential result is more intuitive than rational. The basic essentials are consequently not the most important thing, but rather interpretations. In breaking the established cultural codes that filter our perception of reality, the artist’s task is to try to “think differently.” She believes it is necessary to deconstruct the established cultural and artistic language to be able to then create something new. At the same time, all artistic experience requires a mastery of established symbolism and how it changes.

Pierre Dostie
Residence: Val-David (Québec)
Photo credit: Lucien Lisabelle

Experimental composer and pianist, versatile creator Pierre Dostie works with artists in every discipline to create original music presented in installations and sound environments, concert-performances, picture and multimedia exhibitions, and art film and video festivals. He has also won several awards from Québec’s Ministère des Affaires Culturelles and the Canada Council for the Arts.

Normand Ménard
Residence: Val-David (Québec)
Photo credit: Normand Ménard

Normand Ménard is a painter and sculptor. Sculpting with a noble, accessible material and, above all, the challenge of sculpting on a large scale, with all the attendant sounds and smells, means that, inevitably, his work uncovers primitive, Native motifs. For him, the rhythm of the chisel striking the wood also reveals a sense of the sacred side of sculpture.


Jean Désy
Photo credit: Isabelle Duval

Jean Désy was born in the Saguenay region in 1954. Since then, he has wandered between South and North, between the Aboriginal world and big city life, between writing and teaching, between his children and his loves, all of them scattered on the winds of their own wanderings. Désy teaches medicine and literature at Université Laval. Among his latest publications, at Éditions XYZ, are two essays and a novel: L’esprit du Nord/Propos sur l’autochtonie québécoise, le nomadisme et la nordicité, 2010, Vivre ne suffit pas, an anthology of writings on medicine and poetry put together by professors at Cégep de Sainte-Foy and published in spring 2011, and Nepalium tremens, a novel that takes place in the fevered mind of a traveller at death’s door in Nepal.

Henri Dorion
Photo credit: Brigitte Boudreault

Henri Dorion¾geographer, jurist, musician¾has travelled the world and shared his discoveries through his teaching at a number of universities here and abroad, as well as through his many publications. He has produced international exhibitions at the Musée de la Civilisation de Québec and has headed organizations focusing on toponymy management at the regional, national and international levels [...]

Pierre Nepveu
Photo credit: Studio photo rose, Montréal

Pierre Nepveu is a poet, essayist and novelist; he taught literature at the Université de Montréal from 1978 to 2009. As a poet, he is the author of such works as Romans-fleuves and Lignes aériennes, which earned him the Governor General’s Award in 1997 and 2002, and Les Verbes majeurs, which came out in 2009, all of them published by Éditions du Noroît [...]  

Michel Allard
Photo credit: Journal UQÀM

Michel Allard holds a Ph.D. in history and was a professor at the Université du Québec à Montréal  from 1969 to 2001. Now retired, he remains an associate professor of education and museum studies. At UQAM, he taught history and didactics, and inaugurated its courses on museum education [...]

Manon Regimbald
Photo credit: Melvin Charney

Manon Regimbald: Associate Professor in the Department of Art History at UQAM and Director of the Centre d’exposition de Val-David. She has organized numerous exhibitions and published extensively on interdisciplinary topics. She is particularly interested in the art of landscape and gardens, in issues related to place and in the overlap between text and image.


Artist: Jean-Jules Soucy
Origin: La Baie (Québec)
Residence: La Baie (Québec)
Photo: John Ohis

Jean-Jules Soucy has worked regularly with the community of La Baie (Saguenay region), prompted by an enduring sense of belonging to the town where he was born. La Baie remains an inspiration and his “material” of choice. At the turn of the millennium, the permanent monument entitled “Pyramide des Ha! Ha!” was erected there. Firmly anchored in his time, the artist wields innumerable visual and linguistic puns that follow their own rules. A, B, C and D are his favourite letters, which he uses to create infinite combinations. He recently added the initials M.D. to his repertoire. A skilled recycler of ideas and objects, Soucy gives new life to common or discarded materials. Extensive, selective collections or requests are at the root of large-scale installations that require public participation. The artist deftly combines art-its history and its function-and life.



Artist: Jean-Denis Boudreau
Origin: Moncton (New Brunswick)
Residence: Moncton (New Brunswick)
Photo: Mathieu Léger

Jean-Denis Boudreau shares some of modern society’s ills with his fellow man, but responds by offering solutions to the trials and tribulations of life on earth, and of departing this life. His means: cunning, trickery, absurdity, graphic signs, instructions to be followed and gallery or public infiltrations, alone or with the Collectif Taupe (Jennifer Bélanger, Angèle Cormier, Mario Doucette), with whom he collaborates. From insignificant tasks to grand designs, nothing gets by this artist/researcher whose work/laboratory attempts to cure our daily dysfunctions. The artist is friendly, not pretentious, but his humour does not mask the gravity of his/our relationship with the world. His vision seems boundless: what will remedy our consumer culture? how can we create art for everyone? Halfway between an introspective alibi and true attention to the world, the artist investigates the way our lives are built.


