What’s Truck Stop?
Truck Stop is the result of an exceptional collaboration between two artistic organisations and communities: Centre CLARK (Montreal) and l’Œil de Poisson (Quebec). This major art event aims to disseminate contemporary art in unexpected places as a way of both highlighting and questioning our relationship to landscape. What better iconic symbol for this gathering of public art than the legendary Autoroute 20, linking Montreal to the Capitale-Nationale of Quebec.
With volumes of over 230 000 vehicles per week, the 20 is a route well-travelled by a variety of users including truck drivers, workers, tourists, students, vacationers, and other adventurers of the road who, for the most part, use it with indifference. For many, it is nothing more than a thoroughfare. Although dotted with curious spaces that mark the landscape and the imagination, it lacks any artistic presence. Artists, however, see the highway as a true playground with a multitude of sites worth exploring. This context, and the collective goal of creating a meaningful and pioneering project within this landscape, is the impetus behind the launching of the first edition of Truck Stop.
Truck Stop brings together the work of 15 Montreal and Quebec City-based artists, whose practices in sculpture, installation, performance, photography, as well as sound and video projection will be integrated along Autoroute 20 in both directions, including selected rest areas, a barn, a silo, an antique shop, and other sites.
The projects have three components:
- In situ: works installed in public and private areas
- Time-based: Actions of a given duration
- Opening and closing events
Some artworks take a critical look at built heritage sites along the highway by highlighting buildings that have been neglected, destroyed or are destined for modernisation. Some offer a poetic reappropriation of the land, nature, or reality, while others look at the aesthetic potential of previously unknown places and spaces.
MC Gilles, Truck Stop spokesperson
“I can’t help but stop in at an artist-run center, a gallery, or a museum whenever I pass by them… it’s even better when art is found along the way! Thank you Truck Stop” – MC Gilles
– MC Gilles
Born in Quebec, now living between Saint-Anne-de-la-Pérade and Montreal, MC Gilles is quite familiar with the banal nature of Autoroute 20.
Active in radio, he is a current contributor to Paul Arcand’s program, Puisqu’il faut se lever on 98.5 FM, with a weekly show about local music from Montreal and elsewhere in Quebec, as well as from France and the North-West Territories. He is also a reporter on the program Infoman and C’est just de la TV, and he has covered the red carpet at PaparaGilles.
With his characteristic humour, MC Gilles will introduce Truck Stop to a wide and diverse audience, especially those who are new to contemporary art.
photo credit Radio-canada
Founded in 1988, the Centre d’art et diffusion CLARK is an artist-run center dedicated to the dissemination and production of contemporary art.
The Centre CLARK is divided into several physical and virtual spaces with different functions. The two main components of the Centre are the gallery, which has two rooms where over ten exhibitions are held every year, plus special projects, audio stations, screenings and performance events, and Atelier CLARK, a one-of-a-kind carpentry shop in Montreal. The Centre also houses a library, and organises several off-site events in collaboration with a variety of partners.
CLARK’s overall vision is guided by the involvement and innovation of its long-standing, active membership. CLARK is steered by a mandate that fosters a balanced approach to production, dissemination, outreach, cultural diversity, intergenerational exchange, gender equality, the non-privileging of art forms, and the provision of equal opportunities for artists at all stages of their careers. The Centre is committed to seeking the most innovative, risk-taking artists to include in its programming.
Our vision is guided by the community we inhabit and for which we work. As such, production, support, dissemination, risk, community, education, and collectivity are some of the key words that frame the Centre’s vision, and help us to keep art and artists at the heart of our concerns.
Located in the Méduse cooperative in Quebec City, l’Œil de Poisson is an artist-run center that is dedicated to the dissemination and production of contemporary art. The center supports art that is focused on research and exploration, that favours the decompartmentalization of artistic practices, and stimulates exchange and confluence between disciplines. L’Œil de Poisson champions practices and issues that are at the core of contemporary art concerns, while redefining their means of production. The center welcomes risk-takers. By encouraging its exhibiting artists to present the initial stages of their projects and to engage in bold experiments, the center is at the forefront of developments within the practice of contemporary art. Its support of research-based multidisciplinary art helps viewers reconsider how art can be experienced and what role it plays within the social realm.
L’Œil de Poisson’s mandate aims to realize these objectives through the production of various exhibition projects, including exchanges, events, residencies, conferences, publications, training, contests, and shows. Its unique programming is distinguished by how it questions materiality, space and presence. These notions are at the heart of contemporary artistic production, and are thoroughly examined and subverted by the work it presents.
In addition to its three presentation spaces, l’Œil de Poisson offers workshops with specialised and professional equipment. Given the center’s focus on research and creation, it provides visual artists and crafts people a vital carpentry and metalworking shop and finishing studio. Through these facilities and the expertise of its technicians, the center is actively involved in artists’ research, provides direct, low-cost production support, and contributes to artists’ professional development.