Art Souterrain: underground art takes on a new meaning

Posted on February 15th, 2017 by .

Get ready for the most exciting night of the winter: Nuit Blanche! March 4, 2017 is Montréal’s all night cultural extravaganza, whereby art museums and galleries stay open until dawn to present incredible programming FOR FREE. Not only that, the night also marks the launch of Art Souterrain, the one and only underground art fair that lets you soak up culture in the warmth of Montréal’s Underground City.

Art Souterrain 2017 runs from March 4 to 26 around the theme of Play and Distraction. Artists from all over the world turned their attention to fun and games for this edition, and the results are exhibited in over a dozen sites underground and 10 extra satellite spaces all over the city’s core. So if you feel like a toasty warm wander through the Underground City, here are five works you won’t want to miss.


by Klaus Pichler, presented at Complexe Guy-Favreau

Austrian artist Klaus Pichler asks, who hasn’t had the desire to become someone else for a while? This powerful image is part of a series for which the artist photographed costume owners in character in their own homes. The series explores the idea of dressing up as a way of creating an alter ego and finding freedom.



by Laurent Perbos, presented at Gare Centrale

For Inflatabowl, French artist Laurent Perbos recuperated discarded leisure objects like inflatable beach toys and hijacked them into art. He thrills at the idea of repurposing everyday toys and transgressing their rules to offer viewers thoughts about dichotomies like pleasure vs. apprehension.


by Omar Victor Diop, presented at Complexe Guy-Favreau

Senegalese artist Omar Victor is known for his work at the intersection of photography and design, where he explores the codes of classic African portraiture in a new pop context. In his Diaspora series, he offers a journey through time by revealing a rarely told story about the role of Africans outside Africa.



by Jacqueline Van de Geer, presented at Place Bonaventure

Born in the Netherlands, Jacqueline Van de Geer brings play to 50 spectators at a time with this work, where people are invited to put on wireless headphones and get boogying. It’s quite an experience to dance to the same rhythm as others while being completely disconnected from the surrounding ambiance.


by Alice Wielinga, presented at Palais des Congrès de Montréal

While the Western media was following Kim Jong-Un’s steps during his missile test launches in 2013, Dutch artist Alice Wielenga was travelling through the North Korean interior. After this government-led tour of the country and its art, she created her own surreal images expressing the layers she wasn’t shown.


The Details

Art Souterrain 2017, March 4 to 26

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