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Manif d'art 10 - Quebec City Biennial Illusions Are Real

February 19, 2022 to April 24, 2022

Manif d’art presents the tenth edition of its flagship event, the Quebec City Biennial. The guest curator Steven Matijcio, Director at the Blaffer Art Museum in Houston (Texas), will question the ties between art and it's mirages under the theme Illusions Are Real.

For the occasion, Steven Matijcio willbring together artists from around the world in order to reflect collectively on the concept of illusion through engaging practices. In order to do so, he's teaming up with Claude Bélanger, General and Artistic Director at Manif d'art, Bernard Lamarche, Curator of Contemporary Art at the MNBAQ, and Michelle Drapeau, Assistant Curator of the Biennial for a second term.

At the Heart of the Theme : Magic Realism

The theme of Manif d'art 10 is inspired by Magic Realism, an artistic movement seeking the spontaneous manifestation of seemingly magical, supernatural or irrational elements that arise in the realm of reality. The biennial will be an opportunity to explore artistic practices making use of the trompe-l’oeil, strategies of misdirection and sleight of hand as vehicles.

This reflection on illusions will also reassess many sociopolitical issues steeped in our reality. By defamiliarizing the everyday, the selected artworks will highlight and reveal the illusory mechanisms invading our contemporary world, from artificial flavours to misinformation campaigns.

“We’ve always had this hierarchy where reality was seen as somehow superior to illusion. The distinction doesn’t seem as clear now. In a society which welcomes artifice with open arms, where we give in to the wonderment and pleasure of being constantly deceived and misdirected, what are the political ramifications? The curatorial proposal is twofold : the works of the biennial will unveil the workings of illusion from a critical perspective, just as they will revel in the magic that these illusions can inspire in our everyday lives.“

- Steven Matijcio, Curator of Manif d’art 10


Steven Matijcio

Steven Matijcio has been the Director and Chief Curator of the Blaffer Art Museum at the University of Houston since 2019. Before that, he was the head of the curatorial department at the Contemporary Arts Center in Cincinnati since 2013. 

Manif d’art

Manif d’art — The Quebec City Biennial is the only winter biennial in North America. The event presents the work of over 100 local, national and international artists. Besides its many exhibitions, the event offers a plethora of activities based on its global theme renewed for every iteration. Manif d’art has been collaborating with the MNBAQ since Manif d’art 8 — The Quebec City Biennial (2017).