PROJECT: Home Made

Artist: José Luis Torres
Origin: Córdoba
Residence: Montmagny (Québec)

José Luis Torres claims to make sculptures. His recurring material is wood, untransformed and left bare, assembled in such a way as to evoke construction sites or furniture arrangements. Happily situated between environmental design, landscape architecture and immersive installation, his work initially draws the viewer into an experiential position. The artist creates “me” and “we” areas: the visitor moves through “ambulatories” (devoid of all religious references). Torres designs open spaces within connotation-filled spaces (gallery-within-an-art-gallery, gallery-within-nature) which are activated by the visitor. The titles of his works clearly indicate the spectrum of his process: Exchanges, Drifts, Crossing Points, Portable Landscapes, etc. Torres’ concerns vary between humanity’s imprint, in its relationship with the world, and mobility as a matter of survival.


PROJECT: Espaces collecteurs

Artists: BGL
Origin: Québec (Québec)
Residence: Québec (Québec)
Photo: BGL

Made up of Jasmin Bilodeau, Sébastien Giguère and Nicolas Laverdière, the BGL collective is known for its immersive installations, sculptures, photographs and performances that combine socio-political commentary and unfeigned humour. With ease, emphasis and extravagance, the trio appropriate exhibition sites and public spaces (“natural” or “civilized”). More often than not incorporating found objects from their surroundings, their works revolve around themes such as the effects of overconsumption, our threatened environment, death, what is real and what is fake, and the role of art in society. They meld folklore and design, without imposing any hierarchy. They mimic reality in order to deconstruct it; they render the trivial fascinating. The BGL collective disorients viewers at every turn, without hitting them over the head, jumping between discomfort and obviousness, and alternating first- and second-person points of view. BGL has no leader: eternal adolescents, the trio plot their “mischief” together.


The artists are represented by:
Parisian Laundry, Montréal: parisianlaundry.com
Diaz Contemporary, Toronto: diazcontemporary.ca

Other link:

PROJECT: Le Chablis

Artist: Pascale Girardin
Origin: Montréal (Québec)
Residence: Montréal (Québec)
Photo: Stéphany Hildebrand

A great specialist in clay, Pascale Girardin uses this medium and ancient pottery techniques to create a wide range of works, from the culinary arts (line of dishware for domestic use) to the visual arts and design (integrated architectural pieces). She has followed a unique path in the world of ceramics by alternating between producing the smallest of functional objects and majestic installations (a 100-foot ceiling fixture, a 400-square-foot mural). Her recurring motifs evoke an organic profusion (branches, petals, corals painted in timeless colours) wherein a seeming roughness is contrasted with the fragility and sensual tactility of the reliefs. In her studio, sharing and passing on skills to her apprentices are of paramount importance. She has been involved in the Val-David event 1001 pots since the year 2000, and is “crossing the road” this year to join the Symposium for the first time with an outdoor spatial offering.


Other links:

PROJECT: Ceci n’est pas un arbre

Artist: Terrance Houle
Origin: Calgary (Alberta)
Residence: Calgary (Alberta)
Photo: Sonia Pinette

Terrance Houle is an interdisciplinary artist and a member of the Blood Tribe. Involved with Aboriginal communities in various capacities, he has travelled to reservations throughout Canada and the United States to participate in powwow dancing and other ceremonies. Through his paintings, drawings, videos/films, installations, performances, music and other mixed-media works, he shatters standard perceptions surrounding the notions of culture and race. He crosses or ignores borders by mixing the traditional with the contemporary, not to mention keen humour and healthy self-deprecation. With a BFA in fibre art, he follows an approach focusing on connection, from the family to the community. Customs and costumes, alienation and assimilation, “official” representations and self-fiction, past and present are merged, with no attempt at continuity or synchronization-at once inside and outside, without a break between the two. Prolific and ubiquitous, Terrance Houle wears many hats and defies labels.


Other links:


PROJECT: Naapittahsin' – Song

Artist: Cal Lane
Origin: Halifax (Nova Scotia)
Residence: New York (United States)
Photo: Galerie Art Mûr

Through her sculptures and installations, Cal Lane reconciles and fuses High and Low Art, heavy industry and decorative arts, machine-made and handcrafted, hard labour and relaxation, profane and sacred, brutality and refinement, pollution and seduction, masculinity and femininity. Her favourite material is metal, preferably heavy, which she recycles and gives new life. These objects include steel (I-beams), containers, car chassis, cans, carts, etc. Her goal? To tame, bend and turn them fiery red through the caresses of her blowtorch. With ferocious skill, the artist’s appropriationist approach transforms the impure elements of our time. The operation welds the extremes (solid and void, rough and sensual) and repositions traditional women’s work within history. Initially inspired by her grandmother and her crocheted placemats, the artist’s lace ornamentations reveal maps of the world and medieval or religious iconographic motifs. Situated somewhere between the monumental and the ephemeral, Cal Lane draws and engraves reconstituted time.


