Manif d’art 9 – Unveiling of the program


Unveiling of the program for

Manif d’art 9 – The Quebec City Biennial



Quebec, Tuesday December 4, 2018 – The Manif d’art 9 – The Quebec City Biennial program, created in collaboration with the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec (MNBAQ), was unveiled today by Jonathan Watkins, international curator, along with Michelle Drapeau, assistant curator, during a press conference moderated by the ambassador of Manif d’art 9, the presenter Nicolas Ouellet

© Idra Labrie / MNBAQ
From left to right : Nicolas Ouellet, presenter, Jonathan Watkins, curator, Michelle Drapeau, assistant curator, Jean-Luc Murray, general director at MNBAQ et Claude Bélanger, general and artistic director at Manif d’art.


The theme of this ninth installment of the Biennial, Small Between the Stars, Large Against the Sky*, implies a sensitivity towards the environment and a desire to question human nature. This proposal by the guest curator Jonathan Watkins, director at Ikon Gallery in Birmingham, raises fundamental questions about humans’ relationships to nature, to their environment, to each other, and even to their future on Earth. Far from being pessimistic, the artists reveal their observations, ideas, fixations and utopias, whether they’re metaphorical, playful, political or poetic.


The MNBAQ is Hosting the Central Exhibition

Manif d’art is pleased to confirm the renewal of its major partnership with the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec, which allows the central exhibition of the biennial to be hosted once again in the magnificent Pierre Lassonde Pavilion. Nearly twenty international, Canadian and Québécois artists will be gathered under the banner of Jonathan Watkins’ striking theme. To name a few, Manasie Akpaliapik (Nunavut, Canada), Vija Celmins (Latvia), Caroline Gagné (Quebec, Canada), Jim Holyoak and Matt Shane (British Columbia, Canada), Krištof Kintera (Czech Republic), Cornelia Parker (England) and Tomás Saraceno (Argentina) will be a part of this group show. “This renewned partnership between Manif d’art 9 – The Quebec City Biennialand the MNBAQ creates a true synergy and brings together the best of contemporary art in Quebec. In the heart of winter, this unique event will shine upon Quebec, a World Heritage City, and become a renowned hub for contemporary arts in Quebec.” expressed the new general director at the MNBAQ, Jean-Luc Murray.


Reaffirmed Trust

This year, the Quebec artist-run centres are also reiterating their trust in Manif d’art by exhibiting close to fifteen biennial artists as co-presenters. At the core of visual arts creation in the Quebec area, most of these co-presenting organizations will remain accessible throughout the whole duration of the biennial, up until April 21 2019. Among others, the solo exhibitions will host Christiane Baumgartner (Germany), Amélie Laurence Fortin (Quebec, Canada), Felipe Castelblanco (Columbia) and Shimabuku (Japan).


 Old Quebec Will Vibrate to the Beat of Contemporary Art

This year, the public art circuit will be concentrated in the beautiful Old Quebec neighborhood, where the public will discover a dozen works. Despite the winter conditions, passersby will be able to find multiple installations, both 2D and 3D. Some works will stand out with their monumentality or by contrast with their context, while others will discreetly infiltrate the winterly landscape. You’ll have to really open your eyes – and ears! – to find them all!


 A New Addition! Inspired by Young Curators

Manif d’art is also proud to announce a great 2019 novelty: the Young Curators component, presented by La Maison Simons. This component includes a series of exhibitions presented by a dozen young curators selected by Manif d’art. Under Jonathan Watkins’ mentorship, they will surprise us with their own interpretations of the theme as well as their selections of artists!


A Proud Ambassador

Manif d’art is enthused to count on the voice and face of Nicolas Ouellet as a vector of its ninth biennial and this joy seems to be shared by the young presenter : “It’s a privilege for me to dive into the Manif d’art adventure, to be able to feed on the contemporary audacity and vision of this event and the artists taking part in it. I see it as a unique chance to act as a conduit between the project, the artists and the public, and to refine my perspectives on contemporary visual arts. On top of that, I get to do it all in Quebec City – my hometown!”. A promising first collaboration!


La P’tite Manif, an enhanced program

This year, the winter biennial is expanding its family-oriented program. La P’tite Manif is adding creative workshops to its range of activities, every Saturday at Méduse.


For the first time, a symposium at the MNBAQ

For the first time, an international contemporary art symposium will take place at the MNBAQ on March 22 and 23, 2019, under the theme Contemporary Art, Everyday Life and Nature. This special event will be open to various audiences from the art and culture worlds.


Finally, Manif d’art now presents a passport giving access to all the biennial activities, including the opening days in February. In short, Manif d’art – The Quebec City Biennial offers an enriched and enhanced experience of the biennial to its visitors, reaching all audiences. 


Claude Bélanger, general and artistic director at Manif d’art, wishes to convey this message to the public :  “Don’t deny yourself this pleasure, face the winter and wander in the City. Visit these art sites wether they are known or unknown to you. Ask questions about the artists, their work and their interests. You have to be curious, be open and not be afraid to take an interest in the arts. Nothing is as stimulating as opening yourself up to some else’s fiction!”.


The complete program is now on the biennial web site, localhost:8888/wp-manif9


Manif d’art would like to thank the Major Events Office, the Ville de Québec, the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec, the ministry of Culture and Communications, the Canada Council for the Arts, Québec City Tourism, Canadian Heritage, lg2, Radio-Canada, La Maison Simons, the Québec Government Office in London, the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec and Méduse.


Finally, for the third year in a row, Manif d’art is proud to count on Radio-Canada as a major media partner and on lg2, creators of the biennial’s visual identity since 2012.






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