PART B1 - Centre des arts actuels Skol by liuqingyan



Registered name of applicant organization:

Centre des arts actuels SKOL

Incorporation date : 22 April 1986

Mailing Address:

372, rue Sainte-Catherine Ouest, espace 314, Montréal (Québec) H3B 1A2

Telephone : (514) 398-9322

Fax: (514) 398-0767

email :

website :

Period covered by this grant : from 1 April 2010 to 31 March 2011

Amound requested : $20,000

Mandate and Main Objectives
Skol is a non-profit artist centre devoted mainly to the dissemination of the work of
emerging artists. Occasionally, the centre will invite more experienced artists whose
exploratory or experimental productions contribute to the development of theoretical
discourse and practice.

Skol is a place of potential, exchange, and learning that is open to the participation of art
professionals. It fosters and encourages trust, autonomy, experimentation, and risk-
taking while providing a flexible framework for initiating and supporting pilot projects.
Governed by a minimal set of policies, the centre is structured by its traditions, its
mission, its shared values, and by the continued contributions of its users, including
artists, visitors, volunteers, and students. The centre founds its stability on its openness
to renewal rather than on any particular disciplinary or socio-political orientation.

Focused on contemporary art, the Skol community of active members serves as a
resource for the professionalization of emerging artists and for members seeking to
connect with new, interdisciplinary practices, its methods and theoretical perspectives.

Brief History

1986: Official incorporation by then coordinators Myriam Merette and Marie-France
Beaudoin. Xcétéras, an association of anglophone writers had opened the gallery space
in 1984, inspired by OBORO located in the same building.

1988: Joins the RCAAQ and begins paying exhibition rights to artists.

1996-1997: Under the directorship of Sylvie Cotton, special programming entirely
devoted to installation practice. Publication of L’installation. Pistes et territoires, an
exhaustive work on installational practice in Quebec from 1975 to 1995, edited by Sylvie
Cotton and Anne Bérubé.

2000-2001: Under the directorship of Daniel Roy, Les commensaux, a year devoted to
new forms of intervention art; publication of Les commensaux: Quand l’art se fait
circonstances / When Art Becomes Circumstance, a first in-depth look at ―relational‖
practices in Canada, edited by Anne-Marie Ninacs and Patrice Loubier; launch of an
educational program addressing college and university art students.

2002: Under the leadership of Adriana de Oliveira, launch of an educational program
addressing a public unfamiliar with contemporary art.

2005: Under the co-coordination of Anne Bertrand and Louis Fortier, rekindling of shared
leaderhip and participatory structure; integration of Benoit Pontbriand, web and IT
specialist to the regular staff. First year of a 3-year SKOL/CEDA partnership, a co-
creation project with adults in a literacy program at the Centre d’éducation des adultes
de la Petite-Bourgone et de St-Henri, funded by the City of Montreal; in August,
inaugural meeting of Viva! art action, an international performance art festival, in
collaboration with five artist centres in the Montreal region.

2006-2007 : Under the co-coordination of Anne Bertrand and Louis Fortier, special
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programming titled Faire comme si tout allait bien — As If All Were Well —, focusing on
collaborative actions examining cynicism and inertia, including Viva! art action, held in

2008 : Publication of Faire comme si tout allait bien — As If All Were Well —, a special
issue of Livraison, a periodical published by Rhinocéros (Strasbourg) in partnership with
Skol, curated by Anne Bertrand, Stephen Wright and Hervé Roelants.
SOFI initiative increases support to HR and allows emergence of SKOOL - Don't Trust
Anyone Over 30, an experimental summer employment program for students.

2009 : integration of Adriana de Oliveira, art educator, to the regular staff of Skol.
Development of Apprendre/Learn sector. New website. Beginning of frequent meetings
of active members involved in determining the orientations of the centre : le Skollège.

