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Creativity on campus and concrete

by Olivia Ranger-Enns March 25, 2014
Creativity on campus and concrete

The third edition of RIPA is set to provoke with diverse works from Canadian student-artists

Rencontre interuniversitaire de performance actuelle (RIPA) is offering Montrealers the chance of a lifetime to see the arts being performed. In a big way.

Communications relations manager Julie Richard sat down with The Concordian to explain a little bit more about RIPA, an arts festival which will be held on the weekend of April 5 and 6. “RIPA is a student-led initiative geared to celebrating and exhibiting arts made by university students who haven’t yet hit the market,” said Richard. “We privilege artists who have yet to make it big and who need an audience. This year, we chose three artists from Halifax and seven from Quebec.”

When asked to explain what Montrealers can expect at the festival, Richard pointed to the diversity factor of the event.

The RIPA festival is a student-run initiative to promote the practices of emerging artists from Quebec, and neighbouring universities.

“There are going to be very creative ways of expressing oneself at the festival. Some artists will only use text in their projects, while others will use their bodies to send a message,” said Richard. “Some projects will be queer performances, for example. We are very pleased with the results. Last year, we had 13 applications to review. This year, we had 50 applications to look at.”

Artists had to send at least one video demonstrating what they hope to exhibit at the festival. “Some artists give you a detailed explanation of what they are interested in. Others send in the minimum because they themselves don’t know what will come of their projects,” said Richard. “It can be all about improvisation.”

This edition of the festival will be slightly different from the last two.

“This year, we decided to do a round table discussion,” said Richard. “We invited Shannon Cochrane, who works at a performative arts center in Toronto. We are going to have discussions between art practitioners and art theorists. We are going to have professors weighing in on this as well.”

François Morelli, a Concordia professor, is a regular at the festival.

“I was asked to participate as a performance artist with 40 years of experience,” said Morelli. “I am looking forward to the exchange and debates. The growing interest in performance art by educators, its integration into curriculum, its presence in museums and finally its codification, its historicization and growing status as a commodity are all very important to me.”

Richard highlighted the uniqueness of the event.

“The performance arts have generally been marginalized,” said Richard. “This is not a spectacle kind of art form. Jack Wong, for example, will provide a critique of the institution by posing and performing for very long bouts of time. Jean-Michel René will expose how he thinks people modify common spaces. There are going to be all kinds of performances.”

If getting moved or shocked isn’t your cup of tea, it might be best to stay at home.

“This event is going to arouse people, it is going to reach out and play with their emotions,” said Richard. “You can’t come here and expect to be passively watching a performance. That’s not the idea. The spectator has to invest him or herself in the event, at 100 per cent.”

The third edition of RIPA will take place at UQAM — 200, Sherbrooke Street West on April 5 and 6. Tickets are $7 at the door. For more information, visit ripa-performance.org.



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