Art. It amazes me how such a small word can have such an infinite variety of forms and meanings, how it can show up in so many strange places. That single syllable can be hung on a wall or cover one; it can be staged or shared intimately; it can project on a screen or suspend from a ceiling; it can be sculpted out of snow or sand or silly putty; it can be scrawled on metro walls, or danced and shouted through the streets. That’s why it’s fun. It’s all about imagination. What nobody has yet thought of will eventually become art.
With the third annual Art Matters festival gearing up to full throttle this week, anyone can go experience art in a large variety of its forms and contexts, at seventeen different locations on and off campus. What’s more, it’s all free.
“A door isn’t made out of wood in art, it’s made out of words,” says Kaie Kellough, a poet and Concordia English student. “Art can help to combat ignorance, it is central to life.” His rhythmical and picturesque anecdotes of experiences in “word-based activism” represented Montreal in Thursday night’s “Performing Politics.” This is a lecture, discussion, and slide show led by San Francisco activist Alli Star at the school of Community and Public Affairs.
Star is a dancer and founder of the group “Art and Revolution.” She has been taking her giant puppets and creative choreography to streets, parks and schools in the United States for fifteen years. Whether the occasion is a funeral for democracy, a reclamation of time, a comment on corporate greed, or an anti-war march, Star and her crew will show up in spectacle.
“We’re countering violence with art. It’s our anti-weapon,” she says, as she reflected on the ability of dancers to calm police presence at protests. Her handbag of creative dissent overflows with exercises in movement, theatre and re-balancing power structures, as well as giant papier-mach