Un conversation sur l’évolution sur l’art féministe – EDGY COLLOQUE

Par SHEENA GOURLAY

Les anniversaires sont toujours des moments de réflexion, des moments forts où l’on regarde d’où l’on vient, mais surtout la direction de l’avenir. Ce double regard nous permet de réfléchir sur deux directions en même temps. Il me semble que le féminisme de la troisième vague fait la même chose. Il est du présent. C’est le féminisme actuel, un féminisme conscient de son passé mais regardant surtout l’avenir. On le voit dans le livre Remous, ressacs et dérivations autour de la troisième vague féministe qui est apparu en 2011, et plus tôt dans Dialogues sur la troisième vague féministe en 2005. Le passé sert de ressource afin de poser de nouvelles questions, sans en être entravé.

Mais y a-t-il une troisième vague dans les arts visuels? Il me semble que cette question en pose une autre. Comment devient-on conscient de ce passé? Y avons-nous accès?

 

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“After the Dinner Party”

 

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“After the Dinner Party”

Fini les classeurs pleins de photocopies qui ont constitués la bibliothèque de la première génération d’artistes féministe dans les années 1970. Il y a maintenant des bibliothèques pleines de publications sur l’art des femmes et l’art féministe. Il y a aussi de grandes expositions portant sur l’histoire de l’art féministe telle que WACK! aux États-Unis, Elles@centrepompidou à Paris, et, plus près de nous, Femmes artistes. L’éclatement des frontières, 1965-2000 à Québec, sans oublier Archi-féministes! présentée à Optica. Mais ce corpus, est-il si disponible que cela? Est-il utilisable? Ou est-il un poids tel que l’on doit fermer les portes des archives afin de recommencer? Quelle position prennent les artistes face à cette histoire?

Cette réflexion m’amène à une autre. Quelles sont les pratiques visuelles actuelles? Et comment s’articulent-elles aux discours sur l’art et sur le féminisme? Il me semble que si l’on pose la question de l’existence d’un art féministe de la troisième vague, on doit commencer par là, par ce que les artistes font. L’art est d’abord pratique. C’est par la pratique, par les matériaux, les processus et les images, que l’engagement commence. Donc, s’il y a un art féministe de la troisième vague, quelle est la forme de son engagement?

Image from Archi-féministes!: Archiver le corps

Image from Archi-féministes!: Archiver le corps

Here we are at another anniversary for La Centrale – 40 years, or for 41 depending on which date one uses to mark its founding. These dates have always been important for the gallery because they are moments of reflection, not only on the past, but more importantly on the future. It seems to me that this double vision is also one of the strengths of third-wave feminism. Take for example the recently published book Remous, ressacs et dérivations autour de la troisième vague féministe that came out in 2011. The feminist past is valued, not to imitate it, but rather as a way to pose new questions.

However, this raises another question for me. Is there a third-wave feminism in the visual arts? And if so, how does it situate itself relative to the past? Does it even have access to it?

It is true, we are long past the time when university students had to compile their own library using photocopies and filing cabinets. There are now shelves of books on feminist art and art by women. There have also been a number of large exhibitions that has made this work more visible. One only has to think of WACK! in the United States, Elles@centrepompidou in Paris, and, nearer to here, Femmes artistes. L’éclatement des frontières, 1965-2000 in Quebec City, as well as Archi-féministes! at Optica here in Montreal. But is this history really accessible? Is it usable? Or do we have to close the doors of the archive in order to begin again? How DO artists today position themselves relative to this feminist art past?

This raises a further question for me. What are the visual practices today and how are they articulated to discourses on art and on feminism? It seems to me that to ask whether there is a third-wave feminist art, one has to begin by asking what artists are doing. Art is a practice. The artist’s engagement is first of all with and through the materials, processes and images that are central to their practice. So if there is a third-wave feminist art, what form does this engagement take?

Sheena Gourlay s’intéresse à l’art féministe, aux conditions de son émergence et de son évolution. Elle en a étudié les nouvelles problématiques et pratiques en art, elle s’intéresse également aux rapports entre les pratiques visuelles et celles des musées, et à l’articulation des discours féministes à l’art. Membre de la galerie La Centrale pendant plusieurs années, elle est professeure à temps partiel à l’Université d’Ottawa où elle enseigne la théorie féministe et, cette année, un cours sur les masculinités.

