40th International Symposium of Contemporary Art of Baie-Saint-Paul
July 29 to August 28 2022
For its 40th anniversary, the Symposium international d’art contemporain de Baie-Saint-Paul is inviting thirteen artists to create a work inspired by the theme “Connected-Interconnected: The Digital World in Question.”
Twelve of these artists will work at Baie-Saint-Paul on the site of the Musée d'art contemporain de Baie-Saint-Paul, while the natural space of the Domaine Forget in Saint-Irénée will be offered to the thirteenth artist in a novel collaboration between these two institutions in the heart of the Charlevoix region of Quebec.
All artists working in the various visual arts disciplines (painting, sculpture, drawing, digital arts, performance, video, photography, installation) are invited to submit a proposal for this 40th edition of the event.
Each artist working in Baie Saint-Paul will have at his or her disposal an individual studio (photo) located in the Jacques Saint-Gelais Tremblay pavilion, while the natural space of the Domaine Forget will be offered to an artist for the creation of a permanent or ephemeral, in situ, 2D or 3D artwork inspired from the topography of the Domaine (pond, forest, plain or valley, river, forest trail, etc.). This artist will also have access to a small studio.
In keeping with Symposium tradition, all artists will participate in ongoing outreach activities with visitors in order to make contemporary artistic creation better known to them.
The deadline for submitting a proposal is December 15 2021.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE THEME
The 40th Symposium international d’art contemporain de Baie-Saint-Paul invites reflection on the various impacts of the digital revolution and the issues it raises with respect to our way of life and the ways in which we see, communicate and create in the twenty-first century. Every medium or combination is admissible: from the most concrete (drawing, painting, sculpture, installation) to the most technological (photography, video, digital art). The goal of this 40th edition of the Symposium is to depict, conceptualize, analyse and document the profound transformation of our living environment in artworks from a critical perspective, whether subjective, objective or even poetic.
The Theme and Its Bases
The digital revolution began unperceived in the late 1960s before becoming widespread in the 1990s and gradually entering our way of life. Since that time the digital has increasingly infused our activities, changing the way we do things and our ways of seeing and perceiving. The invention of the computer and then that of the Internet, with its massive amount of data accessible at all times, the proliferation of social media and the possibility of seeing each other and of learning and working from a distance have transformed our relations with time, space and other people. Communication has become instantaneous, and geographical, temporal and spatial boundaries have (almost) been eliminated in our connected and interconnected world. The technological environment in which we live is reshaping the framework of our thoughts and our experience of the world at every level: individual, social, economic, political and philosophical on the one hand, and visual, material and sensorial on the other. We are living in a key moment of history at a time of accelerated change.
History in the Present
All these changes command our attention today. But how does one speak of the “historical” present? The history of art shows us that a close connection to the present appeared relatively late, taking the place of idealizing nature or the past, or of internalized images of Beauty. In the mid-nineteenth century it was the Realists who, in radical fashion, adopted as the watchword of their work the postulate “be of one’s time,” emphasizing the importance of the here and now. For the painter Gustave Courbet, an
artist’s role was first and foremost to bear witness to one’s age and surroundings, to society and its organization. In so doing, he highlighted the unique value of people’s view of their own world based on their direct experience of it, as distinct from that of later generations.
The nineteenth century was a period of great technological innovations with an impact on the art world. In the years following the discovery of photography in 1837, artists and critics pondered the future of painting which, far from disappearing, had redefined itself instead. In the same period, optical instruments became popular and upended people’s perceptual frameworks (Jonathan Crary, Techniques of the Observer, 1992). The development of “mild steel” made it possible to build bridges of lengths and in places which were previously unthinkable and in forms which upended the aesthetic sense of people of the day (Michael Baxandall, Patterns of Intention, 1987). Other examples of the impact of technological innovations could be mentioned.
The Technological Revolution in the Twenty-first Century
It is in this spirit, that of an inquisitive gaze cast on our time and preoccupied with our experience of it, that we propose an exploration of the theme “Connected-Interconnected: The Digital World in Question.” This theme ties in with multiple aspects of the world in which we live. In this way, numerous avenues offer themselves for exploration, including the following, in addition to other possibilities:
1- The organization and structures of the digital world
How is the digital world structured? What are its features (technological, visual, conceptual)? What metaphorical possibilities can be perceived in:
- Its emblematic figures, objects and motifs;
- Its concepts and its rationality;
- Its languages and vocabulary;
- The places where it takes root.
2- Art and digital technology
What impact does digital technology have on various artistic practices?
- Does it transform the manner of drawing, painting, sculpting or photographing, or of conceiving a video or installation
- What new possibilities do synthetic images offer?
- What new aesthetic experiences does this technology provide?
- What value does the material artwork preserve at a time when images are dematerializing? What are the limits of the virtual?
- Can the digital world become a poetic object?
3- Living in the digital world
How to bear witness to the sensorial and conceptual experiences introduced by digital technology? How to give form, for example:
- To new conditions for perceiving space and time?
- To the way human relations are shaped and framed by the media?
- To human-machine relations?
4- Power in the digital world
How are power relations exercised in the digital world? What are the sites of and issues around power? For example:
- Big data and personal information;
- The means of surveillance and the right to privacy;
- Social media and political power;
- Sharing wealth in a globalized digital world.
The 40th Symposium thus invites a diversity of perspectives on or deriving from the experience of the digital world in order to make visible what characterizes or underlies it and to show how our sensibility, imagination and perception are being transformed.
Anne Beauchemin, Ph.D.
Artistic Director of the 40th Symposium
CONDITIONS FOR PARTICIPATION
The Musée d’art contemporain de Baie-Saint-Paul (MACBSP) is designated as the organization that manages the event entitled International Symposium of Contemporary Art of Baie-Saint-Paul. Thirteen artists will be selected on the following basis : Six artists originating from the province of Québec, one of whom is from the Montmorency Charlevoix-Côte-Nord federal district, three Canadian artists, and three international artists. All projects are to be analyzed and selected by the committee.
The MACBSP agrees to:
- pay the amount of $4 500 CAD to cover the costs of the materials and copyright fee for the use of the artwork for promotional purposes (in two (2) separate payments);
- provide lodging;
- pay for round-trip transportation between the residence of the Artist and Baie-Saint-Paul;
- provide studio space on the site of the Symposium.
The ARTIST agrees to:
- be present at the site five (5) days a week, Wednesday to Sunday, from 12 noon to 5PM, for the entire duration of the Symposium;
- create a work on site and to finish it by the conclusion of the Symposium;
- interact and converse with the visitors;
- participate in parallel activities;
- present his or her work at the "Encounters with the artist";
- provide one’s own transportation during the stay in Baie-Saint-Paul and St-Irénée.
The selection comittee will choose the participants based on the quality of the projects and their relevance to the theme of the symposium. Files deemed incomplete will not be retained for consideration.
The MACBSP may acquire for its collection one or several works, upon agreement with the artist, either in monetary terms (up to $1 000 CAN), or through the issuance of a tax credit, or a combination of both.
*** To submit a project, the interested artist must pay the $ 25 registration fee, payable at the very end of the documentation process for submitting the project.