art et révolution, une célébration / a celebration of art and revolution
dans le cadre du / as part of Howl arts festival - les voix survolent la ville
Vendredi/Friday 25 Avril, 20h30
Regards sur le 7ème feu ensemble / Choeur Maha
La Sala Rossa, 4848 St. Laurent, 8:30pm, $8
Read an interview with artist Roger Peet, a graphic artist and member of the Justseeds Artists’ Cooperative. Roger’s beautiful work captures both the intensity and possibility of transformative ideals, while transporting our hearts toward hopefulness and possibility within a capitalist context that is destroying day by day our collective future.
Artists speak up! is an online interview series from the Howl! arts collective in Montreal, featuring engaged artists who speak to the issues of our time and the challenges that our society collectively faces. This interview series will highlight important cultural voices in Montréal and beyond, breaking down the barriers between activism and artistic practice.
Howl : In some of your pieces there is an interaction between urban landscapes and animals generally associated with more natural environments. In the work there is a tension and interaction between these two very different landscapes and environments that points inherently to some of the most important issues of our time. Can you reflect on this choice to contrast these symbols in your work?
Roger Peet : Generally I’ve explicitly tried to avoid using urban imagery as I often find it unpleasant and gruelling to draw buildings. However in the piece entitled “A Rising Tide" there’s some imagery from a drowned port, "Elementary" is about the relationship between a flock of birds and a particular building, and the piece "Strike!" is specifically about a city turned upside down, but that’s about it. I think it’s a mistake to look at urban landscapes as unnatural, since they are made by natural humans.
Those landscapes are dominant, destructive, and exclusionary, certainly, but there’s no doubt that they are natural. Cities are a symptom of the strange place where humans find themselves at this moment in time- utterly circumscribed, permitting (or attempting to permit) only a very limited presence of non-human actors, draining great swathes of the landscape to maintain themselves and grow. I find a lot more inspiration in evolutionary processes and biological phenomena outside of that which refers specifically to humans. Although I spend a great deal of time thinking about the impact that humans have on the world, I try to keep depictions of that work somewhat in the background, inferred or gestured at rather than closely examined. The worlds of other life are much more mysterious to me and thus much more interesting.
Howl : Your piece Elementary seems to directly address this interaction between the urban and the natural world, the piece details the vaux’s swifts swarming into an old school chimney, can you talk a little more about this piece and what inspired you to work on it?
Roger Peet : Every September in Portland, Oregon, a large flock of Vaux’s swifts passes through and spends a few weeks nesting in the chimney of an elementary school in the Northwest part of the city. Prior to the construction of the city, the birds nested in the hollow old-growth snags that were common in the lush ancient forest that used to cover the region. A chimney is the closest modern analogue. At dusk each day the swifts return from their wanderings across the valley and form a great swirling cloud of birds that slowly descends into the chimney in a whirlpool formation like water draining out of a tub.
It’s a glorious, transporting sight. What makes it really special, however is the presence of numerous small predatory birds, Coopers Hawks and Kestrels, who occasionally swoop through the cloud of birds to grab individuals for their dinner. When this happens the cloud flares and disperses, slowly regrouping, coalescing and then continuing to flow down into the chimney.
The phenomenon has become very popular in Portland, and people bring picnic and spread blankets on the grass to watch the birds descend. People often boo or gasp in horror when the hawks succeed in grabbing swifts, which is hilarious to me, as witnessing that predatory success is why I attend. It’s the real world in action, and the presence of predators is the most important part. The predators drive the swifts’ behavior- they influence their swirling display. They are the reason for the thing. Without predators, there is no life, only a soft and tedious pudding.
Missing Justice Campaign for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women
Casa del Popolo 4873 St. Laurent
Odaya is an indigenous women’s art collective who are committed and creative, drawing strength through the legacy of elders while working to inspire aboriginal youth and create bridges between different peoples. Odaya is rooted in a desire to explore indigenous culture, song and the relationship of the artists to the drum, the rhythm and traditional teachings. Odaya aims to contribute positively to the Aboriginal community, to share the richness and beauty of First Nations through artistic expression while speaking out against injustices.
Odaya … c’est un groupe de jeunes femmes autochtones dynamiques, engagées et créatives. Nous puisons notre force à travers l’héritage de nos aînées tout en souhaitant inspirer la jeunesse autochtone et créer des ponts entre les différents peuples. Une volonté de mieux connaître nos cultures, nos chants, notre rapport au tambour et de recevoir des enseignements traditionnels animait chacune d’entre nous. Également, le désir de contribuer positivement à la communauté autochtone, de faire connaître la richesse et la beauté des Premières nations à travers l’expression artistique et de créer un espace pour dénoncer les injustices et exprimer notre vision était un moteur commun qui nous animait.
Sarah Pagé is an experimental harpist best known for her collaborations with The Barr Brothers, Lhasa de Sela, Patrick Watson and Esmerine.
a wonderful Montreal-born musical/poetry power duo created by Andrew Whiteman & Ariel Engle, musicians currently at work in the spirit/science of sonic gene splicing.
Listen to a live in studio performance by Saxsyndrum on CKUT fm during the Montreal sessions in March 2014, hosted by Howl arts collective. This is an untitled new piece by the duo of Nick Schofield & David Switchenko.
Listen to a live performance by A Sacred Cloud at a benefit concert for the Awan family, a family from Pakistan seeking refugee status in Canada currently taking sanctuary in a Montreal church to defy a deportation order from the Canadian government.
This recording is inspired by the struggle against the current expansion of the prison industrial complex under the Conservative government in Canada.
Listen to live radio performance by musician Amir Amiri playing santur on CKUT fm in Montréal. This live performance took place as part of the Montréal Sessions on CKUT 90.3fm, broadcasting every Tuesday from 3-5pm.
affiche contre la Charte des valeurs québécoises maintenant dans les rues de Montréal ! (conception de l’affiche par LOKi design en collaboration avec d’autres artistes / activistes)
posters against the Québec charter of values now on the streets of Montréal ! (poster concept by LOKi design in collaboration with other artists / activists)
tune-in Tuesdays 3-5pm on CKUT 90.3fm in Montreal
Howl arts collective will be hosting the Montreal sessions throughout March ! tune-in every Tuesday from 3-5pm for special programming that explores the intersections between the arts and activism on CKUT 90.3fm, people powered radio !
Howl’s programming will feature live concert recordings, in-studios performances, round table discussions and musical selections from across the world. Also this special programming takes place in the lead-up to the Howl arts festival taking place in late April here in Montreal.
Howl! arts collective presents
Launch for “Protest Against Police Brutality”
a woodcut print book by Chris Robertson (La Presse Du Chat Perdu)
Thursday, March 6th, 2014
5 à 7, le cagibi, 5490 St. Laurent
taking place within the week of actions coordinated by the Collective Opposed to Police Brutality (COBP), toward the annual protest against police brutality on March 15.
Artist and screen printer Chris Robertson (La Presse Du Chat Perdu), will be launching (facebook event) a recently created booklet of woodcuts describing experiences in a police kettle targeting participants of the annual protest against police brutality in Montréal in 2013.
This booklet launches as activists are building toward the annual mobilization against police brutality, that again this year will take place as municipal politicians (despite recent elections) and police forces maintain the P6 regulation, that unconstitutionally makes illegal unscripted protests, stifling the basic freedom to publicly assembly, obliging all protesters to seek state permission to demonstrate.
Created and printed by hand in a Montréal, Mile End studio on Van Horne avenue. The beautiful woodcut drawings in the booklet convey both the violence of police repression, specifically the kettling tactic, while illuminating determined spirit of people taking the streets.