NE PAS MANQUER: Un conversation sur l’évolution sur l’art féministe et la communauté montréalaise de avec Sheena Gourlay et Aimée Darcelle (15h-16h) at EDGY COLLOQUE — EDGY REDUX — GRATUIT!

Hybris.théâtre en transition

By MARIE-ÈVE BLAIS

hybris

Rencontre avec Philippe Dumaine et Mylène Bergeron

Philippe est candidat à la maîtrise en Histoire de l’art, concentration Études féministes, à l’Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM). Mylène, artiste autodidacte, a fait un certificat en Histoire de l’art et une majeure en Études théâtrale à l’UQAM, ainsi que plusieurs ateliers de créations et stages.

Leur premier projet, Persona, a été créé dans le cadre du programme de théâtre à l’UQAM. Une reprise du texte tiré du film de Ingmar Bergman, qui s’intéresse à la question de l’image, du double. Le projet a été présenté devant public en février 2011, à l’Union française. Orphée révolver, second projet de la compagnie, s’inspire des théories queer et féministe, donnant la parole à des auteur.e.s comme Monique Wittig, Julia Kristeva, Judith Butler, etc. Il a été présenté une première fois en août 2010 dans le cadre de Zone Homa, festival de créateurs et créatrices de la relève, à la Maison de la culture Maisonneuve, puis a fait l’objet d’une version remaniée en novembre 2012 au Théâtre Sainte-Catherine.

Se redéfinir

La participation à Edgy vient directement au moment de redéfinition et de repositionnement de la compagnie. « C’est le moment de faire le point, de se poser des questions, d’ouvrir à la discussion. » Quels sont leurs ancrages et quelle est la place de l’interdisciplinarité, de la réflexion féministe et queer dans leur pratique? Travaillant beaucoup avec des collages de textes, d’improvisation,  par exemple, pour la création d’Orphée Revolver,  il y a cette envie d’un regard critique sur l’histoire des femmes et  la seconde vague, s’intéressant à cette question de la violence à travers la critique des femmes par d’autres femmes. Dans la création, illes s’intéressent davantage au jeu non réaliste : « On ne veut pas psychologiser les personnages ». Ils préfèrent travailler la résistance du corps, aller vers l’action, explorer les ruptures, les chocs, les changements brusques, et les contraintes pour créer un certain rhytme.

S’investir ailleurs

C’est leur première fois officielle avec le studio / Edgy. Pour elleux, il était nécessaire de trouver des endroits de discussion productive, car il y a un grand aspect théorique dans leur travail. Ne sachant pas ce qu’illes apporteront de nouveau, illes aimeraient avoir, du moins, quelques réponses à leurs questions. « On veut participer au dialogue, prendre la parole. C’est le sujet de notre pièce, il faut donc prendre la parole aussi! »

You got to burn to shine

Projet de recherche sur l’histoire de l’activisme durant la crise du SIDA des années 80 et 90, illes questionnent la place de l’histoire de cette lutte aujourd’hui. Cette réflexion sera faite à travers la prise de parole des performeur.e.s et des interprètes en tant que personnes sociales. « On désire parler en notre propre nom, partir de notre position ». C’est une volonté interdisciplinaire, tous les artistes proviennent de différents milieux. Illes veulent traverser les frontières et multiplier les points de vue afin d’être en conversation avec la théorie et la pratique. « Faire partie de l’écologie artistique montréalaise. »

À la question, qu’attendez-vous du public? Illes répondent : avoir des questions!

C’est dit!

*

Dans le cadre du Edgy Colloque : Féminismes en transitions // 11h à 12h : Fictionner les transitions
Brûler l’Histoire: création documentaire et mise en doute des savoirs normatifs Avec Mylène Bergeron et Philippe Dumaine (Hybris.théâtre)

 Pour plus d’informations sur Hybris.theatre:
 http://hybristheatre.wordpress.com/

Hot tea + serious thought // Des idées bien sérieuses sur fond de thé

By CHRISTINE cricri BELLEROSE

Evelyne and I sit, Japanese style, letting our tea cool down. It’s boiling hot in the loft. Our heads are full of ideas, thoughts and questions about our mutual art practices, feminism… and what to do with our ‘given’ object for Le Défi Edgy

This month, we have known each other for exactly one year. We’re both interdisciplinary artists, share a core understanding of the artistic process, yet our practices are quite different — something you won’t probably notice that on stage this Sunday at Edgy Women.

