QUÉBEC CITY, Dec. 7, 2021 /CNW Telbec/ - The first museum exhibition by artist Stanley Février, winner of the fourth MNBAQ Contemporary Art Award, organized in collaboration with RBC, its financial partner, has been eagerly awaited. For several years, Février's work has questioned, mobilized, and upset. The artist believes that art has the power to change things and is, like a genuine vector for social change, the very impetus for his creation. From December 9, 2021 to October 16, 2022, an unforgettable, touching experience awaits visitors when they discover the works in the menm vye tintin. les vies possibles exhibition, since they broach themes as powerful and crucial as police violence, mental illness, firearms, and racism, topics at the root of Février's reflections, which focus on the human condition in the 21st century and the value of life in the context of globalization. The wide-ranging expression of the fragility of the human condition has never had such a resolute messenger.
An intriguing but forceful title
For over 20 years, Février has sought to heal wounds. The artist initially proposed a title in English, Same Old Shit, for his first solo exhibition at the MNBAQ. The French version would have been Plus ça change, plus c'est pareil and the Québec version, La même crisse d'affaire. In the end, it is the Haitian Creole expression "menm vye tintin" that was adopted. Does this mean that the wheel turns and nothing changes? Stanley Février questions discrimination and segregation through an accusatory vein that permeates all his work, which is constantly animated by social setbacks in the hope of having an impact beyond artistic practice.
Shift from the artistic to the social
A multidisciplinary artist born in 1976 in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Stanley Février settled in Québec over 30 years ago. This comprehensive exhibition spans all facets of his work, ranging from old, little-known works to more recent creations. The exhibition is organized in collaboration with the Musée d'art contemporain des Laurentides (MAC LAU) in Saint-Jérôme, which is presenting other works by the artist until February 13, 2022.
Current environmental and human dramas are themes present throughout Février's practice, especially police brutality, mental health, citizen disarmament, mass migrations, and questions related to overconsumption. Faced with these key questions related to the political, racial, human, and cultural challenges that are racking societies the world over, Stanley Février's work vibrates with contemporary societal concerns.
High-powered works that are everything but indifferent
Stanley Février's work spans an array of practices ranging from photography to performance and including sculpture and drawing. His reflections on the state of the world produce astounding works.
Among the key works in the exhibition, mention should be made of: La Clairvoyance (2014), in which Février imagines himself in a situation of extreme vulnerability. This dramatic image in the Ce n'est pas la vie même series, which focuses on shootings that occurred in the world between 1927 and 2014, reveals the artist anticipating his own violent death.
In several series, including Les Grands Espoirs (2019-2020), the motif of the hood recurs in Février's work. He refers to hooding, a technique used to humiliate and oppress through sensory deprivation, deemed a sadistic act that is, moreover, frequently employed prior to executions. In his works, it is the artist who inflicts this dehumanizing treatment on himself.
The installation 1927 (2015) focuses on the massacre at the Bath Consolidated School in Michigan and the fate of its 45 victims, mostly children, represented on the wall by an equivalent number of handguns. Février restores to art its ability to repair so that violence is engraved in the mind and the weight of creation joins, by way of an example, the weight of demonstrations, which have proliferated with the Black Lives Matter movement, to denounce the ill treatment inflicted on racialized individuals or the most disadvantaged.
Lastly, the works Au commencement était… Alphonse Allais (2020) appear as plaster simulacra of twisted paintings through which Février evokes the existence of works that were among the first monochromes in history. In this way, Février compensates for certain blind spots in the history of abstract art by making a detour by means of monochrome painting.
To round out the exhibition, a publication with the same title will present the work of the fourth winner of the MNBAQ Contemporary Art Award. Produced by the MAC LAU team, the book, in English and in French, will leave an indelible impression of Stanley Février's first solo exhibition at the MNBAQ and propel his work to international recognition.
Express oneself and step back
In conjunction with the exhibition, a radio section has been elaborated with the artist, who will propose a series of programs on a variable schedule on Radio Les vies possibles in early 2022. During the programs, Février will interview members of the Québec arts community before an audience and on the social media. The interviews will focus on the difficulties that artists encounter and will welcome participation by audience members. It is a question, once again, of extending a hand to others. In this section, QR codes are offered to the public to access a Website on which Février is receiving comments following visits to the exhibitions at the MNBAQ and the MAC LAU.
Following their visit to the menm vye tintin. les vies possibles exhibition, visitors can stop in an area at the entrance to the Gérard Morisset Pavilion to view other works by Stanley Février, to pause or reflect, to express the emotions that the works arouse. Once again, the power of words will be liberating.
Lastly, again in conjunction with this initiative, in which voicing opinions is important, the S.O.S. bench designed by Février and presented in the Central Pavilion of the MNBAQ will also serve as a striking sign on which it will be possible to lean and to sit.
Biographical note on Stanley Février
Stanley Février was born in 1976 in Port-au-Prince. He is a multidisciplinary Québec artist who has lived for over 30 years in Longueil, near Montréal. He first worked as a social worker before gradually turning to art. He became a full-time artist in 2012. The two practices are now indissociable. In 2018, he obtained a master's degree in visual and media arts from the Faculté des arts at the Université du Québec à Montréal. The artist's practice encompasses photography, digitization, drawing, installations and assemblages, sculpture, and participatory art and performance. Since 2007, he has engaged in more than 20 solo exhibitions and participated in 15 group exhibitions in several cities in Québec and in Ottawa, and in the United States (New York), Cuba, France, Germany, Spain, Bulgaria, and China. He has also been present in public spaces outside exhibition venues in Québec, Greece, and Spain. Moreover, since 2012, he has participated in 10 contemporary art festivals in Québec, Mexico, Bulgaria, Serbia, and China.
The Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec, in collaboration with the Musée d'art contemporain des Laurentides (MAC LAU), has organized this exhibition, which runs from December 9, 2021 to October 16, 2022. Stanley Février is the winner of the 2020 MNBAQ Contemporary Art Award, awarded through the generous financial contribution of RBC Foundation. Direction
General Director, MNBAQ
Director of Exhibitions and International Relations, MNBAQ
Head of Collection Development and Curator of Contemporary Art (2000 to the present), MNBAQ
Head of Mediation MNBAQ
Head of Museography, MNBAQ
Head of Collections, MNBAQ
Digital Educational Content Manager, MNBAQ
Mediation Coordinator, MNBAQ
The Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec is a state corporation funded by the Gouvernement du Québec.
menm vye tintin. les vies possibles
from the artist Stanley Février
Winner of the fourth MNBAQ Contemporary Art Award
Gérard-Morisset Pavilion of the MNBAQ
From December 9, to October 16, 2022
SOURCE Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec
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