Focused on experimentation, Skol serves as a resource for the professionalization of
emerging artists as well as for more established members seeking to connect and
exchange through regular meetings of our Skollège, an organisational-wide thinking

Ensuring daily operation and project management, Skol staff members presently

 Anne Bertrand, artist and artistic coordinator (35h/wk) ; employed full-time since
 Benoit Pontbriand, Webmaster and IT coordinator ; employed full-time since 2005 ;
 Adriana de Oliveira, art educator ; employed part-time since 2009, but previously on
 Other positions including curators, authors, installation technicians, bookkeeping and
  photographer are contractual.

Once a year the assembly of Skol members elects a board of directors. The 2009-2010
board is composed of:

 Pierre Robitaille, president, self-employed consultant, member since Sept. 2008
 Charlotte Panaccio-Letendre, treasurer, MFA student, member since June 2008
 Nathalie Bachand, secretary, Development Officer, Elektra, member since June 2008
 Suzanne Joos, artist, member since June 2008
 Luana Ann Church, administrator, Lawyer, LEMÉAC éditeur, member since
  September 2009
 Marianne Fortier-Landry, administrator, Chartered Accountant, member since
  September 2009
 Chris Lloyd, artist and worker, since september 2009

Geographic Location and Community Served
Skol resides on the 3rd floor of the Belgo Building in downtown Montreal. Frequented by
every kind of art-user and at the confluence of the Musée d’art contemporain and three
Montreal universities, the location brings the Centre close to its audiences, with
significant increases in use during large-scale public events and joint initiatives. The

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proximity of other contemporary art centres also allows us to share material and
promotional resources.
Much energy is dedicated to applying outreach strategies to promote our exhibition visits
amongst college and university students as well as community groups. The visits which
include the participation of the artists are designed by our art educator and enable active
participation in the process of investigating and discovering contemporary artistic

Facilities and Other Information
Skol’s programming in the gallery spaces is mainly based on projects received through
its annual call for submissions, although it is also open to the creative initiatives of its
active members, i.e., those who regularly take part in its various committees throughout
the year. Skol also supports off-site initiatives and special events. Such projects require
greater autonomy on the part of the artist in conceiving and producing the project,
including financing.

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Skol is structured to support the emergence of experimental projects led by artists and
other art professionals. Skol has a long tradition of off-site and intervention arts
programming, beginning with individual artists investing off-site locations in the 80’s,
followed by Les Commensaux, an entire programming year dedicated to relational art
practices (2000-2001), the Skol/CEDA partnership, a 3 year-long community arts project
involving Adriana de Oliveira, Skol’s art educator, artists, and a group of adults in a
literacy program (2005-2008), and finally, two editions of Viva! art action, an international
performance art event organized in collaboration with five artist-run centres in the
Montréal region (2006 and 2009). Conceptualized and facilitated by artist Karen Elaine
Spencer, Skol’s programming in the latest edition of Viva! focused on non-spectacular,
off-site practices. Her participation in this edition of Viva! brought a unique perspective to
the event, not only through her programming, but also via her subjective, yet content-rich
writings published daily on the Viva! blog (see slide 15 in visual documentation).

Skol’s resources typically focus on regular programming within the gallery space in
support of the continued, great demand and expectation for this type of art
dissemination. However, Skol wishes to maintain and develop its support to artists and
practitioners who share a desire to ―effect‖ the outside world via community arts projects
and interventions in the public realm. Because of the notoriety of our past activities in
this area, artists are gravitating to Skol looking for resonnance and support in these
challenging areas of new art practice.

