ABOUT

A festive event bringing together artists and communities,
through art and windows.
In each borough of Montreal, 40 people living on the same block will lend their windows or verandas to artists to exhibit one or more works of art.

The streets will become magnets that attract urban strollers and encourage them to discover artists and meet people.

To celebrate Montreal’s 375th anniversary in 2017, Les fenêtres qui parlent [Talking Windows], normally a three-day annual event, will be spread over 19 consecutive weeks from May to September, in all Montreal boroughs. Each of the 19 boroughs, in turn, will expose the artworks for five days—from Wednesday to Sunday. The project is committed to involving Montreal residents in the event organization.

Les fenêtres qui parlent was started in Lille—another friendly city of bricks in northern France—by Beatrice Auxent and Réso Asso Métro, and was launched in Montreal on Marquette Street in 2007. Not only has the Montreal version kept the same name, it captures the spirit of the French initiative, whose collaboration and support are greatly appreciated!

MESSAGE FROM THE CURATOR

Les fenêtres qui parlent is a citizen-oriented artistic event, in which residents lend an area—a window, veranda or yard—to artists who use it to create or exhibit works of art.

To celebrate Montreal’s 375th anniversary, the 10th Les fenêtres qui parlent will take place in all 19 Montreal boroughs. The theme of this special edition is ENCOUNTERS, the founding idea behind the event, which is inspired by history. Because of its location, Montreal was once a meeting place for First Nations peoples and later between First Nations peoples and European explorers. Those meetings became the focal point of life in the city.

Contemporary art is woven into the fabric of everyday life . . .
Across the globe, even where censorship is rife, streets have become a medium for expression, a means of promotion and even a material for many artists. Works of art provide an unexpected experience to residents and passers-by, creating encounters and inviting viewers to ask questions about the art and the space it inhabits. That’s what Les fenêtres qui parlent 2017 is all about: artists using urban spaces lent by residents, and artworks and the spaces they occupy enhancing each other.

. . . and brings people together
In this meeting place, artworks become public, creating dialogue between indoors and outdoors, public and private. They create various encounters—between residents, the exhibition sites, artists, works of art in their space, residents and passers-by (regular and occasional), different artistic disciplines and approaches. And there are no barriers of status or occupation.

Top-quality works of art
Les fênetres qui parlent calls for all forms of art using innovative, imaginative techniques and singular artistic processes that challenge us with their creativity and originality. This openness, coupled with a demand for quality, will make this a remarkable and unique event full of surprises.

Since it started in Lille 15 years ago, Les fenêtres qui parlent has attracted interest from other cities in France and countries including Sweden, Turkey, Belgium and Brazil. The event’s success is partly due to the movement to democratize contemporary art—a response to the elitism that can permeate it—but it is mainly driven by the desire of many people who believe that art and artists inspire social change and make a difference, including citizens, artists and organizers, to get involved.

 

André Henault is a set designer, teacher, curator and museologist. His career has always focused on art and exhibition and communication platforms. Henault teaches set design and drawing at Cégep de Saint-Hyacinthe’s theatre school and has designed over 40 stage sets for various theatre companies in Montreal and elsewhere in Canada. Since 1984, Henault has curated a dozen or so exhibitions, the most recent in 2012: Riopelle–Séries graphiques with Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec. Henault studied set and costume design at the National Theatre School of Canada and has a master’s in museology from Université de Montréal.