Catch The Room 22’s Wave

“Art Is Art Because We Say So”

  • Marie Jane and Devin Charitonidis, Concordians of the Room 22. Photo Julia Jones

  • Photo Marie Jane

On Sept. 10, The Room 22, a Montreal art collective, will have their first formal reading and the launch of the third issue of their zine, We Send the Wave to Find the Wave, at the newly resuscitated Friendship Cove.

The collective was founded by folks who felt the need to make art together. In their manifesto, the group wrote, “art is suddenly greater than any interconnection to the present culture. Its existence is untouchable, it is not subject to debate; art is art because we say so.”

The Room 22 publishes a zine on a semi-regular basis, matching poetry and photography from members and non-members of the collective.

“I just do it instinctively,” said Marie Jane, one of the organizers and Concordia creative writing student. “I don’t ask people to stage the photos to match the poetry. People can submit old or new work. I read the work of people and [from] the vibe I get from [them], I try to find artists who visually talk to me in the same way.”

This issue of the zine will be available for $5 will feature words from Frankie Barnet, Trevor Barton, Mike Chaulk, Gillian Sze, Adam Wilcox and Jane herself, among others.
The Wave will also feature artwork from Richmond Lam, Le Pigeon, Robby Reis, David J. Romero, Celia Spenard-Ko, and Claire Boucher, a.k.a. Montreal chanteuse Grimes.

“We have a certain aesthetic that is kind of sensual and sexual, and a lot of our writing goes into sexual places and I think that’s what I look for visually, in artists. I like images that make me want to travel there… dreamy, naked girls,” said Jane.

The collective has recently changed their direction and has taken a quieter path. “We used to organize big parties, with artwork on the wall, in different venues, with live photo shoots and performances, […] but now our events are more [often] in small lofts, not bars,” said Jane. “We are also very happy to be doing it at The Cove. If those walls could talk…”

To turn these readings into exciting soirées, the collective usually serves food and has music acts and performances. The music for We Send the Wave to Find the Wave will be performed by Doldrums and Alex Cowan, from the band Blue Hawaii.

“We try to make the events unboring. A lot of poetry readings are not very well attended and in the corner of a bookstore, so we try to breathe a little bit of life into poetry,” said Devin Charitonidis, also a Concordia creative writing student and one of the organizers of The Room 22.

“But we want to make it homey too, we want people to feel like we are inviting them into our little world,” said Jane.

Their ultimate goal is to make poetry more accessible to the general public, interest them, and hook them. “In that sense, we are closing the wall. I am very thankful for this group because I’m bringing together people from different walks of life; I feel like we are successfully bridging the gap with people who aren’t necessarily lit people,” said Charitonidis.

With most of its active participants working on their B.A.s, The Room 22 might be missing in action for the next couple of months. “This is our last attempt at a reading for the next couple of months, so we want to make a good one,” said Charitonidis.

We Send the Wave to Find the Wave / Sept. 10 / The Friendship Cove (215 Murray St.) / 6 p.m. / PWYC

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