This year (fall 2009 and spring 2010), Skol has integrated the off-site intervention and
furtive practices of two senior artists (Joceline Chabot and Denis Lessard) who had
initially applied to Viva! (not sure where else to apply?). This type of practice requires a
very different kind of support than that usually offered to artists who show in the gallery
space. Because of the challenges related to the dissemination, communication and
documention of this type of action, off-site programming requires a great deal of
negociation and conversations on the part of the artists as well as staff. These ongoing
conversations between Skol and the artists have spiked the interest of theorists Patrice
Loubier and Anne Bérubé who, because of their respective interests in performance and
furtive art practices, have since been invited to join the group meetings. Artist Karen
Elaine Spencer has also been included on the basis of her long experience and
autonomy as a practitioner, but also because of her recent positive and enriching
experiences at Skol. The group is completed by two staff : Adriana de Oliveira and Anne
Bertrand. A master’s level student, Pohana Pyne Feinberg, who is presently conducting
research on the documentation practices of community arts projects using the material
generated by the Skol/CEDA project, will also be invited. By means of the generative
potential of dialogue, and the great appeal of its perceived lightness, the group plans on
sharing its findings to Skol’s usership in the spring 2010.

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In the performance world the performance has been privileged above and beyond the
document (although the visual document has become a necessity re: funding, archives)

Our past and recent experiences with off-site practices have led to exploring ways of
bridging the divide between gallery and ―furtive‖ practices. Skol has consistently tried to
offer a site of connection between these two (often seen as contradictory) approaches.
As such, Skol has an invested interest in the ―how to communicate from within the
without‖ using both dialogue, images, and even trying to recreate the experience via
subjective, first person writings. It is understood by Skol that our research into off-site art
practices is constantly evolving and informed by what we do, what others are doing and
what our members consider important at the time.

How to communicate to an ―audience‖ an event or ―non‖ event that is structured to insert
itself unbidden and often inconspicuously into the realm of the everyday? Although this
is a question requiring as much reflection and consideration as the event/non-event
itself, often the artist and the gallery (or festival) falls into the tried and true formula of
photo or video. what would happen if Skol actually made a programming space (i.e. time and
money) available for the production of documentation with the stringent condition that
the documentation not be photo or video based and that the artist is open to working
within a team environment on this aspect?

Skol proposes to work intimately with up to five performance artists to challenge a
reliance on photo and video as a means of documentation. Skol will produce a call
targeting those artists who engage in furtive performances –and from this call, program
off-site furtive performances that the artist then engages in with the knowledge that a
non photo-based document or work referencing the performance will be communicated.

More specifically, Skol would like to pursue this exploration in the coming year (2010-
2011) by working with intervention artists to support/question/challenge the document
via their respective practices.

In light of this problematic, Skol proposes to create a programming structure that works
with the artists, looking to the performances themselves, teasing out the values
underlying the work, to then explore a means of communication that does not betray or
interfere with the very nature of the performance itself.

(It is the feeling that something really nice was STARTING to happen with the Skol viva!
artists as a group (Irene Izquierdo, Joshua Schwebel, Jennifer Bélanger and Birte
Endrejat, Karen Elaine Spencer, facilitator). Karen Elaine Spencer would like to pursue
and develop a strategy consisting of facilitating exchanges between artists, but also

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open the group to include skol staff AND an audience (whether that audience be an "art"
audience or not).

Learning from our recent experiences - it is impossible to work on documentation without
having the performance itself as the starting point- so that an equal emphasis is given to
both concerns.

The colloque team made up of Denis Lessard, Joceline Chabot, Patrice Loubier, Anne
Bérubé, Karen Elaine Spencer, Adriana de Oliveira, Anne Bertrand, and Pohanna Pyne
Feinberg could be maintained as a team that works with the artists over the year of
programming. The team would be structured to work both one on one with the artists, or
as a group facilitator within a framework of fluctuating pairings to function as a resource
and point of anchorage for the artists.

