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Lest we forget

Annual Concordia Remembers competition aims to evoke reflection with graduate-student art
October 23, 2013
By Julie Gedeon

“Curtain, Arles,” 2008, by Celia Perrin Sidarous
Concordia Remembers: “Curtain, Arles,” 2008, by Celia Perrin Sidarous in the FOFA Image Grid on Ste-Catherine Street. Photo by Concordia University

Concordia is launching a new initiative to commemorate Remembrance Day: a unique and creative way to engage faculty, staff, students, and the general public.

November 11, 2013, marks the opening day of an annual graduate-student competition for artworks that evoke memory.

“The competition is to inspire Concordia students to reflect on how remembrance can offer a vision of peace and a call to thoughtful engagement,” says Clarence Epstein, director of Special Projects and Cultural Affairs.

Montrealers rushing past the FOFA Gallery courtyard at 1515 Ste-Catherine St. W. currently have their gaze caught by the image of a white curtain billowing from an open window into a dark room.

The enlarged digital photograph by MFA student Celia Perrin Sidarous — “Curtain, Arles” — is the first featured work in Concordia Remembers. In future, the university will use the FOFA space annually in the month leading up to November 11.

“Curtain, Arles” was chosen to inaugurate Concordia Remembers because it symbolically opens up the gallery to Montrealers and draws them inside. It has generated abundant interest since its installation in the new “Image Grid” on the courtyard’s west wall in early October.

The Concordia Remembers competition will challenge graduate students to complement traditional Remembrance Day symbols, such as the poppy, with new concepts that resonate with them.

“We hope each year’s winning artwork prompts the public to recall memories that may otherwise become distanced by time,” Epstein says.

According to jake moore, the FOFA Gallery’s director, the goal “is not to replace or diminish other forms of remembrance, but to add Concordia’s unique voice to this commemorative event.”

“The artwork doesn’t have to be linked to an historic moment so much as create an opportunity for people to contemplate loss. The idea is for students to share their creative processes for remembrance with the community.”

Moore says Sidarous’s artwork will be the first of many to populate the space.

“The image launches the use of the FOFA Gallery’s new Image Grid as a year-round exhibition space to further integrate Quartier Concordia with Montreal life. It expands people’s access to what the FOFA Gallery has to offer.”

Wondering how to apply? Details of the Concordia Remembers competition will be publicized on by November 11, 2013.

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