Special event

For the first time in Canada, an International collaborative installation of cultural curators offering opportunities for collective reflection.

The PHI_portal is an immersive public art installation and long-term participatory initiative (from July 2020 to May 2021) that brings the Montreal public face-to-face with communities from 50 cities across time and space – from Berlin, Milwaukee, Bamako to Gaza. In partnership with Shared_Studios, The PHI_portal is embedded in a network of varying geopolitical realities that facilitate the emergence of a third space.

Through immersive live-stream technology, the experience of entering the PHI_portal is akin to sharing the same physical space as someone on the mirrored side of the screen engaging the entire body and corporal language. It is now, more than ever, the medium for them to transcend borders while taking part in powerful artistic encounters, critical cultural exchange and cross border workshops.

Web Series

Although PHI was forced to close its doors to the public due to health measures last fall, the PHI_portal remained very active. For a second season of activities, the portal played its role as a receptacle for intimate exchanges between artists, maintaining a comforting and constructive dialogue within creative communities well beyond borders.

The Artists are Present series of interviews explores the approach and initiatives of local talents seeking sustainable artistic development in their communities. Directly linked to the activities taking place in the PHI_portal, these artists advocate for greater involvement and innovation in their respective spheres.

Check out all the video interviews in our series playlist.

Video installation
Available online

In collaboration with Shared_Studios, we invited the curators of the 18 portals located around the world to collaborate during the first wave of COVID-19 in a collective short film. Discovering their documented environments with all available digital cameras, we are invited to go to the other side of the portal through personal testimonials and performances.

Montreal x Erbil | Berlin
Performance and artistic encounter

Commissioned by Yves Sheriff, the given connexions bring together local and international artists of all ages. They explore the physical relationship with others through unexpected encounters. Using each their own language, guests meander through their artistic practice to nourish a reflection on as many questions as the intimacy within the distance, the very essence of the performance, the role of the performer as well as his relationship with the public.

Guests: Adam Kinner, saxophonist and performance artist; François Blouin, theatre director, filmmaker and performer. Leonard Roy, child prodigy of acrobatics and juggling. 

Montreal x Mexico | Ede | Berlin
Experimental performance

Within the four walls of the portal, two strangers are guided by a coded algorithm to generate action-reaction choreographies between participants. This series examines the possibilities of human intimacy through the intervention of technology and code. Personal anecdotal gestures are transformed into choreographies between a human- human- machine interaction.

Guest: Andrea Peña, choreographer.

Montreal x Mexico
Listening sessions

Throughout this fall, emerging musical artists will be paired across distance for a performative exchange in the portal. Sharing experiences and feedback as artists will be at the heart of these connections, providing them with inspiration and motivation to sharpen their talents and pursue their musical career.

Guests: XLoww, music producer and singer/songwriter; Montrealways, R&B artist.

Montreal x Bamako
Workshops and discussions

PHI opens a dialogue at the intersection of artificial intelligence, artistic production and ethics through hands-on technical workshops and critical conversations. Local and international technologists, critics and emerging artists  are invited to present their approach to students  from Kabakoo Academies in Bamako.

Guests: Moises Horta Valenzuela, electronic musician and creative technologist; Suzanne Kite, performance artist, visual artist, and composer; Rouzbeh Shadpey, sound and transdisciplinary artist.

Montreal x Berlin | Herat
Research Creation by Bettina Szabo

Cuña is a contemporary dance project combining dance, video-mapping and live music. The central theme of the work is internalized misogyny: sexist behaviours and attitudes enacted by women toward themselves or other women.

Guest: Bettina Szabo, director, choreographer and dancer.

Montreal (Tio’tia: ke) x Mooniyang | Milwaukee
Workshops and discussions

Starting in November,  Cultivating Care is a series lead by Nènè Myriam Konaté of cross-border exchanges through which artists, arts administrators, and cultural practitioners are invited to partake in intimate conversations that lie at the intersection of art and community organizing.

Montreal x Bamako | Kigali
Discussions on contemporary diasporas

Presented by The Clap Back and the PHI Foundation for Contemporary Art, (Be)Longing is a series of international conversations. You are invited to participate in these intimate exchanges around modern diasporas, exploring the multiple ways in which displacement and identity shape our understandings of language, proximity and (in)visibility.

Montreal x Berlin
Choreographic workshop

Through a combination of two of AP&A's creations (Andrea Peña), an interactive experience comes to life through the portal. It will focus on the creation of a choreographic system to guide the interactions and improvisations of two people who connect through the portal. The encounters are guided by dancers/performers from AP&A in Montreal, and can be experienced either with other dancers in Berlin or with members of the public.

BLACK ON BOTH SIDES: Cultural Exchange with Rito Joseph
Montreal x Milwaukee
Workshops and discussions

Based around knowledge sharing, Rito Joseph facilitates a series of connections about the history of Black Canadians in Montreal. It will allow him the liberty of inviting certain artists.

Montreal x Milwaukee
Listening session

After a first exchange on July 23rd with producer and songwriter Kamino, Montreal’s NBS Studio listening sessions will continue in August.

Montreal x Milwaukee
Public reading

Lewis Lee, music producer and curator of the Milwaukee portal, is an advocate for social justice. Reading chapters from his memoir Lewis & Laverne in 20- to 30-minute sessions, he invites the public to an intimate one on one connection followed by a 15-minute discussion.

Nènè Myriam Konaté

Nènè Myriam Konaté is a transdiciplinary artist, founder of The Clap Back, a dialogue-based space that facilitates the emergence of transdisciplinary experiences and a co-founder of Collective Culture, a platform highlighting the voices of Black, Indigenous and People of Colour. As a curator participating in the programming of the portal, they will facilitate fruitful exchanges between communities through art.

Lucas Larochelle

Lucas LaRochelle is a multidisciplinary designer, artist and researcher whose work is concerned with queer geographies, critical internet studies, and community-based archiving. They are the founder of Queering The Map, a community generated counter-mapping project that digitally archives queer experience in relation to physical space.

Yves Sheriff

Born in Bolivia, Yves Sheriff is a multidisciplinary artist who has worked as a programming assistant, moderator and creation consultant for various festivals and circus companies around the world.
Now established as an independent curator, he has directed Les Projets du 3e since 2014, a laboratory for emerging choreographers at Usine C and has set up a contemporary circus investigation group at Théâtre La Chapelle. He is a founding member of the publication Turba: The Journal for Global Practices on Live Art Curation.

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