Photo – Sound

Exhibition presented as part of festival Art Souterrain 2019.

February 28th – Avril 6th 2019

Opening February 28th, 5:30pm

Project description

Valérian Mazataud is a journalist, photographer and artist deeply invested in exploring new strategies to engage the viewer in this age of media. Since July 2018, he has been working on Grand Nord, a project based on photography workshops offered to residents of Montréal-Nord.

During these workshops, retirees, adults and teenagers invited to revisit photo archives from their neighborhood discovered a rich image-based popular history: from community celebrations to romantic trysts; from turnip fields to shopping centres; from the village of Sainte-Gertrude in the 1940s to refugees from the Haitian earthquake of 2010. Through their aesthetic choices, research, role-playing, and collaborative work with the artist, workshop participants recreated these scenes to produce new images based on their own local history.

Mazataud’s work embodies a reflection on documentary approaches in photography, and the relative nature of their objectivity. Having been struck by the strength of the social bond in Montréal-Nord, he committed himself to a collaborative process with members of the community. At Skol, he is presenting the photo series and sound recordings that emerged from these workshops.


True or False: theme of Art Souterrain Festival 2019

As our society and behaviours become digitized, access to information has never been easier to obtain, and it is becoming increasingly difficult to discern true from false. The multiplication of digital media, democratization of journalism, development of new media digital tools for modifying reality… The hegemony of the Internet pushes us to endlessly question things which at first glance appear to be real or true. Social networks encourage their users to forge individual mythologies, to cultivate images of themselves that are as close as possible to perfection, thereby provoking envy and jealousy.

At a time when we are afforded the opportunity to discern what is real and what is fake, the lines between fiction and reality are blurred. Rather than oppose the trend, artists actively engage in this game with reality. Is art not, essentially, an illusion of the real? It is represented differently by each and every one of us, through denying or questioning it. Do artists have to tell the “truth”? “Truth” is both universal and subjective. It comes from what is natural, what we all recognize as authentic, and what we personally feel and perceive. “False” refers to anything that transgresses what is real. This transgression can occur in various ways, including for artistic reasons, by moving art away from faithful representations of reality; through policies, via the use of propaganda; via humour, by trumping what’s real to surprise the viewer; through revelations, by lying to reveal the truth; or even for commercial reasons, involving manipulating others for financial gain.

Text : Claire Denèle for Art Souterrain Festival 2019.








Maison culturelle et communautaire de Montréal-Nord




Valérian Mazataud would like to thank :

Ma première expérience de travail des Fouchettes de l’Espoir : Adlise, Sarola, Ashley, Kenny, Skarina, Diego, Djekeson, Naykémia, Toufic, Marie-Josée, Lesthania, Ines, Neïla, Jamila, Cristina, Zakaria, Raphaël, Laurie, Alexya, Kate, Alicia, Marthe, Shawn, Marhie, Gustavo, Kayci, Sarah, Joshua, Queency, Ilyas, Douâa, Vaneika, Melissa, Christopher, Malik, Woodsam, Dayana, Louise, Suzie, Steeve, Mohssine, Betchira, Layla, Tanycha, Adjanie.

Départ@9 du Carrefour jeunesse-emploi Bourassa-Sauvé : Francis Proulx et Pasha Bahmani-Blain.

Centre Louis Frechette : Jennifer, Yoandra, Dilcia, Oriana, Marcelo, Maria, Marilena, Reem, Carla, Lisbeth, Mamadou, Abel, Emel, Gunel, Ibtissame, Nour, Meisy, Erlinda, Liza, Rolando, Fathima, Ali, Fernando, Karla, Malika.