ART IN ACTION (March 11-17)

dans le cadre d’ÉTUDES EN ACTION
Oeuvres d’arts mixtes réliées à la justice sociale et environnementale
11-17 mars 2013

1455 de Maisonneuve Ouest, 7e étage
(métro Guy-Concordia) MONTRÉAL
Heures d’ouvertures:
Lundi le 11 mars à dimanche le 17 mars, 10h à 18h
accessible aux fauteuils roulants / gratuit / bienvenue à tous et à toutes
For more information about STUDY IN ACTION, visit:
Participating Artists: Grace An * karen b * Al Blair * Amy Barrington * Jacqueline Brandon & Noemi Stern * Kathy Chagnon * Dinette * École Cardinal Girl Group * Arianna Garcia-Fialdini * Freda Guttman * Imaging Apartheid * John Lanthier * Cassandra Marsillo * Tournesol Plante * Jesse Purcell * Shannon Willmott
TWO Art In Action Events:
i) Interactive Anti-capitalist Performance/Performance interactive anti-capitaliste by/par Art Ache Collective / Le collectif Art Ache
métro Place-St-Henri, west exit
ii) Artists’ Gathering “5 à 7” with free food and drinks
SATURDAY, MARCH 16, 5pm-7pm
1455 de Maisonneuve West, 7th floor, at the Art In Action exhibition
Come meet the artists contributing to this year’s ART IN ACTION. There will be music, some performances, and some artist talks too. Welcome to all!

exhibits et présentations:
Grace An
Film Animation, Concordia University
This piece is a part of an upcoming series of paintings and illustrations titled, ‘1992’ to showcase radical femme gender performances. This painting attempts to reinvent the image of racialized, femme identity and to express the problems in representations of over sexualization of racialized women.
Grace An is a painter, illustrator and comic book artist from Toronto and Lindsay, Ontario that works under the brand ‘Sunshinable’. She is currently living in Montreal, studying Film Animation in Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema at Concordia University.
Interactive Anti-capitalist Performance/Performance interactive anti-capitaliste
Art Ache Collective / Le collectif Art Ache
The Art Ache Collective invites you to a bilingual, interactive, performative guided tour, lasting about 45 minutes. Come reconsider a space via humourous anti-capitalist sketches, then be invited to intervene in the space in order to infiltrate the mechanisms of this highly criticized system. The precise location of the performance will be revealed to you on site. Meet at métro Place Saint-Henri, west exit, at 4:45pm, Wednesday March 13th.
Le collectif Art Ache vous propose un tour guidé, bilingue, mi-performatif, mi-interactif d’une durée d’environ 45 minutes. Venez revisiter un endroit à travers de sketchs anti-capitalistes à saveur ironique, pour ensuite être invités à intervenir dans l’espace afin d’infiltrer les méchanismes de ce système hautement critiqué. Le lieu précis de la performance vous sera dévoilé sur place. Le rendez-vous se fera au métro Saint-Henri sortie ouest à 16h45 ce mercredi 13 mars.
washed in the blood of the land
karen b
Studio Arts, Concordia University
By engaging in artworks we are able to see the potential in where our imaginations can take us. By imagining the possibilities, we are inspired to construct alternative landscapes, both physical and psychological. We are limited first and foremost, by our belief that we need this culture to survive.
The work addresses ideas of an animate landscape, one in constant flux, one engaged in ever shifting cycles, both natural and altered by human acts. Interdependency is a constant. It is tremendous in its complexity, scope and the beauty of its gesture. This intricate balance has been shattered industrial-capitalist culture, and all human and non-human life is affected on a global scale. Humans ultimately have a choice to be the stewards or destroyers of life. The feminine emerges with the power she has always guarded closely in the face of the violent repression she has always encountered. Light, motion and materials are critical to the work. Time passes, light changes, the earth seems eternal, water, soil, air infinite. The reality is articulated in materials implemented: our surroundings are ephemeral, our resources finite, the unity is easily severed and in many cases will never reconnect. The collective body fills with a fury that must manifest in urgency to act, knowing that we all breathe and bleed with the earth.
karen b is a multidisciplinary artist and activist based between Montreal and rural south-eastern Ontario. The main focus of her work is rooted in how we relate to our environment; how historical, social, political, ecological, cultural concerns are all encoded on landscape. Her works in drawing, relief-printmaking and stop-motion animation, explore through narrative and material, the decline of the old and the emergence of a new paradigm, and how they are read in our surroundings. karen b is doing a major in Studio Arts at Concordia University.
when the personal is political
Al Blair
As an artist who mainly makes posters and art for public spaces and community events, Al Blair desired to create a poster series that was specifically crafted for spaces of home and intimacy. These posters offer a visual representation of many themes that  can be felt within organizing communities that are worked-to-the-bone and often in dire need of care. Self-care, queer displays of femininity, support, and alone-time are all subjects that are captured in these posters. These themes are prioritized in this poster series, because they are rarely prioritized in other public or community settings.
