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POP art: more than music

by admin September 28, 2010

The Art POP portion of the POP Montreal festival has some interesting events lined up for attendees this year. Art POP’s director Matt Goerzen shares his views on Art POP 2010.

Do you have any specific goals or expectations for for Art POP this year?

It’s an alternative to the music program. It’s there to compliment the music festival, introduce new artists and practices to a community that might not be exposed to this kind of thing in the past. This is my first year programming Art POP, and often it can be a difficult task to approach if it’s someone from outside the community. I want to present programming that’s challenging in a way that’s accessible to people outside the art community.

Do the events have any correlation to each other or do they all stand alone in their work?

One overarching theme is that the art on display is tied in some way with how we engage with our community. Some shows focus on the online communities that exist out there like the Kool-aid man’s tour through second life. Some other shows such as “Birth of Art at the Death of Vinyl” are about bridging communities, likethe poster-art/music community. That event shows how poster art is a nice visual compliment to the street in a way, and since the music community in Montreal is probably the biggest artistic community in the city, it’s a nice way to express their community in a visual way. The ways in which the events are all similar is that they try to link everything in the community around objects and ideas.

What do you want the festival attendees to get out of Art POP this year?

I’m not sure what to expect, but I’m trying to promote events that are interesting to people. Obviously it’s geared towards music but I’m hoping people want to come with friends, have a beer, and engage with the art. All of the shows have something to offer and they’re all very different.

Some Art POP 2010 highlights include…

Par Chemin by OTHER & many others

Troy Lovegates who goes by the pseudonym OTHER is a Montreal-based “street” artist who has focused the majority of his work on painting outdoor murals and freight trains. He has traveled the world displaying his art on the street and much of what he does is inspired by Hobo culture, having spent some time being homeless as well. His exhibition coincides with the release of his artist book.

Kool-Aid Man Tour Through Second Life by Jon Rafman

Jon Rafman explores modern engagement with consumer products in his work and in this piece specifically with the online computer game Second Life. He uses the old ad symbol of the Kool-Aid Man to take a virtual tour through the game. He describes it as “the ultimate tourist destination” and that it “reveals a lot about the present, in that it is totally constructed, groundless, no reference points.” Rafman critiques this social community through his avatar: “I hope it points to the condition in which we are trapped.”

Within Which All Things Exist and Move by Jon Rafman and Gabor Szilasi

This exhibit will show images of Jon Rafman’s series on Google Street View along side Gabor Szilasi’s photos depicting urban environments starting in the 1950s.

The show combines these new and old forms of portraying urban, public spaces and seeks to create a dialogue on issues such as privacy, transparency, and representation of reality.

Unspoken Isle by Emi Honda and Jordan McKenzie

Installation artists from Victoria who specialize in creating immersive environments filled with natural materials and found objects. The landscapes they create focus on the relationship between nature and human society. Their work takes on a dream-like quality as they add surreal elements to their manufactured ecosystem. The duo’s work raises questions about the way our current cultural and social environment interacts with the reality of the natural world around us.

The Birth of Art at The Death of Vinyl

An exhibition of rock poster artists from around North America. The poster designs cross the spectrum of rock music from heavy metal to folk to psychadelic. It will take place at the Death of Vinyl record store, naturally, and will feature artists Dominique Pétrin, Nomn Ryn, Dirty Donny, Day Gristle, Sweet Grognasse, Aimée Van Drimelen, Alan Forbes and Marielyne Tarabulsy.

Part 1: Technological strategies

The concept of this show deals with how people work with informationtechnologies like the Internet on a daily basis and the effects that this immersion may have on us within our own consciousness. The artists in this show view technology as a tool that can be utilized to make more sense of the world around us. Installations include Harm Van Den Dorpel’s “Ethereal Self,” which invites you to a website where your image is transposed onto a digital gemstone through the use of your webcam. Unknowingly, your video stream is also being reproduced in thegallery along with other unknowing viewers of the website. This type of work simultaneously gives us an interesting visual collage to look at, whilst critiquing the openness and voyeurism of the Internet.

Five Lost Masterpieces revealed

This event does exactly what is promised from the title. Five paintings, whose whereabouts were thought to have been long gone, are reunited with the public and questions about their worth and significance are raised for debate.

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