Visual arts and performances come together at the Sensitivity exhibit

Nine Concordia students will be presenting their work at this 4-day event

Concordia’s Painting and Drawing Student Association (PDSA) is wrapping up the winter semester with a multidisciplinary exhibition. For this event, they decided to collaborate with Studio 7, a club from the university’s contemporary dance department. The organizers selected artists from both disciplines who will be presenting their work at Galerie 2112 from May 3 to 7. 

Titled Sensitivity, the exhibition brings together work from five visual artists and four dance creators. “The goal was for two different art forms to meet in an exhibition to create a dialogue between the artworks, but also to create a dialogue between the art pieces and the theme,” said Justine Bellefeuille, events coordinator for the PDSA. For Bellefeuille and the other organizers, the theme of sensitivity came about because it related to both art forms. 

The theme of sensitivity is interpreted in many different ways by the artists submitting their work. For Bellefeuille and the PDSA team, it was “about touch, about textures, everything that is related to the senses.” But the event organizer also saw a link with the current context. “I think that it is also unavoidable to mention the pandemic. It created an atmosphere in the arts field that makes everything more precarious, more sensitive.”

One of the selected artists, Elyanne Desaulniers, decided to apply to the Sensitivity exhibit because the theme really spoke to her practice. She describes herself as a multidisciplinary artist who mixes several mediums in all her creations. Desaulniers left Trois-Rivières to start a degree in Studio Arts at Concordia this year. While she currently focuses on painting, collages, drawing, ceramics and photography, poetry is often central to her work. 

Desaulniers relates to the theme of sensitivity as it informs her creative process but also the way she sees her relationship with the audience. “My goal as an artist is that people who look at my work feel an emotion, a sensation, resentment, anything,” explained the artist, adding that “if someone is completely indifferent while looking at one of my artworks, I did not complete my mission.”

The artist will be presenting a diptych titled I am a wandering vessel 1 and 2. Desaulniers was inspired by her experience as a newcomer in Montreal. She created the arts piece based on poems she wrote on her way to school. The work speaks to the feeling of being a stranger in this city that is her new home. “The city is really strange for me and it’s not the place where I’m most comfortable, so I tried to reverse this by giving attention to the most interesting details instead,” said the artist.

On the performance side, Santiago Lopez will be presenting a solo performance inspired by paintings he created. A first-year theater student, Lopez centres his artistic practice on dance, film, and theatre creations. For the exhibition, the emerging choreographers perform A letter to my multiple existences, a piece based on a painting that has been recreated. Lopez first made the artwork when he was 13 and painted a new version of it last year using his latest life experiences as inspiration for the adaptation.

“This is basically a solo I made in order to create this kind of sensitive bridge as I call it between my past identity and my possible future identity,” explained Lopez. The dance solo he presents is inspired by the shapes and lines on the newest painting.

The artist also wishes to encourage the audience to take on a journey similar to his, exploring the differences between their past and present selves, and embracing the transformation we all go through in life. 

For Éléonore Emond, coordinator for Studio 7 and dance curator for the exhibition, the event answers to a need for more collaborative work between Concordia’s Fine Arts departments. Studio 7 organizes performances every month at the contemporary dance department. They invite students from all arts disciplines to participate. This year particularly, the team wanted to encourage a variety of performances to be presented, therefore the event was an opportunity to fulfill their larger mission.

The PDSA is a Concordia club dedicated to all Fine Arts students who are interested in painting or drawing. The group organizes events all year long including talks with artists, workshops, and exhibitions.

Five visual arts pieces by Desaulniers, and artists Dan Yang, Maurane, Darius Yeung, and Aimée Lebeau will be showcased from May 3 to 7. At the vernissage night on May 4, all four performances will be showcased. This includes the solo performance by Lopez, and a solo improvisation by Marie-Laurence Deschênes who will be inspired live by another artwork in the space. There will also be duos by Kristina Hilliard and Bronwyn Robert, as well as Eva Myers and Xdzunúm Danae Trejo Boles. Each performance will also be presented on one other night. The PDSA published the performance schedule on its Instagram page. The Sensitivity exhibition will happen at Galerie 2112 at 2112 Atateken St. 


Visuals courtesy Justine Bellefeuille and Elyanne Desaulniers

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