press release

19. Februar – 24. April 2022

Manif d’art 10 – The Quebec City Biennial
"Illusions Are Real"

34 locations in Québec, Canada

Finally back after an year’s delay, the 10th edition of Manif d'art – The Québec City Biennial, produced in collaboration with the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec (MNBAQ), will take place from February 19 to April 24, 2022, in 34 locations across Quebec City.

The theme of the event is Illusions are Real. Approximately 100 international, Canadian and Quebecois artists will present their trompe-l’oeil works, sleight-of-hand tricks, and diversion tactics in exhibitions that will stun and surprise. Over the nine weeks of the event, multiple indoor and outdoor locations will provide settings for dozens of works, each proposing a unique artistic practice.

The works gathered under Illusions are Real by guest curator Steven Matijcio, Director and Chief Curator of the Blaffer Art Museum at the University of Houston, pull the curtain back on illusions and magic, not to mention our everyday lives and political realities. Visitors will be captivated by fascinating activities and exhibitions, and by the apparently magical, supernatural, and irrational aspects of many never-before-seen works.

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’œil, 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," says Steven Matijcio, Curator of Manif d'art 10.