Al Blair is a Montreal-based artist who creates posters and art for community events and organizations. She works under the title of ABCPOSTERS. She has created logos and art for such projects as Solidarity Across Borders’ Solidarity City and Education Committee, and the Community-University Research Exchange (CURE) project.  Her work can be viewed at
Circles of Awareness
Amy Barrington
School of Community and Public Affairs, Concordia University
“Circles of self-awareness » brings symbolic representations of earth-based spirituality to the forefront of political questioning and social organization. Influenced by the fifty chiefs circle wampum, « circles of self-awareness » is held within a braided circle representing the social, spiritual and political underpinning of society and decision making like the Haudenosaunee confederacy from which the artist has taken inspiration from in a class (First peoples studies 210 – Haudenosaunee peoples). Note the themes represented in concentric circles are the radiating wellness of self, family, chosen family, community, region, nation.  With this piece the artist hopes to encourage self-care and harmony within each of the inner circles to radiate positivity in order to effect change and harmony in the larger spheres. We know that systematic change requires conflict and the power of many to subvert few, but in order to do that best popular uprising should be organized, strategic, and relatively healthy.
Keep your fire burning, sometimes there is power in outrage, channel it into positive change to build the alternative. Taking time to make beautiful things and feel the circulation of plant and animal lives connected to your own helps fend against burn out. Be well.
Rooted in gardening, and blooming into agriculture. Organizing, planning, and creating make my heart sing. I’d like to feed the soul, minds and bellies of the people I surround myself with and the friends I haven’t met yet, to be mindful and build a better world together.
Jacqueline Brandon and Noemi Stern
Valerie Solanas Makeout Club VSMC
We feel, with certain modifications, that the words of the late and great Valerie Solanas can vocalize our artistic sentiments. We have altered the opening of her manifesto so as not to reinforce the gender binary. We seek instead to target the d00d (dude) as an oppressive essence, rather than problematically blaming those traditionally seen as being of the male sex.
« Life in this society being, at best, an utter bore and no aspect of society being at all relevant to non-d00ds, there remains to civic-minded, responsible, thrill-seeking non-d00ds only to overthrow the government, eliminate the money system, institute complete automation and destroy the d00ds. To be a d00d is to be deficient, emotionally limited; d00dness is a deficiency disease. The d00d is completely egocentric, trapped inside their own d00dness, incapable of empathizing or identifying with others, or love, friendship, affection of tenderness. D00ds are a completely isolated unit, incapable of rapport with anyone. Their responses are entirely visceral, not cerebral; their intelligence is a mere tool in the services of their drives and needs; the d00d is incapable of mental passion, mental interaction; they can’t relate to anything other than their own physical sensations. The d00d a half-dead, unresponsive lump, incapable of giving or receiving pleasure or happiness; consequently, the d00d is at best an utter bore, an inoffensive blob, since only those capable of absorption in others can be charming. »
Jacqueline and Noemi are committed to bringing down the patriarchy in an inclusive, fun, passionate, rage-filled, artistic, and community-oriented way. Both are studying Herstory at the bastion of privilege known as McGill University. We hope that our artistic endeavors inspire.
Espace à louer
Kathy Chagnon
Université du Québec à Montréal, Collège Édouard-Montpetit
Le projet Espace à louer est à la base une performance dans le but de dénoncer les injustices sociales reliées à l’itinérance et au capitalisme. Concrètement, j’ai erré à Montréal, carton sous le bras et pancarte à la main dans le but de me trouver des «spots» qui pourraient être loués ultérieurement aux plus offrants. Comme on loue, ou sous-loue, un appartement. Pourquoi ne pas louer une partie de la rue? Il me semble qu’il serait possible d’arriver à soustraire davantage aux plus démunis afin d’enrichir les plus riches. Bien sûr, c’est ironique. N’empêche que ça met le doigt sur un bobo. Un gros bobo de société auquel nous devons faire face.
