Art, Splattered

Art Matters Festival: Ready For Its 11th Year?

Today marks the official first day of the Art Matters Festival 2011. Now in its 11th year, the festival runs for a mere three weeks and involves the work of more than 200 Concordia students.

What makes this festival unique to the Montreal community is that students are at the core of Art Matters’ vision, planning and actualization. This year there are 16 student-curated events.

The Receptacle, happening tonight at Eastern Bloc, is a one-night event that explores “an insatiable consumer culture.” Sound and video installations will interact with and bounce off of metal walls.

“I’m really interested in the idea of public art and public space,” said Allison Smith, curator of the show. “The idea of the trash container itself used as a display space for art came from viewing a construction site. This was a huge space—I wanted to transform and re-purpose the space.”
The show parallels itself with sustainability and the idea of trash. The event takes place both outdoors and inside a repurposed warehouse space. The works themselves play with themes of sustainability, public art and space and the fragility of nature.

We’ve Been Here Before, which happens this Saturday at the Belgo, explores questions of space and its relations to and with nostalgia. The event uses dance, video, installation, painting and drawing to explore the process of familiarization.

The Opening Party is one of the most anticipated events of the festival according to Stephanie Bokenfohr, special events coordinator to the festival.

“The Art Matters opening party is known to be the most fun event of the year for Fine Arts students,” said Bokenfohr. “We see it more like a gift to give back to the festival participants, which is well over 200 including all the artists and curators.

The event will feature local acts Pat Jordache, Grimes and DJs Wilcox and Promise, Doldums from Toronto, Cousins from Nova Scotia and party-monster Andrew W.K. spinning the night away with a live DJ set.

“We wanted to give [students] some of the most exciting stuff that is happening in our community right now. All of the talent is from Concordia or supports the Concordia community,” said Bokenfohr.

The evening will also feature visuals from BOCA Gallery, the first ever-online gallery for digital paintings and drawings. The BOCA collective is composed of former and current Concordia students, including past organizers of the Art Matters festival.

“The projections will add depth to the space and work hand in hand with the music,” said Bokenfohr. “There will be fun to be had.”

More info
The Receptacle / Tues. March 1 / Eastern Bloc (7240 Clark St.) / 6 – 9 p.m.
We’ve Been Here Before / Sat. March 5 / Studio 303 (Belgo Building, 372 Saint-Catherine St. W.) / 7 – 9 p.m. Opening Party / Fri. March 4 / Espace Reunion (6600 Hutchinson) / 9 p.m. / $5

This article originally appeared in Volume 31, Issue 24, published March 7, 2011.