(Entre Mozart et Jean-Talon)
produced by Articule and Système Minuit du Quebec
«atelier target: autonopop», applied art criticism workshop
with Michel Chevalier (Hamburg)
The four-day workshop was hosted by two artist-run spaces, Articule and Le Local. Preparation for the workshop involved studying the considerable "alternative arts" scene in Montréal (the magazine Inter, the book L´art comme Alternative by Guy Sioui Durand), as well as the political milestones in Quebec (Anglo-domination, the indépendantiste movement, the current neoliberal government).
The first day focused on the "relevance" of applied art criticism, by presenting cooptational and commercialist developments in the art field in Germany and France in the period 1995-2005. The questions of consensus, transfer, usurpation, intelligibility, underground/mainstream, center/periphery, were discussed with reference to the Canadian art scene, as well as the role of public institutions. We discussed the relevance of people/groups such as Raoul Vaneigem (Internationale Situationniste), the Red Group, the Guerilla Art Action Group.
Michel Chevalier had originally planned to undertake "art field" interventions on two of the four days, but the closing of museums and galleries for the Canadian national holiday on July 1st made this impossible. Another opportunity presented itself: July 1st is also known as "moving day" because most apartment leasing contracts expire on this one day. The holiday is thereby devoted to moving, with rental trucks filling the streets and much old furniture being left abandoned. On the recommendation of several participants, we engaged in "derives," exploring this social phenomenon while considering the critical points it shared with our art-discussion: selection, exclusion, market, money, mobility, transfer.
Actions involved bystanders, left-over trash, documentation, and the day ended with a spontaneous intervention in which we placed an abandoned sofa in the middle of rue Dandruand. This drew young Turkish bystanders, one of whom played the role of traffic policeman. Cars squeezed by, and the real police arrived one hour later.
The following day, the workshop went to the Musée d´Art Contemporain using fake tickets one participant had made (for a previous project). We engaged in a critical unauthorized guided tour of a show entitled "The other side of appearences.“