Pour pousser le propos, j’ai fait un catalogue dans lequel on nous met en relation avec des locateurs comme pour les petites annonces. Le carton, facilement associable à l’itinérance, amène une autre question : Où sommes-nous habitués à les voir? Ou encore, où tolérons-nous de les voir? Un itinérant (ou plutôt un espace à louer pour itinérant dans ce cas-ci), dans une galerie est-ce que cela dérange? C’est aussi dans cette perspective que mon travail peut-être abordé. Donc, ma proposition est de délimiter un territoire dans la galerie à l’aide d’un carton et de le mettre à louer. Le catalogue serait laissée sur place pour consultation seulement.
Kathy Chagnon aborde, dans le cadre de sa pratique artistique, la fragilité de la vie. Par le biais de la sculpture, elle met en lumière ses propres expériences. C’est à l’aide d’un regard critique, voir ironique, sur la société qu’elle fait de la performance.
Connexion, interaction, liaison, réseau…autant de termes devenus inéluctables afin de nous faire oublier notre propre besoin vital de cohésion. Nous remplaçons aisément les affinités par des câbles numériques, les communications par des moteurs de recherche : et plus si branché(e)… Une multiplication de l’amitié aussi vaste et infinie que les lignes de codes devenues raison d’être.
Et pourtant, l’abondance de l’utilisation technologique semble précipiter un inévitable détachement face à notre propre impermanence. Las de considérer les liens vitaux, humains, (oserons-nous dire sociaux ?) nous avons décidé de n’être que des spectateurs impatients devant notre déchéance. Pressés d’examiner l’implacable vérité qui masque la richesse de nos existences nous oublions le simple, le direct. De fait, la croissance des moyens mis à notre disposition précipite la dilution progressive de nos relations les plus essentielles.
L’œuvre proposée se veut être une réflexion sur les rapports humains dans leur forme la plus éthérée qui apparaît à l’heure d’aujourd’hui comme la réalité. Sommes-nous à ce point conditionnés par l’implacable ? Pouvons-nous encore être des acteurs de nous-mêmes ? À travers des formes simples, j’ai voulu mettre en évidence la contemplation forcée de la dégradation évidente des liens sociaux. L’observation d’une vérité unique par un public devenu voyeur est accentuée par le fourmillement d’amarres physiques qui dissimulent la superficialité de nos relations devenues immatérielles et inexistantes.
Géographe de formation, je suis totalement dévouée à l’exploration de la relation à l’espace, relation qui se matérialise par les émotions qui nous submergent selon le contexte territorial : dimensions urbaines plus ou moins matérielles, et univers de plus en plus déshumanisés.
Pourquoi les Femmes
le Groupe de Filles de l’École Cardinal (Hawa, Santa-Félicia, Kelly, Sabrina, Sada, Michella)
‘Bien dans ma Ville!’ Projet Modèle de Condition Féminine Canada, Femmes et Villes International
Nous avons créé un magazine en français intitulé ‘Pourquoi les femmes?’, réunissant les dessins, poèmes, pensées et chansons par et sur la vie de six adolescentes. Ce projet a émergé de nos discussions sur les relations amoureuses saines, l’image corporelle, la discrimination, la violence contre les femmes et la liberté d’expression.
Nous planifions le lancement du magazine le 28 février 2013, au Parc Bélanger – un parc situé dans le quartier où les filles habitent, à Ville Saint-Laurent. Le lancement aura pour but de donner une voix aux jeunes, pour qu’elles/ils se réapproprient le parc comme lieu qu’elles/ils pourront  fréquenter sans souffrir de discrimination ou de harcèlement.
Nous sommes un groupe de jeunes femmes de l’école Cardinal. Nous nous sommes rencontrées une fois par semaine pour participer au projet ‘Bien dans ma ville!’. Nous créons de l’art, nous explorons notre quartier, et nous discutons de sujets qui sont importants pour nous.
Why Women?
École Cardinal Girl Group (Hawa, Santa-Félicia, Kelly, Sabrina, Sada, Michella)
‘My City, My Safety!’ Status of Women Canada Blueprint Project, Women in Cities International
We created a francophone magazine called ‘Pourquoi les Femmes’ – Why Women?’, which collects the drawings, poems, thoughts, and songs of six adolescent girls on the theme of young women’s lives. The project emerged from our discussions on respectful relationships, body image, discrimination, violence against women and liberty of expression.
