Projet de relocalisation
Benjamin J. Allard
Exhibition resulting from the program Autorésidences
Autorésidences is a remote residency program created by the AXENÉO7 artist-run centre in the exceptional context of the COVID-19 pandemic to continue to support research and development of current art practices.
Opening night on Wednesday, March 15, 2023 from 7PM to 11PM.
Music by DJ Rodrigo Medrano
Cash bar — Card only
Projet de relocalisation [Relocation project]
AXENÉO7 was founded in the early 1980s to provide a space for artists. Far from the hoped-for landmark, their first venues required constant maintenance, which quickly became an obstacle to the smooth running of the organization. The people involved in the centre therefore developed, often on a voluntary basis, proposals for more suitable locations.
In the mid-nineties, the city of Hull refused AXENÉO7's request to relocate to the former Cartier cinema. Faced with this impasse, the centre's team produced a postcard detailing their demands and denounced the situation during interviews on CBC/Radio-Canada. This stunt contributed to the success of negotiations with the city and allowed the centre to move to its current location, the Hanson Hosiery Mills, in 2002.
This exhibition is part of a larger project on the links between contemporary art networks and radio. Here, the public radio is used as a megaphone. While city hall closes the door to an ambitious proposal, the artists organize themselves to fight for its necessity.
The anecdote of this postcard and the radio interviews were the starting point for the search for other traces of the relocation project. For twenty years, these steps led to the study of the built heritage and evolved with political decisions and the involvement of several partners. While the archival documents that are associated with it describe the technical details of a viable space, they seek above all to demonstrate AXENÉO7's ambitions and testify to its importance to its community.
During the putting together of the exhibition, a reflection process was also set into motion with the centre to focus on their archives' durability. Twenty years after the move, they now take the form of a more or less orderly collection, sometimes neatly filed in plastic boxes, or accumulated by chance in recycled cardboard boxes. A hole in the gallery wall allows you to see the room where they are stored..
This exhibition includes an audio component that you can hear at the listening station. You can also access it by clicking here. Please note that the audio component is only available in French.
— Benjamin J. Allard
Benjamin J. Allard is an artist, a teacher and a cultural worker based in Tiohtià:ke (Montreal). His projects explore the history of the institutions in which he exhibits and their resonance with the present. He holds a B.A. in Communication Studies from Concordia University and an M.A. in Visual Arts from the University of British Columbia.
The artist would like to thank AXENÉO7 for their invaluable support and DAÏMÔN for their generosity. He would also like to express his gratitude to all everyone else who participated in the creation of the works: Jessica Hébert, Simon Labelle, Jonathan Lachance, Catherine Lescarbeau, France Trépanier and Jean-Yves Vigneau. Conversations with Frédéric Laniel of the Centre régional d'archives de l'Outaouais also contributed greatly to this project, and the exhibition benefited from the involvement of Marc-Olivier Beausoleil, Catherine Bodmer, Luc Desjardins, Anyse Ducharme, Steve Giasson, Maude Jarry and Scott Simpson. La Chambre Blanche also welcomed the artist for a research residency.