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Chantal Pontbriand

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Published on Mar 12, 2013

Chantal Pontbriand
2013 Laureate, Governor General's Awards in Visual and Media Arts

Directed by Lysanne Thibodeau (Montréal)
Presentation of the Canada Council for the Arts and the Independent Media Arts Alliance
Co-production of the Canada Council for the Arts and Prim

For more information, visit: www.canadacouncil.ca
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Translation of video - Chantal Pontbriand


White text on black background:

Chantal Pontbriand, founder and director of the contemporary art magazine Parachute,
has been a professional art critic and curator since 1975.
Early on, she became interested in globalization and cultural hybrids,
and produced numerous major contemporary art events
that brought together Canadian and international artists,
including the Festival International de la Nouvelle Dance (FIND).

She is in involved in publishing and programming video,
performance, dance, music and seminars,
as well as in research and experimentation
with new modes of exhibition and presentation.

In 2013, she received the Governor General's Award
for her exceptional contribution to the visual and media arts.

Narrative text:

What I find fascinating is the notion of difference. Difference is what makes culture. In all of my activities -- exhibitions, events, writing -- I am searching for ways to understand and elucidate this idea of difference.

This search for meaning, this striving to make sense of things, is my passion as a live curator. That seems to have become the name I've been given over the years, and I think that it is an apt description of the way I take an interest in life, and how I'm interested in life through culture.

At the heart of my work is the question of hospitality. What I mean by this is the idea of welcoming the other. Welcoming difference, expanding borders -- both artistic and geopolitical -- is very important. And so I've always worked on a global scale, trying to create interfaces between the local and the global, precisely so that I can show the differences.

In reality, I've realized that the crux of my work is essentially the practice of knowledge or knowledges (or what we call in English knowledge production, or even knowledge management), since in all the adventures I've enjoyed via institutions -- Parachute, the dance festival -- I've gained expertise in strategic development that can be useful for any new contemporary art organizations emerging around the world today.

For me, the institution is extremely important. It's a place that assembles, a place that makes it possible to share and develop. In fact, an institution should be a permanent laboratory of life ... a construction site in perpetual evolution.

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