We will launch the magazine at Parc Bélanger – a park in the girls’ neighborhood of St-Laurent that we want to reclaim as a place for young women and youth to hang out without facing discrimination or harassment.
We are a group of young women at École Cardinal that have been meeting every week to participate in the ‘My City, My Safety!’ project – we make art, explore our neighborhood and talk about issues that matter to us.
Endangered Heroines, #1-6
Arianna Garcia-Fialdini
The body of work being submitted is composed of two triptychs of framed mixed-media prints, approximately 2Fx3F in size. The work is meant to serve as a social commentary on gender and feminism by addressing patriarchies and un-even gender power structures. This series is currently a study for a larger mural project that addresses ways in which art can serve as a tool in raising awareness for social change and/or current social and political issues.
Arianna Garcia-Fialdini’s work in paint and print media deals with issues raising awareness of gender violence and social change. From 2010 until recently, her work has been exploring the conditions of women from the marginal side-lines. In many ways, her work is a direct observation and comment on social realities with which the artist remains closely informed with. Her artistic goal is currently concentrating on story telling in the form of portraits and large scaled murals that humanize and represent socio-political experiences, whilst expressing her own perspective as a form of activism on diverse situations.
Photo Essay: Place d’armes
Freda Guttman
I am proposing an album of photographs, a photo essay on a monument in Place d’Armes, old Montreal, to Paul de Chomedey, sieur de Maisonneuve, known as the founder of Montreal. The monument, erected to glorify his memory, was unveiled on July 1, 1895, as part of the celebrations for the 250th ‘anniversary’ of Montreal in 1892. During the 1890s, a series of commemorative plaques was produced for the first time in Montreal, at the instigation of the Antiquarian and Numismatic Society. Although the monument declares that in 1644, de Maisonneuve  defeated the Iroquois at that very spot, according to Wikipedia, he was almost killed when a group of 30 Montrealers were surrounded by over 200 Iroquois, and de Maisonneuve barely managed to make it back to the safety of the nearby fort. Words engraved on the side of the monument declare that he it was his honour to have accomplished his mission which he would have done even if all the trees in Montreal had been been Iroquois. Aside from the monument itself, there are 2 plaques, one French, one English, on the wall of the HBO bank, flanking the north side of the square, which declare that de Maisonneuve killed the Iroquois chief with his bare hands.
This work is the first in a study that I intend to make over the next years of various monuments in Montreal that unwittingly expose the colonial, racist glorification in our midst, of the dispossession of the people of Turtle Island by European nations.
Freda Guttman is an activist artist whose work has been shown across Canada and many countries. Over the years, she has produced artworks related to many injustices and struggles, while at the same time, having participated as a solidarity activist in those struggles.
Lily Hoffman
McGill University
This poem, « Birthright, » is about navigating being the descendant of holocaust survivors and belonging to a ‘people’ which have embraced ethno-nationalism in this century, while simultaneously being an anarchist anti-Zionist. The question of ‘What does my birth entitle me to?’ is posed both legitimately and ironically.
Lily is someone who writes poetry to find some avenue of expression amidst the limitations of corporate and individualist culture. She enjoys writing and reading to imagine she is not alone.
Imaging Apartheid
various artists
Imaging Apartheid is a Montreal-based initiative with a global reach aimed at bringing awareness and support to the Palestinian struggle for liberation through the production and dissemination of poster art.
We are a small collective of artists and activists who strongly believe in the intersection of art and politics as a means of advancing social change. Though this project’s focus is on the pressing issue of Israeli Apartheid, we also recognize the development of a global state of apartheid and aim to contribute to the dialogue of resistance against it. Info: or
Crucifixion Picnic
John Lanthier
This painting subverts religious imagery and corporate branding to illustrate a grand theme of the struggle for individualism with the modern corporate machine. The constant advertisements we urbanites are bombarded with as we go about each day have an undeterminably powerful yet real influence on our eating habits as well as our purchases. But what does it mean for the consumer when he sees the familiar symbols he’s preconceived to view with positive sentiment entwined in a seditious artwork and loaded with a host of new associations?