Part of our drive as artists and friends is how passionate we are about synthesizing, processing and applying life to art. Part of our connection is how we work with each other’s space, sometimes invading, oftentimes listening, but always allowing this space to serve both art and life.

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Photo crédit pour Evelyne Bouchard: Juan Montelpare (2014)

As we sit with the cool tea and go over the notes of various lectures we collected for this piece, feminism is deconstructed on paper and reconstructed on stage. Too cerebral of a process you might think? Our next meeting is about embodying the notes. If it makes you feel better, know this: we know the process, but we don’t know where it’s going to lead us.

So really, the only way to know how the story ends is to come and see us @ Sala Rossa this Sunday March 9 for Edgy Redux.

//

Je suis avec Evelyne. Je nous ai préparé le thé, et une station de travail à la japonaise. On bouille dans le loft, et nos têtes sont pleines d’idées et de questions se rapportant à nos pratiques artistiques, au féminisme, et que faire de l’objet qu’on nous a « assigné ».

On se connait, Evelyne et moi, depuis un an déjà. Nous sommes toutes deux artistes interdisciplinaires; nous partageons un noyau commun de l’étude de la pratique artistique bien que la façon de nous exprimer dans nos disciplines soit bien différente l’une de l’autre.

Pourtant, vous n’en ferez surement pas constat, en nous regardant sur la scène cette semaine, puisqu’un de nos déterminants est la passion que nous portons à synthétiser, transiter, et appliquer la vie dans notre art. Et puis, dans notre travail comme dans notre amitié nous fonctionnons sur des bases de respect de l’espace de l’autre, tantôt l’infiltrant, tantôt l’observant, mais toujours en faisant place à l’espace que nécessite l’art et la vie pour s’exprimer à plein.

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Nous décortiquons les écrits et nos notes en discutant de la création collective, et reconstruisons l’espace social du féminisme, sur scène. J’entends des voix qui dénoncent l’intellectualisation de notre procédé? Alors je vous rassure en vous confiant que notre prochaine rencontre sera l’incarnation somatique de ce procédé. Par contre, je vous avertis, bien que nous savons naviguer le processus de création, nous n’avons pas d’idées fixes sur ce qu’aura l’air la présentation finale de ce processus.

À vrai dire, la seule façon de savoir comment se termine notre spectacle, c’est d’y être @ Sala Rossa ce dimanche 9 mars pour le Défi Edgy.

For more on Evelyne Bouchard  and Christine Bellerose, check out their websites! 

Le Défi Edgy: Of MADNESS and MONSTROSITY

By JACQUELINE van der GEER

It was a good week. I got the ingredients to make my performance for Le Défi Edgy and travelled in time, losing myself in The Yellow Wallpaper, a story I discovered while doing research on one of my “secret” ingredients…

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In 1891, Charlotte Perkins Gilman wrote a short story that shocked many a reader in that era. It was about madness, based on an event in her own life. Locked into a room she despises, a married woman suffers from a post-partum depression, which in 1891 was diagnosed as hysteria.

We follow the woman’s experience by reading her secret diary (as she is forbidden to do anything), which exposes her slow trajectory towards madness.

Gilman let you feel every crawling inch of craziness. And she poses through this story the question to you:

If, under similar circumstances circumstances, would you yourself  start crawling out of the yellow wallpaper?

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Imagine the room you are in is locked for weeks — maybe months.  There is a lack of communication with the outside world, your cure from hysteria is to sit in a room and do nothing, no talking, no writing and then you start to see a pattern in the wallpaper…

A strong connection invaded my system right away, as I was shocked to discover that I do know that story inside and out: I saw it happening with my own mother and actually lived this myself when I was much younger, so much under the influence of being nice, quiet, secure and sweet.

