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Exibitions 2020

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Index of artists, authors and curators

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OPTICA Fonds (Concordia University Archives)

Guidebooks to help in consulting the archives

Electronic Reproduction Fees

Claudia Bernal, Portraits performatifs / Retratos performativos, 2019, impression numérique, 121 x 200 cm. | Digital Print. Avec l'aimable permission de l'artiste | Courtesy of the artist.

Claudia Bernal, Christine Brault, Constanza Camelo, Livia Daza-Paris, Maria Ezcurra, Helena Martin Franco, Giorgia Volpe
Commissaire | Curator | Curadora : Nuria Carton de Grammont

From January 18th 2020 to March 21st 2020
Un dos tres por mí y mis compañeras

Opening: January 18,2020 3pm to 6pm
Performance from Christine Brault
ApareSer (AparÊtre), 2019-2020, January 18, 2020 at 4 pm, duration of 1 hour 30

Saturdays with the Family: January 25 and March 14, 2020
Curator Guided Tour: March 14,2020 3PM

This exhibition takes a collective look at pioneering female Latino Quebec performance artists in Montreal, from the 1980s to the present. The artists making up this exhibition have developed a cross-border practice by finding spaces of recognition and social connection between Canada and Latin America; in particular, they amplify existing relationships and affinities between the various latinate communities on the continent at the turn of the century.

A singularity marking their actions revolves around the poetics of displacement inherent to the experience of migration: they make visible the tensions between political violence and gender identity, colonialism and discrimination, the expectations and the demands of effective integration in the host society. Performance here represents a symbolic field of action for addressing stereotypes and folklorized identities. Whether present or absent, the body is the point of departure of an intersectional feminism that challenges hegemonic cultural ethnocentrism. Taken together, these varied, geographically dispersed gestures reconstitute both individual and collective memory of North-South diaspora history.

For Constanza Camelo, performative action maintains an intrinsic affinity with the notion of exile, which, inspired by Tzvetan Todorov’s L’homme dépaysé, she understands as “circumstantial displacements.” Beyond the the rupture, the displaced body can offer an opportunity for self-discovery while also providing the experience of encounter with others, which Camelo puts into action in her public interventions.

At the crossroads of theatre, literature, video, installation and performance, Claudia Bernal embodies the position of historically colonized and racialized women. The performance becomes the locus of reception for various forms of resistance permeated by power relationships and armed conflicts, notably in Colombia. In a postcolonial iconographic turn, her work proposes to disarticulate the prevailing narratives through the emancipation of the woman’s body.

For several years, Christine Brault has engaged in a cross-border performative practice that is materialized in the recognition and evocation of certain historical events associated with human rights violations, the subjugation of indigenous people, gender violence, and femicides. Through testimonies and lived experiences, her work becomes part of a broader reflection on the importance of memory as a social fact that must be circulated and shared to be activated.

Emerging from contemporary dance scene, Livia Daza-Paris has undertaken a vast research project that addresses an absence, in mourning and ritual, on the disappearance of her father Iván Daza, a student leader belonging to the communist brigades who was captured by the armed forces in Venezuela in the post-dictatorship context of the late 1960s. “Poetics Forensics” is a procedure for the collection and examination of lived experience, composed of personal and institutional archives and of testimonials that present an unofficial reality of the history of the Latin American diaspora, conveyed through various sources.

Giorgia Volpe’s research also feeds on memories, stories, and experiences that take on the breadth of collective ritual and participatory action. Waste, surplus, and refuse are the materials of an aesthetic that develops on contact and turns sensory exploration into an intercultural demand in contemporary society. Memory is here the organic consequence of the collective body.

Maria Ezcurra’s work tackles the violent tensions masked by social stereotypes of the body. The garment, second skin and emblem of identity, addresses the gender violence imposed by stigma, prejudice, and discrimination. Nylon tights, symbol of the modern liberated woman, soft and translucent material, serve to reflect on the contradictions of eroticism, mass production, and the femicides in Ciudad Juarez.

Chameleon-woman, spider-woman, and elephant-woman, b>Helena Martin Franco shatters conformist molds of identity and gender. Through her self-referential fictions, she puts different faces on the individual and collective vulnerability imposed by the migration experience. Popular culture, new technologies, religious practices, and capitalist hyper-consumerism mingle humourously in her self-fictions.

Beyond origins and nationalisms, Latino-Canadian art presents itself as a new, complex, and heterogeneous intercultural subjectivity that calls into question politically correct discourses on so-called “diversity.” However, little research has been conducted toward an understanding of these practices taken collectively, as a hemispheric movement as such, for instance, with its own aesthetic, semantic, and conceptual issues. In this context, this exhibition is intended as a historiographical endeavour to recognize the contribution of these practices to the development of contemporary art in Quebec, in Canada, and globally.

Translator: Ron Ross




DELGADO, Jérôme. «Contes et combats latino-américains dans les galeries », Le Devoir, 11 janvier 2020.

Simone de Beauvoir Institute

Nuria Carton de Grammont is an art historian, curator and lecturer at Concordia University, specializing in contemporary Latin American and Latin Canadian art. She is particularly interested in the territorial production of cultural identities through cross-border artistic practices between Latin America and North America.

