May 26, 2022

[THANK YOU] A Reflection on ‘In the Middle, a Chimera’

When Bart first pitched to me the idea of organizing Milieux’s year-end exhibition, I immediately knew I wanted to do something a lot bigger than just a show. I was inspired by the final edition of the Montreal Biennale, Le Grand Balcon, and its sprawling programming that extended across the city, all amassing around the centrifugal force of the core themes of Genet’s titular play. 

I was also interested in maëlstrom-like pulls, and for In the Middle, a Chimera, it was the whirlwind eye of capitalism that I wanted to confront. My proposal was to consider how to redirect technologies developed under the veil of capitalism away from its accelerationist leanings and towards more communitarian ends. I wanted to incorporate this in the curation, with a more horizontal approach to selection, as well as in our collaborations with outside spaces and institutions, focussing on mutual exchange and developing long-term relationships instead of one-off happenings. 

The result has been four weeks of programming, with four participating spaces and over 70 presenters, featuring performance art presentations, a book launch, workshops, an inaugural work presentation, two major exhibitions and a symposium. I have been moved and amazed by everyone’s generosity, gratitude, and the unsurpassable calibre of their work; the result has surpassed the dream in every way imaginable. 

I’d like to begin by thanking all the presenting artists and researchers; you are the content, and without you the shape is hollow: Theresa Arriola, Tatiana Koroleva, Anissa Boukili, Danielle Douez, Somaye Farhan, Goldjian/Anne Goldenberg, Myro Le Ber Assiani, Eliza Mcfarlane, c t p, Chris Salter, Sofian Audry, jacqueline beaumont, Diyar Mayil, Ojo Agi, Timothy Thomasson, Mark Igloliorte, Philippe Vandal, Bureau of Non-Competitive Research (Victoria Stanton & Stacey Cann), Nuria Alvarez Coll, Dana Dugan, Tricia Enns, Nora Gibson, Quinlan Green, Max Hunter, Idun Isdrake, Sue Proctor, Anna Vigeland, April White, Alex Custodio, Michael Iantorno, Ali Kenefick, Hanine El Mir, Melina Campos Ortiz, Kregg Hetherington, Rythâ Kesselring, Miranda Smitheram, Alicia Turgeon, Mona Hedayati, Nat Torre, Angelica Calcagnile, Theodore Fox, Andrew Rochon, Maxime Gordon, Pierrick Uro, Isabelle Boucher, Janna Frenzel, Fenwick McKelvey, Robert Marinov, Don Undeen, Edith Viau, Christine White, Gabriel Vigliensoni, Ora4Art: Debora Alanna & Bora Bodur, Puneet Jain, Andrew Rabyniuk, Natalia Balska, Brice Ammar-Khodja, Maurice Jones, Patrick Seemann-Ricard, Marie-Christine Larivière, Anne Boutet, Audrey Coulombe, Vanessa Mardirossian, Etta Sandry, Megan Stein, Steven Sych, Scott DeJong, & lee wilkins.

Next, to all the participating spaces; you are the form, without you we there is no place of gathering- Loris Beavis and daphneDaniel Fiset and the Fondation PHIEastern Bloc and Alicia TurgeonNicolas Lapointe, and Malte Leander, and Anteism Books

I would like to next thank my exhibition assistant Ariana Seferiades for her terrific work, keen eye and dedication; to my colleagues Marc Beaulieu for his help in the curation and installation of the Milieux exhibition portion and workshop coordination, and Harry Smoak for guiding me through the bureaucratic loopholes of organizing and hosting a major event within the university; and to Bart Simon, who gave me free reign in bringing the project to life! 

Last and certainly not least, thank you to all of you who attended, visited and interacted with In the Middle, a Chimera; the project is brought to life by your presence, and remains in draft form without it!

Finally, I’d like to take this opportunity to let you all know that I’ll be leaving the Institute at the end of June, which in no way reflects my love and commitment to this project, but is propelled by a desire to explore new possibilities in New York! It’s been a huge honour to work for Milieux, and especially to work with you all. If you have any questions, you want to write me an email, or would like to collaborate in the future, I invite you to contact me at creaghan.stephanie@gmail.com : )

Love,

Stephanie Creaghan