Culture | Culture Briefs

On the road

Jack Kerouac and Vladimir Nabokov wrote about it. Bob Dylan sang its praises. David Lynch and Dennis Hopper made films in which it was central. Undeniably, the road and the sense of freedom it implies have captivated artists of all disciplines for years, and continue to do so today. Now, the road has again become the main focus in Road Runners, an exhibition hosted concurrently by VOX Contemporary Image Centre and the Cinématheque Québécoise.

Road Runners unites numerous works from across the multi-disciplinary genre of art that takes the road as its subject. In fact, the road often functions as more than a subject. It becomes a central character in the work, a living thing. By presenting these pieces together in one exhibition, the curators hope not only to draw out the road’s appeal and understand its attraction, but also to examine the ways in which the road functions in these different works of art, and to trace the trajectory of the artists’ fascination with it. The exhibition includes a series of photographs and documents on display at VOX, and also an ongoing film series at the Cinématheque Québécoise featuring works like Easy Rider, Journey to Italy, and Wild at Heart. For more information, visit cinematheque.qc.ca or voxphoto.com.

– Amelia Schonbek

Stretching the rules

If you go to see a performance by Montreal-based contemporary dance company Rubberbandance Group (RBDG), don’t expect to sit passively in your seat for the entire hour and a half that you’re there. Instead of merely taking in the performance going on in front of you, you will be called on to have a hand in shaping its trajectory. Dancer and choreographer Victor Quijada is committed to breaking down the boundaries between performers and spectators, and he involves his audience in every new work he creates. Quijada’s dancers might call out to the audience with a question, demanding an answer; at other moments, audience members will spontaneously begin to create the work’s score by stamping, clapping, whistling, and the like.

Seeing RBDG is truly an interdisciplinary experience. “Punto Ciego” (Blind Spot), the company’s latest work, blends audience participation not only with world-class dancing, but also with video and live audio recordings. If all this seems a bit overwhelming, that’s the point. Quijada wants to obscure the distinction between truth and fiction, to examine the way each individual views a collective reality, and to question whether that reality is in fact what it seems. Pushing the audience out of their comfort zone ensures that they’ll be asking these questions as they take in the activity that surrounds them. It promises to be an intensely interesting experience. To get tickets before they sell out, visit pda.qc.ca.

“Punto Ciego” runs from March 25 through April 11 at the Cinquieme Salle.

– AS


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