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Art that engages with the street

Concordia’s FOFA Gallery unveils the ultimate urban exhibition space
October 9, 2013
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By Alyssa Tremblay

The Image Grid in situ: Celia Perrin Sidarous’s digital print is part of an initiative to commemorate Remembrance Day. The Image Grid in situ: Celia Perrin Sidarous’s digital print is part of an initiative to commemorate Remembrance Day. Photo courtesy of jake moore

It catches your eye from Ste-Catherine’s — a white curtain dyed mauve by shadows, blown back into a dark room by a silent breath of wind.

Taken by MFA student Celia Perrin Sidarous, the enlarged digital photograph is the first in a series that will grace the Image Grid, the FOFA Gallery’s newest exhibition space.

Located at 1515 Ste-Catherine St. W., in the FOFA Gallery courtyard just outside the Engineering Computer Science and Visual Arts Integrated Complex (EV), the Grid offers passersby access to distinct works of art, day and night.

“Our goal is to engage with the street,” said Gallery Director jake moore at the Grid’s unveiling on October 5.

Alumni and art enthusiasts gathered near the courtyard for a reception after “Systems and Iterations,” a panel discussion about the American artist Sol LeWitt. The Homecoming 2013 event was moderated by Concordia Fine Arts professor François Morelli, and featured artist-educator Jocelyn Robert, artist Diane Landry and Bernard Lamarche, curator of contemporary art at the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec.

moore says the Image Grid’s first print — “Curtain, Arles” from Perrin Sidarous’s 2008-2013 series The Book Of Things was chosen because it gives the impression that “something is leaking from the gallery and coming out.”

The Grid is the next step in Concordia’s commitment to putting public art at the core of Quartier Concordia, and to participating in the City of Montreal’s Quartier Culturel.

“Curtain, Arles,” 2008, by Celia Perrin Sidarous. From the series The Book Of Things (2008-2013) “Curtain, Arles,” 2008, by Celia Perrin Sidarous. From the series The Book Of Things (2008-2013). Photo by Warren Zelman Photography

This particular artwork plays an inaugural role in Concordia Remembers, an initiative to commemorate Remembrance Day at the university. Perrin Sidarous’s print aligns with this idea by drawing people in through nostalgia: the billowing curtain reveals an old radiator below a paint-chipped window, and framed photos in a background tug at the viewer’s senses of time and memory.

“We want our remembrance to recognize our role as cultural producers, where everyone can remember what they wish to in our shared goal of peace,” moore explains.

The Image Grid is composed of metal rings that were installed along the courtyard’s west wall. By running wire through the rings, the gallery can hang multiple enlarged prints of different sizes. It will showcase art by the Concordia community.

Mark Sussman, associate dean of Academic and Student Affairs in the Faculty of Fine Arts, sees the new exhibition space as an opportunity to use a wall that so many people pass by every day. “It’s a great outdoor manifestation of the gallery.”



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