Theme for 2017

Pasts in the Present. 

35th Symposium international d’art contemporain de Baie-Saint-Paul
July 28 to august 27 2017

The summer of 2017 will be the 35th Symposium international d’art contemporain de Baie-Saint-Paul, an event that Françoise Labbé introduced in 1982 as the Symposium international de la jeune peinture du Canada.

On this occasion, the 2017 edition will look at the question of history, presenting the many ways that artists have developed to examine the construction of history. With the decline of the avant-garde model, artists no longer see themselves as continuing the progress of history, but rather draw widely on its resources as well as that of objects, facts, ideas and models of the past.

Our era, moreover, stands out as having lost confidence in the historical perspective, being even disenchanted when faced with the actual future of humanity. During the 1980s, the emergence of technology and of digital tools linked these new production means to the future of society; however, today their use, always more widespread, reduces this promise to a momentary experience and an unrestrained acceleration of successive events.

In this context, contemporary art works produce, perform and represent history differently. Artists appropriate the past, reinterpret it and replay it in order to reinvent our manner of seeing and envisioning the future in a new way.

Here are just a few of the areas to explore these issues:

  1. Forgetfulness and Memory
  1. The Included and the Excluded from History
  2. The Micro Accounts of History
  3. The Setting in Ruins
  4. Anachronisms, Parachronisms and Uchronia
  5. Travelling in Time
  6. Archaeology of the Future
  7. The Idea of Progress
  8. Utopia
  9. Any other art project, exploring the construction of history, or looking towards the future.
Portrait of Marie Perrault. Photo: Louis-Charles Dumais.

Marie Perrault, Artistic Director

Marie Perrault, an art critic and curator, has produced many contemporary art exhibitions and has written numerous essays for art publications and catalogues, as well as monographs on the work of Marie Côté, Jean-Pierre Morin, Pascal Dufaux, Isabelle Hayeur, Alan Storey and Anne Ramsden.

She is interested in singular art practices that are concerned with current social issues, the anthropological and sociological impact of technology and on the implications that public art raises. 

Portrait of Denys Premier. Photo: Paul Simon.

DenysTremblay, president of honour

Denys Tremblay was the main organizer of the International Environmental Sculpture Symposium at Chicoutimi in 1980, and is known for a performance that lasted 14 years in which he became l’illustre Inconnu (a person of obscure repute). This performance enabled him, in particular, to definitively bury metropolitan art history; however, this was reasserted during his exhibition at Centre Pompidou in Paris, and when saving and integrating the Arthur-Villeneuve house into the Pulperie de Chicoutimi Regional Museum and acceding to the municipal kingship in 1997.

After this he was known as Roi de l’Anse (King of the Cove) in Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean until he abdicated in 2000. In 2009, Hervé Fischer wrote a well-illustrated book about him titled Un roi américian, published by VLB éditeur.


His art practice is concerned with understanding History in order to create a personal narrative that at same time affects the course of events. This interest in historical construction accounts for his invitation to be the president of honour.