Living experiences, machines are romantic – Block 3: Waiting for H.G. Wells – Performance by Thomas Bégin on May 12, 2012

Québec City, Thursday June 7, 2012 – Last Sunday saw the end of the 6th edition of Manif d’art under the theme Machines – The Shapes Of Movement chosen by curator Nicole Gingras. The organizers of the Québec City biennial are gladdened by the event’s success, which allowed thousands of visitors to follow the art itinerary and participate in the numerous activities presented from May 3 to June 3, 2012 in Quebec City, Lévis and Wendake.

The Espace 400e Bell, located in the Québec City Old Port, was the main site of this year’s event. Claude Bélanger, general and artistic director of the biennial’s presenting organization, is very happy with the results : “Not only did this building allow us to offer excellent exhibition conditions to the participating artists, but it also provided added visibility, especially with regard to international tourists.” He adds that the use of this location permitted Manif d’art to place itself advantageously in the global network of biennials, along with the Quebec City area as a cultural destination.

As for Nicole Gingras, her experience as curator was most stimulating : “Reflecting on the challenges facing contemporary practices in visual and media arts under the theme of machines by gathering over 40 artists from various countries and of all ages allowed me to show to what extent these artists are researchers, thinkers, inventors and visionaries. I am convinced that this essential aspect of artistic practices was understood by all those who visited the different exhibit locations and who participated in the numerous events of Manif d’art 6.”

The biennial was also supported by its 14 collaborators in distributing the work of artists chosen by the curator. In addition to the exhibitions, the official program of Manif d’art proposed over 4 weeks of conferences, master classes as well as guided tours for schools and for the public. Furthermore, a segment of performative actions and concerts was presented over three days under the direction of Eric Mattson, guest curator. Some organizations also set up a multitude of satellite activities : a prize-giving, an auction, live programs, exhibitions, etc.

Manif d’art 6 through figures

In total, the biennial brought together nearly 80 artists hailing from over 10 countries. Their work was presented in 31 locations, such as Québec City’s cultural institutions and many artist-run centres. The Première Ovation program presented a series of 6 master classes as well as a meeting with the American Mark Pauline. Approximately 300 students, from elementary to university levels, visited the biennial in groups and participated in school creation workshops presented in collaboration with Télé-Québec. Over 100 people contributed to the event as employees, interns and volunteers. An initial count estimates attendance to the Manif d’art 6 at over 56 000 visits (as of June 3, 2012). Comparing the figure to that of the 2010 edition, which lasted 12 days longer, organizers are very satisfied, especially since the Manif d’art 5 included more outdoors works.

Extended exhibitions

The installation Excroissances, presented at the Grand Théâtre de Québec, is exceptionally extended until Friday July 6, 2012. Created for the artists’ entrance and for the Conservatory entrance, this cinetic work becomes visible at dusk from René-Lévesque Boulevard and Saint-Amable Street, behind the building. Also, as previously announced by the Musée de la civilisation, Diane Landry – Correspondances, presented at the Musée de l’Amérique française, will go on until Sunday August 12, 2012. This exhibition introduces the visitor to a space inhabited by various machines and inventions put in relation with sculptures and installations that the artist created between 1996 and 2012. Finally, the satellite activitie of Manif d’art 6 Transfert/Trans-FAIRE, an exhibition to be spread out among 4 Quebec City libraries, under the curatorship of Anne-Sophie Blanchet, ends soon. Take a look at the mobile application available for iPhone and Android or go to the event’s website at for details.

Next edition in 2014

The Manifestation internationale d’art de Québec organization, producer of the Manif d’art, has already been working for a few months on the presentation of the biennial’s 7th edition. The theme and the name of the next curator will be released next autumn. In addition, the organizers have taken steps towards occupying the Espace 400e Bell again in 2014 It is important to mention the first ever collaboration of many organizations: the Musée de l’Amérique française hosted an artist from the official selection, and the Huron-Wendat Museum in Wendake as well as the Grand Théâtre de Québec, the Centre interuniversitaire d’études sur les lettres, les arts et les traditions, Maison Hamel-Bruno, Palais Montcalm, the Centre SAGAMIE and Vidéo Femmes joined in the satellite activities this year. Finally, it is proper at this time to thank our public and private partners, the collaborators and organizers of satellite activities, the media, the members of the board of directors, the crew of Manifestation internationale d’art de Québec, interns and volunteers, the crew of l’Été Techno and, naturally, the ever faithful public.

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Source :
Patrick Fournier, Communications coordinator, Manif d’art, 418 524-1917,
Press relations : Marie-Ève Charlebois, Communications Sira ba, 418 524-4648,