Démonstration de sable coloré, 2020. Crédit photo : Claudia Goulet-Blais

Samedi ensemble en familles |
Saturday with the Family
From January 25th 2020 to March 14th 2020
Autour de l’exposition Un dos tres por mí y mis compañeras

OPTICA invites you on Saturdays January 25 and March 14, 2020, to come and share with your family a short moment or a full afternoon of art and creation. In the company of the centre's educators, you will discover the exhibition Un dos tres por mí y mis compañeras. Afterwards, you are inviting you to come and participate in a creative workshop on "sand art". Come experiment and create with coloured sand while being inspired by the exhibition.

Practical Information
January 25, 2020 - 1 pm to 4 pm
March 14, 2020 - 1 pm to 4 pm

The workshop is open to the whole family and will run continually. Feel free to join in at any time.

Free | No reservation required

For children aged 4 and older

For more information, please contact Sandrine Côté: mediation@optica.ca


Maria Ezcurra
From February 29th 2020 to February 29th 2020
Nuit Blanche : DIY Épinglettes, porte-clés et masques avec Maria Ezcurra

As part of the Nuit Blanche 2020, OPTICA offers a series of activities!


6PM_Opening of the doors
Come and discover the Un, dos, tres por mí y mis compañeras exhibition, curated by Nuria Carton de Grammont, presenting the work of pioneer female Latino Quebec performance artists.

7PM - 8PM_In Latin America Un dos tres por mí y mis compañeras refers to the Hide and Seek game. In a fun atmosphere, come play and create with artist Maria Ezcurra. The programming includes a mask making workshop with recycled materials. Hot chocolate will also be served! The workshop is intended for ages 4 to 14.

8PM - 9PM_Presentation by artist Maria Ezcurra. She will discuss her artwork Ni una más as part of the Un dos tres por mí y mis compañeras exhibition. Using this specific installation as a starting point, she will also present a series of works made from pantyhose. In English with translation.

9PM - 1AM_Join us with your friends and family to create socially engaged pins and keychains from recycled plastic. Hot chocolate and tea will be served and you are invited to create for as long as you wish until 1:00 am!


Helena Martin Franco
Artiste à l'école
From March 1st 2020 to May 30th 2020

This winter, a group of Secondary 4 students from Le Vitrail, an alternative school located in Rosemont La-Petite-Patrie, will participate in a series of creative workshops with artist Helena Martin Franco as part of the Artist at school.

Over the weeks, the youngsters will explore the fictional possibilities of the performance thanks to an alter ego that they will create while being inspired by the singular character of Fritta Caro. After some exercises suggested by the artist to familiarize themselves with the performative medium, the students will design and carry out performative actions which they will document using their mobile phone.


Sayak Valencia
From March 12th 2020 to March 12th 2020
Conférence : The Body and Violence as Mass Media Language in Gore Capitalism

During this presentation, Sayak Valencia will discuss what Gore Capitalism is and how it becomes Snuff politics in the borderlands. She will use examples of the ways that audiovisual devices and virtual social networks challenge and reshape the regime of truth, producing a bio-hyper-mediated subjectivity. She will also consider the ways that the contemporary body has become a platform for the production of a new media-disseminated common sense, leading to marked changes in subjectivity. Valencia will analyze trends, fashions, cultural appropriations, and corporeal appropriations that go viral and crystallize in diverse bodies and demonstrate the influence of virtual networks in the construction of the material world.

Organised by 4TH SPACE in partenarship with l'Institut Simone de Beauvoir

The communication will be lead in English. A question and answer session will be held in Spanish and English.

Practical Informations

March 12, 2020_4 to 6 PM
Concordia University, 4TH SPACE, J.W. McConnell Building
1400 Boulevard de Maisonneuve West, SGW campus
LB 103
In anglais with a Q&A session in Spanish and English
Free Admission

In partnership with Dr Luis Carlos Sotelo Castro
Canada Research Chair in Oral History Performance
Director Acts of Listening Lab, Concordia University

Sayak Valencia (Tijuana, Mexico) is currently Professor and Researcher at the Department of Cultural Studies of El Colegio de la Frontera Norte, a CONACYT research center. She has a doctorate in feminist criticism, theory and philosophy from the Universidad Complutense de Madrid. She is a poet, essayist and performance artist. She has studied with Judith Butler, Judith Halberstam, Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, Beatriz Preciado and Montserrat Galcerán Huguet. She has given lectures and seminars on gore capitalism, transfeminisms, Chicano feminism, postcolonial feminism, art and queer theory in various universities in Europe, Latin America and the United States. She has published the books: Gore Capitalism (Semiotext(e) /MIT, 2018), Capitalismo Gore (Paidós, 2016 and Melusina, 2010), Adrift's Book (Aristas Martínez, 2012), El reverso exacto del texto (Centaurea Nigra Ediciones, 2007), as well as diverse academic articles, essays and poems in magazines of Spain, Germany, France, Poland, Mexico, Argentina, Brasil, Chile, Colombia, and the United States of America.