The artist is represented by:
- Art Mûr, Montréal: artmur.com
- Samuel Freeman, Santa Monica: samuelfreeman.com
- Foley Gallery, New York: foleygallery.com
- Gallery Page and Strange, Halifax: pageandstrange.com

Other links:

PROJECT: Oil Tank 

Artist: Betsabeé Romero
Origin: Mexico D.F. (Mexique)
Residence: Mexico D.F. (Mexique)

Betsabeé Romero creates paintings, prints, photographs and installations. She is known for “customizing” cars, her ready-made of choice, which she takes great pains beautifying. She bridges historical eras by, for example, engraving pre-Hispanic motifs or hieroglyphics on tires, which are then used as big, rotating rubber stamps. Accompanying her fertile melding of formal concerns (dissection, ornamentation, transposition) is a questioning of fundamental social issues (instability, violence, security). An American legend-the automobile-turns out to be a curse. It leads to overconsumption, over-indebtedness and pollution, all of which contradict a value like speed. Outside the gallery, she ventures into site-specific installations and artist workshops or urban interventions planned with communities. Through her public art projects, she reaches alternative art audiences. The “world city” of Mexico inspires her in all respects.


The artist is represented by:
- Anne Reed Gallery, Ketchum, Idaho annereedgallery.com
- Voges Gallery, Franckfurt, Germany
- Galería Rafael Lortiz, Séville, Spain
- Daniel Abate Galería, Buenos Aires, Argentina danielabategaleria.com.ar

PROJECT: Heures de pointe /
A Vuelta de Rueda


Guest composer: Cristina García Islas
Photo: Olivier Maranda

Born in Mexico City, Cristina García Islas studied at the Escuela Superior de Música of Mexico’s national arts centre, where she obtained a degree in composition. In 2005, she moved to Canada to study at the Conservatoire de musique de Montréal under Michel Gonneville. The excellence of her work earned her many grants and prizes. Her work is extremely varied, alternating between pieces for small instrumental ensembles to electro-acoustic and orchestral music. In 2010, she participated notably in the ninth Rencontres internationales de composition musicale in Cergy-Pontoise (France) and the XXXII Foro Internacional de Musica Nueva, Manuel Enriquez (Mexico): In 2009, she took part in the Montreal/New Music International Festival. In 2008, one of her pieces was selected, recorded and filmed by Films Zingaro 2, Inc. for a television documentary on Québec conservatories.
PROJECT: A’nayáhuari / 
La voix ancestrale du ciel

Guest poet: Joséphine Bacon
Origin: Betsiamites (Québec)
Residence: Montréal (Québec)
Photo (detail): Jean-Christophe Stefanovitch

Born in 1947, Joséphine Bacon is an Innu from the community of Betsiamites. She lives in Montréal. In addition to being a documentary filmmaker (Mishtikuashisht - Le Petit Grand Européen: Johan Beetz, NFB, 1996), she is also a poet and lyricist for songs performed by Chloé Sainte-Marie, including Mishapan Nitassinan. She published a collection of poems in the book Aimititau! Parlons-nous! (Mémoire d'encrier, 2008) and a bilingual anthology entitled Bâtons à message/Tshissinuatshitakana that was very well received (Mémoire d'encrier, 2009). For her poem “Dessine-moi l’arbre,” taken from that anthology, Joséphine Bacon received the 2010 Prix des lecteurs du Marché de la Poésie de Montréal. More recently, she penned the collection Nous sommes tous des sauvages with José Acquelin (Mémoire d'encrier, 2011).

PROJECT: L’offrande


Dinu Bumbaru

Dinu Bumbaru graduated in architecture and architectural conservation. Since 1982, he has worked for Heritage Montreal, an independent organization that promotes the preservation, revitalization and enhancement of the Montreal area’s built, urban and landscape heritage through educational and inspirational initiatives among citizens, decision makers and investors. He is also active in other local organizations, including Les amis de la montagne, the Fédération Histoire Québec and Culture Montreal, as well as internationally, through his involvement as former Secretary General of the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS), an advisory body for UNESCO.

Denys Delâge

Denys Delâge is Professor Emeritus in the Department of Sociology at Université Laval. He studies the history of alliances among Franco and Anglo Amerindians based in Montréal. His publications include Le Pays renversé, Amérindiens et Européens en Amérique du Nord-Est 1600-1664 and, with Jean Pierre Sawaya, Les Traités des Sept Feux avec les Britanniques, Droits et pièges d'un héritage colonial. He contributes regularly to the journal Recherches Amérindiennes au Québec on topics such as the Hurons of Lorette (Wendake), the Great Peace of Montréal of 1701, the federation of Amerindians living in the lower St. Lawrence valley, colonial justice and the Amerindians.

Gérald Grandmont

Gérald Grandmont is currently an Associate Professor at HEC Université de Montréal and the Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières. From 2000 to 2008, he was Assistant Deputy Minister for Policy, Public Corporations and Heritage in the Québec department of culture and communications. He is a member of the history committee of the French ministry of culture and communication. He has lectured extensively, published a number of articles on cultural policy and on heritage, and published several works, including L’environnement entre au Musée with Jean Davallon and Bernard Schiele.