Remember how, when you were a kid and you were being maybe a little obnoxious, your parents sent you to your room or gave you a timeout? Remember when you had to sit still or stay inside, when all your friends were playing and you weren’t allowed to join them? How the time seemed to streeeetch on forever? Maybe your mind started to waver and wander, and perhaps you started to imagine… something along the lines of the wallpaper in your room coming alive?

There’s a reason people in movies freak out in solitary confinement: having nothing to do for hours on end makes you a little nuts.

And now here is the problem: I am so obsessed living this story, but I have to get the other ingredients in it too, how?

Play outside and dada a bit, I guess… and leave the wallpaper for what it is for a while…

You can see how the story ends at Le Défi Edgy, happening March 9 at the Sala Rossa.

Given only a prop, a sound effect, a quote and a time limit, Jacqueline van der Geer was left to her own devices to create and present a short work. A festive finale not to be missed! 

EDGY REDUX: 2014

Et bien, nous sommes de retour!

Après un 20ième anniversaire inoubliable, le festival Edgy Women se transforme en Edgy Redux: plus concis, mais toujours fièrement féministe, bien sûr. Nous n’étions pas certaines que le blog allait refaire surface, mais le voici…

Si vous avez manqué le cabaret Tollé ou que vous ne connaissez pas la mauvaise nouvelle,  cette année, notre financement pour les arts du patrimoine fédéral a été brusquement coupé par le gouvernement conservateur et nous avons été laissé là, avec des ressources presque inexistante.

Mais, ça ne nous arrêtera pas. Le festival Edgy Women passe de 10 jours de fête, en un compressé, mais puissant, trois jours de partage d’idées féministes et de performances expérimentales.

Notre blog se transforme également cette année, les artistes participeront aussi, illes* éditeront directement sur cette plate-forme et discuteront du thème du festival : les transitions.

Tran-si-tion : le mouvement, développement, ou évolution d’une forme, d’une étape ou d’un style à un autre.

Nous nous réjouissons de suivre EDGY REDUX avec vous.

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Well, we’re back !

After an unforgettable 20th anniversary, the Edgy Women Festival has transformed into Edgy Redux: a concise, but still fiercely feminist, affair. We weren’t sure if our little blog was gonna make it, but it did.

If you couldn’t come to TOLLÉ or missed the news, our federal Heritage arts funding was unceremoniously cut by the conservative government this year and we were left scrambling with scarce resources.

But we will not stop. The Edgy Women Festival is transitioning from a 10-day fiesta to a compressed-but-powerful, three-day platform for feminist ideas and experimental performance.

Our blog has also transitioned, as this year the artists will be contributing, edited but unfiltered, directly on this platform and engaging with the theme of the festival: transitions.

Tran·si·tion: a movement, development, or evolution from one form, stage, or style to another.

We look forward to following EDGY REDUX with you!

– Laura Beeston & Marie-Eve Blais, blog admin.

un dernier mot (for now)

All good things must come to an end.

While the performances may have wrapped a few weeks ago, this year’s Edgy Women blog continued to generate reviews (and even a titty scandal) long after we cleared out of the Blue Cat. But we think the dust may have finally settled on this year’s Fest, so just wanted to take the time to properly bid the blog adieu… for now.

Last weekend, the Franco and Anglo bloggers responsible for generating content on this site got together to have a last word on the crazy, unexpected, experimental, feminist fiesta that is Edgy Women Festival. Here are (some of) our thoughts:

From impromptu UFC parties, to Colloque close-ups, to sexy sporty video, to insightful Q&As, to gendered cake, modern dance, to LUCHA LIBRE and everything in between, we tried to give you a closer look at the artists and happenings that made this year’s festival unforgettable.

THANK YOU to my epic team of bloggers for your EDGY enthusiasm and commitment to this online project.

& THANK YOU for coming on this website to read along with our adventures!

There was an unprecedented amount of interest in this blog from our audience and it was our pleasure to keep you reading, watching, sharing and loving Edgy Women Festival. PLEASE email any feedback to edgylaurabeeston@gmail.com, and keep following us on Facebook for updates about next year’s programming!

See you next year!