In this satirical work I aim to provoke the viewer through the aggressive recontextualisation of recognizable images from history, pop culture and mass media. I borrow much from both the language of surrealism and advertising to craft a dynamic scene of a strange world where product placement has run amok. The style references renaissance landscapes and classic crucifixion scenes yet is worked with bright colors and a cartoonish approach lending it a darkly humorous quality.
I’m a young, French-Canadian, self-taught artist. I enjoy experimenting widely with a range of media and pushing the boundaries of painting by incorporating motile and tactile elements within my compositions. These mostly explore contemporary subjects utilizing a surrealist vocabulary, creatively channeling my shifting perception of life and the events and ideas which fill it. Some recurring themes in my work are the body, machines, music, religion and pop culture and they often take form in phantasmagorical dreamscapes combining vivid color, intense detail and grand settings.
Cassandra Marsillo
Studio Arts at Concordia University
Artdolls (2012) is a mock product for the masses. Artists often have and often still get a bad rap in society. It is still not uncommon to hear people question “Why?” or “What are you going to do though?” when I tell them I’m studying art. Our work is valued (sometimes), and yet the role of the artist is not. Inspired by a reading entitled “The Artist as Public Intellectual” by Carol Becker, I began to question why people could turn to art for healing, contemplation, and even for answers to tough questions, but why we still cannot, as a society, take art and artists seriously.
With this piece, I have turned the stereotypical artists (The Philosopher, The Madman, The Art Star and The Bohemian) into consumer products. The accompanying brochure reassures the consumer that one does not have to “ruin their reputation” or get involved with the “negative influence” of the art milieu to understand it. The four dolls are men, as male artists have dominated art history, and they each represent the ultimate stereotype of the character they are given (with inspiration from actual artists of course: diamond-encrusted skull anyone?).
Artdolls is a tongue-in-cheek response to society’s ‘art needs’, feigning educational value, while they continue to make and permeate the same assumptions people have already made. The piece aims to create a discussion about these stereotypes, and therefore a discussion about our society’s view on art and the artist, which is the core issue Artdolls seeks to represent.
Cassandra Marsillo is a multi-disciplinary artist working in sculpture, installation, fibres and performance. She is currently an undergraduate student majoring in Studio Arts at Concordia University.
Ruptures; De la cuisine à la Rue; Le temps, le travail, la routine tuent; Sortir de la machine
Tournesol Plante
Tournesol Plante est un artiste-peintre, connu pour son implication dans la communauté anarchiste de Montréal depuis plusieurs années. Il a participé à plusieurs évènements artistiques, notamment, ceux du Salon du Livre Anarchiste de Montréal, de l’exposition Art + Anarchie en mai 2007 et de Art in Action à l’hiver 2012. Il a également plusieurs autres expositions personnelles à son actif dans des bars, des cafés ou des salons de tatouage. S’inspirant du mouvement punk, de la philosophie situationniste et des peintres expressionnistes allemands, il nous livre des oeuvres chargées politiquement sur la guerre et la consommation pour en citer quelques exemples. Ses peintures, comme ses sculptures, sont un amalgame d’objets trouvés, de collages, d’images de la vie courante et qui finissent par donner une sorte de « Patchwork-Painting ».
No Justice, No Peace
Jesse Purcell
No Justice No Peace is a poster made in support of recent indigenous uprisings.
Jesse Purcell is an artist, designer and professional printmaker living and working in Montréal, Québec. He is a member of Justseeds Artitists’ Cooperative a decentralized network of 24 artists committed to making print and design work that reflects an engaged social and environmental position.
Untitled Paintings
Shannon Willmott
These paintings are about history and the weight of the legacy we are struggling under. We cannot escape all of the atrocities that have happened on this earth – to the land, to the animals and to each other. It is a terrible and ongoing weight. The feelings that motivated the making of these paintings ask me, how will you continue? How will you intervene? What can be done?
Shannon Willmott is an artist, a counsellor and a harm reduction worker in Ottawa. She is a member of Rama First Nation and hangs around with Anarchists.
Art In Action is organized and presented by QPIRG Concordia, and endorsed by the Fine Arts Students Alliance (FASA) and QPIRG McGill. // Art En Action est organisée et présentée par le GRIP à Concordia, et endossé par l’Alliance des Étudiants et Étudiantes en Beaux-Arts à Concordia et le GRIP à McGill.

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