This support would cover expenses for :

a) one day retreat for the colloque team to brainstorm, raise questions, and develop
strategies of presentation for the colloque.

b) the colloque, as well as launching and inviting an audience into the questions,
problems and values, of the document will also function as the starting point to creating
an initial ―call‖ for performance artists who engage in off-site work who wish to develop
strategies of communication.

c) call launched

d) artists selected and year-long programming begins

e) Accompany the artists as they go through their performance/intervention, but not to
intervene or judge or comment, but to have a sense of knowing the work through
actually being informed in the process as the performance evolves so when the time
comes for Skol to become more active in facilitating the document creation Skol will
have a fairly good idea of what the performance was and what it entailed.

f) workshop (a facilitated approach where a key element is the artists themselves taking
each other into their respective works) conversations

g) creation of ―documents‖

h) presentation/communication of findings arising from the combination of
performances/conversations/workshop/and a dissemination of the performance
documents in whichever form these may take.

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Skol is committed to paying copyright fees to all professional artists who are included in
our regular and special programming using the CARFAC fee schedule as a reference.
Skol is also committed to providing employment possibilities to professional artists who
have acquired and perfected skills adatped to the specific requirements and culture of
the artist-run centre dedicated to the evolving methods and ideas of new art practice.

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Exhibition fees :

 Speaker’s fee (including abstract)                                             300 $
 Artist talk                                                                    150 $
 Curator’s fee                                                                1,500 $
 Writer’s fee (per 250 words)                                                    75 $
 Residence fee                                                                    s/o
 Performance fee :
    Solo                                                                      1200 $
    Group                                                     1200 $/number of artists
 Other fees (specify) :
                         Programming committee fee                     300 $/member

 Presentation fees :
   Film & video                                                                  50 $
   Internet                                                                     280$
 Reproduction rights                                                          25$/use
 Exhibition Rights:
   Solo                                                                       1,700 $
   Duo                                                                          850 $
   3 to 4 artists                                                               567 $
                                                                1 700 $/number of
   Group                                                              artists
   Senior artist                                                               30 $/hr
   Emerging artist                                                             20 $/hr

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10.5    Artist’s name              Title                             Brief description         Date

01      Massimo Guerrera            Porus                            Durational off-site       2001
02      CRUM                        Petite enveloppe urbaine No. 6   Circulation of artists’   2001
                                    – Les parcs de quartier          book-periodical
03      SYN – Luc Lévesque          Hypothèses d’amarrage            Urban Infiltration        2001
        & Jean-François
04      Doyon/Demers ;              Citoyen volontaire               Colloquium in             2003
        Cotton, S.; Jacob, L.                                        collaboration with
        ; et al.                                                     ESSE, arts et opinion
05      Deva Eveland                Expedition to Unknown Regions    Blind, on-site            2006
                                    (Nowhere in Particular)          durational
06      Sylvain, C. ; de            L’oeuvre et la main-d’oeuvre     Community co-             2006
        Oliveira, A. ; Allaire,                                      creation photo-based
        G. ; et al.                                                  project with a group
                                                                     of adults in literacy
07      Idem                        Documentation : L’oeuvre et la   Community co-             2006
                                    main d’oeuvre                    creation project
                                                                     exhibition at Skol
08      Viva! art action                                             Off-site, collaborative   2006
        Yoyoyogasmana                                                performance event
09      Viva! art action Vida                                        Off-site durational       2006
        Simon                                                        performance
10      Viva! art action –          Documentation                    On-site, post Viva!       2006
        Patric Lacasse &                                             documentation
        Alexis Bellavance                                            exhibition at Skol
11      Sayeh Sarfaraz              Translating/traduction           Live, performative        2007
                                                                     documentation of off-
                                                                     site book launch
12      Brault, C. ; Germain,       Tout beigne                      Co-created public         2008
        N. ; de Oliveira, A. ;                                       action with a group of
        et al.                                                       adults in literacy
13      Viva! art action            Absurd Hiding                    Off-site public           2009
        Irene Izquierdo                                              intervention
                                                                     documention in the
14      Viva! art action                                             Off-site public           2009
        Joshua Schwebel                                              intervention
15      Viva! art action            Finish what you Start            Blog posting of public
                                                                     intervention and
        Jennifer Bélanger                                            related gallery
                                                                     exhibition by Karen

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