Étienne Tremblay-Tardif | Curator’s statement – November 2015
It’s with great pleasure that I received the invitation from Partage Montréal to act as its curator for the Season 2 Collection.
Being first and foremost active as an artist, I also regularly wear other hats, this invitation has enabled me to rethink the divisions between these roles in the art world (curator, artist, author, cultural worker, etc.). I thus take up the challenge of shaking up the established rules by doubling the number of invited artists for Season 2. While the formula of six (6) pieces (in an edition of 30) will remain, it’s twelve individuals in all who will implement this material and intellectual production. Several shared endeavours are emerging. One half of the invited artists are already working as duos, while still maintaining individual practices. The second half of the invited artists are asked to find collaborators for this occasion. Some of these artist duos enjoy partnerships as friends, lovers or simply as members of a common sphere. In each case, a negotiation of roles and protocols will be necessary and these may vary greatly in each paired artistic relationship.
For this reason, my attention will especially be focused on artists whom I’ve known in multiple contexts (employment, art or academic milieux) or on artists who are willingly seeking to affirm their multiple status : artists, authors, cultural workers, organic intellectuals. All will be considered as producers : « […] production today comes out of relationships that transfer modalities of form and concept into action. While some artists intend fabrication as an extension of their studio practices, availing themselves of the resources and tools of industrial production […], the traffic of information narrows the gap between individual and collective production. Collaboration brings the figure of the artist to the center of a web of relations, all generating concentric circles of production. In particular instances, production as a social and epistemological experience can overwhelm the content of the work and ultimately itself become the meaning » . Moreover, beyond the intellectual curiosity and the pleasure of meeting, what impact will individual subjectivities have on the status or value of the work created? Other questions remain – will the work be given double signatures or a combined mark of some type? Will co-production add value? Will the value placed on the work be cumulative or will it necessarily function according to a rarefying and reductionist logic ? « All art now is conceptual, defined by its stance in relation to other art and its place in the market . » A second question increases the complexity of this relationship. Will a parallel work enjoy the same value in virtue of its rarity, of will it be the poor cousin of a central, canonical production?
The 12 producers invited to this season of Partage Montreal will be asked to reflect on and respond to the challenges mentioned above, either directly or indirectly, through a theme or a pattern or in the ways they will organize the production between themselves.
« …think about blogs, how each one is actually trying to describe reality.”
“But when you look at blogs, where you’re most likely to find the real info is in the links. It’s contextual, and not only who the blog’s linked to, but who’s linked to the blog.”  »
Thus, special attention will be given to art producers who are interested in studying, in updating or in building new infrastructures and structures in art. These new structures can be related to or reflect a broader social, political, ideological, psychological, or technical relationship to art, art practice and the art world. The artists will produce work that is visually and conceptually dense. I promise you a great deal to see and discuss for this second season of Partage Montreal.
 Francesco Stocchi, « Where is production? », Where is production? Inquiries into Contemporary Sculpture, Londres, Black Dog, 2013, p. 28.
 Chris Kraus, « Indelible Video », Where Art Belongs, South Pasadena, Semiotext(e), p. 119.
 William Gibson, Spook Country, New York, Berkley, p.87-88.