“What if you could, by the press of a button erase everything, what would you do with this blank canvas? If you could start from nothing how would you imagine the world?” Humanity is at a turning point. Should we persist in our habits or become aware of our repetitive way of life in order to rebuild from the ground up?”
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“What if you could, by the press of a button erase everything, what would you do with this blank canvas? If you could start from nothing how would you imagine the world?” Humanity is at a turning point. Should we persist in our habits or become aware of our repetitive way of life in order to rebuild from the ground up. Shaking up our routine and changing our habits can cause intense moments of insecurity. This can lead to painful reassessments and a loss of our points of reference. The climatic, economic and political upheavals are on the front page of our news feeds. Individually and collectively, if they want to survive, human beings need to change their way of connecting with the world but also with each other. “Is Manichaeism the only solution? Should we only think in terms of utopia and dystopia in order to discover new avenues?”
Lynn Bannon is an art historian with a doctorate in Semiology. She also completed a Fellowship at the University of Glasgow (Scotland, 2015). Since 2005, she has taught at the Art history Department of the Université du Québec à Montréal. Her research is concerned with quotation within contemporary image-making, and the relationship between text and images.
In addition to serving on various university committees, she has participated in several national and international conferences organized by the International Association for Visual Semiotics (IAVS), the French Association of Semiotics (AFS), the International Association of Word and Image Studies (IAWIS), and the Association Francophone pour le Savoir (ACFAS).
In accordance with the theme of the 2020 of Art Souterrain festival, “reset”, which is both polysemic and federative, I was guided by two objectives to determine the criteria for the selection of the artists :
1) that their production shows a summary remarks about the real and his possible metamorphosis;
2) that their creative work shows fictional environment, an extraordinary universe, utopian, populated with possibilities, in which the spectators could introduce himself to be temporarily torn away from the present world. Two other aspects of the otherness have also mobilized my attention: alternation, because it allows a salutary return to the past to anticipate an enlightened vision of the future, and the alternative, considerated as a wonderful opportunity for the artists to (re)build another
RESET: voluntary reboot or forced restart, this is an ambivalent term. Remember the sense of frustration you felt after your computer crashed, making you lose hours of work? What if you could hit a magic button and start over? Would you really want to live in a world without the technology that helped us live better lives?
In an ideal scenario, you would rather have the choice to control a few key parameters, and build your own custom perfect alternate reality. Through their works, the artists presented at Art Souterrain in winter 2020, share new narratives and imaginations, simulating realities where time works differently. They use technology to manipulate data and variables, producing their counter-propositions to our reality. The biggest power of a * Reset * button would be the control over time.
Works and lives in Brussels, Belgium. With a background in graphic design and artistic direction, Juliette has a taste for simple, efficient, stripped down aesthetics.
Since 2009, she has been applying her skills to the digital art scene, creating connections and opportunities between cultural actors. She collaborates with several international artists, touring existing projects and new creations. Since 2016, she has been working as an independent curator for several festivals and cultural institutions. In 2019 she co-founded SALOON Brussels.
Following an initial collaboration with Art Souterrain, its artistic director, Frédéric Loury, invited me to act as curator for the 2020 edition of the festival under the theme of “RESET”. I had already explored the imaginations of historic construction at the International Symposium of Contemporary Art in Baie-Saint-Paul whose theme Presence of the past: Inventing the future, oversaw the 2017 edition.
As part of RESET, I took pleasure in developing new collaborations with artists that I had known in this context: Caroline Monnet, Sarah Wendt and Pascal Dufaux and the Cabinet of Applied Fumisterie. I also took the opportunity to continue this reflection around collaborations with artists whose work I had been following for a while: Arkadi Lavoie-Lachapelle, Bonnie Baxter, Daniel Corbeil, Dominique Sirois, Skawennati and I renewed my approach to work of JJ Levine, which I presented during the Art Showcase in 2018 around gender issues.
The artists gathered here imagine the present and the future from new perspectives, which invites you to also dream of the future.
Marie Perrault has been acting for thirty years as an author, curator and consultant in contemporary art. She has written numerous essays and has designed several exhibitions. From 1997 to 2014, she worked in the Ministry of Culture and Communications, as a Project Manager at the service of arts integration to architecture and as a Museum Consultant at the Montreal Branch.
Dulce Pinzón was born in Mexico City in 1974. She studied Mass Media Communications at the Universidad de Las Américas Puebla and Photography at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. She moved to New York in 1995 and studied at the International Center of Photography. She lives and works in Puebla, Mexico city and New York.
Her work is influenced by feelings of nostalgia, questions of identity, and political and cultural frustrations. The goal that she pursues through her art activism is cultural consumption, customization, and intervention. Some of her projects are: “Viviendo En El Gabacho”, “Loteria”, “Multiracial”, and “Real Stories of Superheroes.” Her work has been published and exhibited in Mexico, the United States, Australia, Argentina, and Europe.