The Strength of Sleep
The Cohabitations of All the Living

11th Quebec City Biennial
February 23–April 28, 2024

The 11th edition of the Quebec City Biennial, curated by Marie Muracciole will take place from February 23 to April 28, 2024 under the theme The Strength of Sleep—The Cohabitations of All the Living.

This edition offers a unique perspective fueled by her experience. It promises an artistic journey that transcends geographic borders, exploring the interconnections between cultures while celebrating the richness of Quebec and Canada’s art scene and traditional hospitality. From internationally renowned artists to emerging talents, this biennial highlights the diversity and vitality of artistic creation, fostering a stimulating dialogue among European, local, and global influences.

Over the course of nine weeks, artists will showcase their work in 40 locations across Quebec, encompassing 15 galleries, 2 main exhibition venues, and 12 public art sites. The program will feature projects by 4 emerging curators, along with workshops, film screenings, and 8 artistic residencies.

About The Strength of Sleep—The Cohabitations of All the Living
The Quebec City Biennial draws its inspiration from the Canadian winter and the sleeping earth to focus on human sleep and the multiple nuances of the process of waking. Both sleep and the cold season are times of latency, transition, and pause, of suspended productivity, and of resistance against the exploitation of bodies and resources. These daily or seasonal alterations, where different species and their environments interconnect, provide the living with the opportunity for regeneration, as well as for listening, attention to self-knowledge, and interaction with other life forms. By liberating inner, uncontrolled, and sometimes crucial strengths, and by altering our reflexes and shifting our perceptions, sleep can change how we perceive the world.

Biological rhythms of activity and rest have a social and political history. Indeed, both the duration and structure of sleep have been governed by a succession of norms. In the industrial era, sleep, which imposes idleness, has been a hot political issue, as evidenced by capitalism’s efforts to enforce the reign of profit over “24/7”. Modernity wants the body to be “recycled” overnight. The contemporary world cultivates and exploits the ideology of sleep disorders. Meanwhile, the most dispossessed among us, in metropolises the world over, sleep outside.

The Biennial is organized into different exhibitions—moments of awakening meant to engage multiple levels of attention. The artistic processes involved can provoke astonishment, unforeseen experiences that trigger a rearrangement of our perceptions, our certainties, and the hierarchies that govern us. As visitors move through the exhibitions, they will encounter spaces of fertile retreat: projection rooms, bedrooms and beds where we abandon and find ourselves, houses and burrows where we take shelter and unite with others, hideaways and refuges where resistance and observations are born. Other matters for consideration include navigating the deep cold and the plant world’s extraordinary survival strategies.

Vigils, meditations, daydreams—these are forms of half-slumber that nourish our days and give us time to experience out-of-sync perceptions, discordant thoughts, and suspended judgments. The artists remind us that these moments are made of forces that allow us to grow into our ways of living and cohabiting on a planet of which we are not the owners and where we are not the only subjects.

Abbas Akhavan, Alexis Gros-Louis, Ali Eyal, Andy Warhol, Barbara Manzetti, Catarina Simão, Christine Rebet, Dawit L. Petros, Elodie Pong, Emily Wardill, Eveline Boulva, Felix Gonzales-Torres, Francis Alÿs, François Morelli, Joachim Koester et Stefan A. Pedersen, Jannick Deslauriers, Joseph Tisiga, Julie Picard, Jumana Manna, Kapwani Kiwanga, Laure Tixier,  Liz Magor, Marie-Claude Gendron, Magali Hébert-Huot, Mounira Al Solh, Moyra Davey, Nour Bishouty, Pascale Leblanc Lavigne, Paul Cox, Raqs Media Collective, Rodney Graham, Sarah F. Maloney, Suzanne Lafont, Tiffany Shaw, Tuumasi Kudluk, Xavier Le Roy, Yann Pocreau and Yto Barrada.

About Marie Muracciole
Marie Muracciole is an art critic, author, teacher, and independent curator who lives in Paris. From February 2014 to June 2019, she lived in Lebanon, where she was director of the Beirut Art Center (BAC). From 2005 to 2011, she was head of cultural programming at the Jeu de Paume in Paris. She is an external-tutor at the Malmö Art Academy, in Sweden.

About Manif d’art—The Quebec City Biennial
A staple of the Canadian art scene, 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. Since its first edition in the Fall of 2000, more than 50 cultural organizations have contributed in making this international festival a must. Year after year, Manif d’art’s program delights neophytes as well as visual art specialists.

Program for young curators presented by Loto-Québec.
Noémie Fortin with Angela Marsh, Anne-Marie Proulx, Maryse Goudreau, Richard Ibghy and Marilou Lemmens. Sarah Toung Ondo with Florencia Sosa Rey, Fanny H-Levy and Mai Bach-Ngoc Nguyen. Sevia Pellissier with Delphine Egesborg, Izabelle Desroches and Frédérique Laliberté. Virginie Brunet-Asselin with Alissa Bilodeau, Linda Swanson, Sonia Robertson, Jiwan Larouche and Amélie Proulx.

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