– posted by @LauraBeeston

-video edited by @RonjaMannov

TITS OUT: Edgy Afterparty makes National Queer News

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By Michael McCarthy
Original Xtra.ca article here.
Last week, the 20th anniversary of Montreal’s Edgy Women Fest came to an appropriate end at Lipster, a karaoke night at the Royal Phoenix with a wild reputation. Event organizers Julie Paquet and I were not, however, prepared for the post-festival adrenaline that resulted in a bar full of topless feminists.
At one point, as festival participant Lex Vaughn describes it, “there were about a dozen women with their shirts off and some guys, too. People that would never even do that. It was amazing!
“The poor bar staff tried to get us to put tape on our nipples, but that was like trying to get a hyena to stop eating a fresh carcass. After repeat pleas from a sober and attentive staff, worried about cops coming in and fining them and shutting the place down, a few people acquiesced, but then it would start all over again. It was like Lord of the Flies.”
Lipster organizers Michael McCarthy and Julie Paquet sing karaoke in Montreal.
In Quebec, in order for a venue that is not a theatre, amphitheatre, racetrack or sport centre to legally allow nudity, its permit must include an authorization for shows involving nudity. This authorization is hard to come by and is usually available only when an existing permit is transferred from a former establishment, such as a strip club, to a new one. Unfortunately for the Edgy Women Fest, the organizers of Lipster and the bar staff, while the Royal Phoenix may be a queer bar, it does not hold such a permit.
The result last week was a very awkward situation in which all three parties had to enforce, obey or rebel against a law they collectively disagree with. Bar owner Val Desjardins, who grew up performing in the Edgy Women Fest, found herself in a conflicted position dealing with the aftermath the following day. “When you find yourself in a role where you have to obey permits, it unfortunately entails having to conform with, and enforce, laws you strongly disagree and have issues with. We had to play bad cops while working in solidarity with the folks in the Edgy crowd.”
According to section 174 of the Canadian Criminal Code, one who, without lawful excuse, is nude in a public place or is nude and exposed to public view while on private property, whether or not the property is his own, is guilty of a punishable offence. There are different situations in which there is a lawful excuse to be nude in a public place – such as a designated area like a nude beach, at a venue that holds a permit for shows containing nudity, or at a demonstration where the authorities have given special permission in advance.
Since Paquet and I also happen to be part of a body-positive queer burlesque collective, we were extremely cautious to keep gender out of our newfound and undesired role as the nipple police. Despite our personal political awareness, the law remains that men have the right to go topless but women can do so only if they cover their nipples, whether it is with tape or pasties.
What if you happen to be a female walking down the street on a day that is so blisteringly hot you want to take off your top but you don’t happen to have a roll of duct tape or pasties in your purse? Furthermore, gender is not a binary that a police officer should be permitted or obligated to determine when enforcing a law.
Nearly 23 years ago, during the unbearable heat of a sweltering summer day, Gwen Jacob opted to make like nearby male athletes and go topless. She was arrested, charged and found guilty of committing an indecent act. The judge ruled so on the grounds that a woman’s breast should not be exposed in public, as it is “part of the female body that is stimulating to men both by sight and touch.” Here the male gaze was the justification used by a male judge for the unequal treatment of women. By the same heteronormative assumption, this judge should have also banned men from being topless in public because a man’s pectoral and abdominal muscles are parts of the male body that are stimulating to women by sight and touch.
Jacob was acquitted of the charge of indecency in 1996, and 15 years later women in Ontario gained the right to be topless in public. Since the Supreme Court has yet to make a ruling on the matter, it is still possible for women to be charged for being topless in provinces other than Ontario, but only with consent of the attorney general.
Jacob’s case, however, seems to have set a precedent, as women in Saskatchewan and British Columbia have since been acquitted of similar charges. The topless afterparty for this year’s Edgy Women Fest highlights how the battle that Jacob inadvertently spearheaded is not quite over. Organizations like Topfree Equal Rights Association provide a structured meeting ground for people in North America fighting for equal rights and the de-sexualization of breasts in public.
In the meantime, working in solidarity with this movement, bar owners limited by their permits can respond in creative ways, such as Desjardins, who has since ensured that pasties are available for patrons of the Royal Phoenix. This way its patrons, regardless of their gender identity, can rip their tops off in the heat of a drunken karaoke performance – and do so within the law.