Over the Edge

The 18th Edgy Women Festival

By the end of this week, expect Montreal to get edgier.

Not in the obvious, chain-smoking, nervy way people get when they’re stressed, but through fierce, female-driven performance art that will descend on this city for the 18th edition of the Edgy Women Festival, running March 19 to April 2.

“This year is smaller, but it’s really juicy,” said Miriam Ginestier, the founder, artistic director and ‘organisatrix’ behind Edgy. “It’s really exciting when work is artistically strong and political at the same time. And it’s not easy to find that combination.”

Bringing together diverse works from the local, national and international performance art scene since 1995, this year’s femme fest will showcase truly signature aesthetics.

Some of the Edgy Women on the roster include radical sex educators and internationally acclaimed erotic artists Annie Sprinkle and Elizabeth Stephens, the Brooklyn-based choreographer Narcissister, who has described herself as a “post modern, post feminist sex artist” and Edgy repeat Karen Sherman, who continues to buck classical dance expectation.

Through an accessible and radical celebration of women and art, Ginestier explained that the curatorial content addresses more than simply “women’s issues,” offering many levels and opportunities for the community to connect and exchange.

“I think there’s a real misconception that anytime art is about a women’s issue that it’s going to be dour, didactic and dreary,” she said. “That’s not the case here. It can be really exciting, really humanist […] in a very visceral way. Edgy is about bringing together the thought-provoking and fun.”

Edgy afterparties, a university speaker series and a Sidewalk Sex Clinic are also running in tandem with the performance art schedule, and programming partners this year include “Gallerie Powerhouse” La Centrale.
For more information about the artists and extras, check out edgywomen.ca