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16 Sep 2010

Manif d'art presents Tactful Rituals at the Liverpool Biennial

Annie Baillargeon
Orbite d'origines orgasmiques, 2006
© Annie Baillargeon

TACFUL RITUALS, a Quebecer exhibition presented as part of City States, Liverpool Biennial
Manif d'art – The Québec City Biennial


From September 18 to November 28, 2010 Hours: Monday - Saturday: 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. , Sunday: 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. Free entry

Lysandre Bouchard
00 +1 4185241917
00 +1 4185242276

Aghafar Gallery, Novas Contemporary Urban Center
41-51 Greenland Street, 3rd floor
Liverpool, L1 OBS

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Presented by Manif d'art – The Québec City Biennial
As part of City States, Liverpool Biennial

Annie Bailargeon
Claudie Gagnon
Massimo Guerrera
Adad Hannah
Manon Labrecque
Catherine Sylvain
Julie Andrée T.
Carl Bouchard / Martin Dufrasne

Director : Claude Bélanger
Curator : Sylvain Campeau

For a second year the Manif d'art – the Québec City Biennial is presenting, from September 18 to November 28, an exhibition of Québec artists at the prestigious Liverpool Biennial in England. Under the direction of Claude Bélanger (Manif d'art) and curator Sylvain Campeau, the exhibition will bring together nine Québec artists under the title Tactful Rituals. It will be presented in the context of City States, the new international pavilion devoted to foreign exhibitions located at the Novas Contemporary Urban Center (CUC) in Liverpool.

From September 18 to November 28, ten guest countries will present exhibitions in City States, the new international segment of the Liverpool Biennial, a testimony to the cultural dynamics that exist between cities and states. The Manif d'art – the Québec City Biennial, was invited to ensure a Québec presence following an initial collaboration with the Liverpool Biennial in 2008.

Tactful Rituals brings together the multidisciplinary work of Québec artists Annie Baillargeon, Claudie Gagnon, Massimo Guerrera, Adad Hannah, Manon Labrecque, Catherine Sylvain, Julie Andrée T. and the duo Carl Bouchard / Martin Dufrasne. Mirroring the concept of City States and the theme of the Liverpool Biennial, Touched, curator Sylvain Campeau has united proposals that rely on the body as an object for creation. The opening will take place September 17 at the grand opening of the Liverpool Biennial. Julie Andrée T. and Massimo Guerrera will present performances.

By the Curator Sylvain Campeau

When faced with a simultaneously troubling and stimulating work of art, we can't help but be emotionally struck. Our feelings and bodies are stirred, moved. We're caught off balance in the here-now, connected with the artwork in a special way. However, something more than mere composure is impacting us in current contemporary art. Increasingly, current art works are operating rooms in which the artist's body and actions have a meaning that the work both holds and expresses. The work is mobilized within actions, maneuvers and performances that make it be and without which it could not exist.

We have therefore united artists who, for the majority, work on two fronts, 'plastic' art and related actions.

Here, photographs (Bouchard/Dufrasne, Baillargeon), videos (Labrecque, Hannah), body-based sculptures (Sylvain), installations that may or may not be linked to performance (Julie Andrée T., Gagnon) and the traces of maneuver-based contacts (Guerrera) allow echoes of the body and its materiality to resonate. Whether through active prostheses (Labrecque), shaped and activated matter (Sylvain), actions catalysed through what's left of them (Guerrera) or cloned and organized into icons (Baillargeon), the body, in these ceremonials, is brought to life and put forward, evoked and tried, projected toward other bodies and the signs that represent it.

The exhibition Tactful Rituals shares in the stance of City States, proposing a look at a special aesthetic, different from Montréal's, which developed in Québec City and has radiated throughout the province. If the artists united here don't all work in Québec City, they are nonetheless influenced by its slant. Because Québec City has been a forum for the exploration of context-based art that actively seeks viewer reaction, giving rise to more intrusive forms of performance: maneuvers, happenings, situational constructions or, as Guy Debord wrote1, concrete constructions of life's momentary ambiances, and their transformation into a superior positional quality. One cannot help but notice that if practices such as these are run of the mill in contemporary creation, the shared desire of several artists and collectives in Québec City to demonstrate a more intrusive or interactive attitude is motivated by the desire to infiltrate the urban fabric through concrete actions that become works of art.

(1 Guy Debord, « Rapport sur la construction de situations et sur les conditions de l'organisation et de l'action de la tendance situationniste internationale », in Œuvres, Paris, Gallimard, coll. «Quarto », 2006, p. 309. )


Manif d'art – the Québec City Biennial
is an event dedicated to the promotion and presentation of contemporary art. This important international manifestation brings together several local and foreign collaborators. It provides an international showcase for artists and artist groups, establishing a world-wide network of exchange and presentation. This major event, which enjoys unanimous support from Québec City's cultural scene, is developed around a new theme at each of its editions. Through its international exchanges, the Manif d'art is working to create a network of contacts likely to promote the presence and influence of Québec artists on the international scene.


Manif d'art – The Québec City Biennial
00 +1 4185241917

Media Contact

For additional information, images, or to request an interview, please contact:
Lysandre Bouchard / 00 +1 4185241917 /