Underground Art: Resilience as a last refuge

The 14th Underground Art festival opened on Saturday, April 2, in Montreal, Canada, with exhibitions running through June 30. 2022. Exploring the theme “Voies-Voix résilientes” [Resilient Ways-Voices], the contemporary art event presents the works of around forty artists who have worked on the subject of resilience, but also on memory and social justice. Featuring Caribbean artists such as Richard-Viktor Sainsily Cayol (Guadeloupe) and Jean-François Boclé (Martinique), the exhibition is co-curated by Guadeloupean artist and researcher Eddy Firmin. In La Presse, Éric Clément writes:

Artists include Nadia Myre, David Garneau, MeyerMétivier DesignHaus, Maria Ezcurra, Marcella França, Shantal Miller, Charles Campbell, Catherine Blackburn, Kassandra Reynolds, Jean-François Boclé, and Richard-Viktor Sainsily Cayol. A diversity favored by the curators of the event, the artist of Caribbean origin Eddy Firmin and the curators of Intervals, Caroline Douville, Maria Ezcurra, Miwa Kojima, Romeo Gongora and Dominique Fontaine. [. . .]

In “Tout doit disparaître !” [Everything must disappear!], Jean-François Boclé uses blue plastic bags to talk about the maritime deportation of Africans to America, their commodification, current consumerism, and the pollution of the oceans, spaces as little protected as those who engage their hopes of freedom and survival. [The artist mentioned that he is not, in fact, making a statement about the pollution of oceans, but rather about considering what a Black Atlantic memorial could be. IR]

In the same vein, Richard-Viktor Sainsily Cayol exhibits a highly narrative sculpture with its wooden barrels dotted with brass spikes that tell the story of the black slave trade and its incredible violence. A historical reflection on the despicable exploitation of human beings, but also current on the consequences of our consumption choices on the living conditions of the people who create, manufacture or package the products we buy. [. . .]

For more information, see https://www.lapresse.ca/arts/arts-visuels/2022-04-01/art-souterrain/la-resilience-comme-dernier-refuge.php#

Also see https://www.eddyfirmin.com/, https://www.saatchigallery.com/artist/jean_francois_bocle, and https://sainsily-cayol.com/  

[Photos above by David Boilly.]

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