PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT PROJECT
Kama La Mackerel
Helena Martin Franco
Curator: Daniel Fiset
As a way to better distinguish the PHI Foundation’s role within the contemporary art ecosystems of Montréal, Québec, and Canada, we’ve often stated that, contrary to museums, the PHI Foundation does not have a collection. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth. Along with the steady presentation of exhibitions since 2007, we’ve amassed a tremendous amount of objects, reflections, ideas, and experiences that constitute a full-fledged collection. While it is partially accessible through the documentation of our activities, much of it remains hidden, immaterial, inaccessible, even invisible.
The accumulation of these traces brings to mind the primary element in Lee Bae’s work: charcoal. Derived from the combustion of another material, it is both the by-product of fire and its fuel.
In an effort to be more responsive to the present context—which has shaken an already precarious cultural milieu—and in keeping with our mandate of facilitating connections through art, the Foundation will invite four people to use its education room as a work space and to reactivate our archives through different interventions. The public will be able to gradually discover these projects during the four months of the exhibition Lee Bae: UNION.
Marjolaine Bourdua is a Montréal-based artist and cultural worker. Through sculpture, she examines the inherent tensions of popular culture by investing in its forms and materials. Her practice has developed around concepts of production and circulation of the signs that constitute our present-day ruins. Bourdua holds a BFA from UQAM and a graduate degree from Villa Arson in France. She is involved in Montréal’s cultural milieu, notably as a cultural mediator and member of Centre CLARK.
Emma Haraké’s teaching, research, and creative practice move within a framework of public and critical pedagogy. Born and raised in Beirut and living in Montréal (Tio’tià:ke), Emma holds a Master’s in Art Education from Concordia University and a BFA from the Lebanese University. Her work focuses on oral history, memory work, personal narratives, and the complexities of collaborative processes. Emma is currently developing Mumtalakat, an outreach project at the Leonard and Bina Ellen Gallery exploring meanings embedded in personal objects of Arabic-speaking Montrealers. She is also the Coordinator and Community Facilitator of Concordia’s Centre for Oral History and Digital Storytelling.
Kama La Mackerel is a Montréal-based Mauritian-Canadian multidisciplinary artist, educator, writer, community-arts facilitator and literary translator who works within and across performance, photography, installations, textiles, digital art and literature. Kama’s work is grounded in the exploration of justice, love, healing, decoloniality, hybridity, cosmopolitanism and self- and collective-empowerment. They believe that aesthetic practices have the power to build resilience and act as resistance to the status quo, thereby enacting an anticolonial praxis through cultural production. Kama has exhibited and performed their work internationally and their writing in English, French and Mauritian Kreol has appeared in publications both online and in print.
Helena Martin Franco was born in Columbia and has lived and worked in Tio’tià:ke/Montréal since 1998. Her interdisciplinary practice explores the union of different artistic processes and the hybridization of traditional techniques and new technologies. She creates auto-fictions that examine the permeability and boundaries between cultural, national, and gender identities. Her work is part of the dialogue on sexual violence, immigration, and art censorship. Working from a feminist perspective, she builds relationships between collectives and cultural organizations that foster the meeting and exchange of artistic practices, namely between Canada and Columbia.