Bang Centre fulfils a mission to provide artists with a context, tools and the necessary technical support to encourage experimentation and creativity. It is through its environment involving two main spaces translating into close to 1900 square metres (20 000 square feet) that Bang has become a genuine « milieu de vie », granting resources to professional artists and to the Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean community.
• Six exhibition halls
• Two studios
• Five artists' residencies
• Point de Suspension, a specialized bookstore
• A documentation centre
• A studio for video editing
• A large array of equipment for production and promotion
• Rental spaces for artists
The production residencies can be joined to a creation residency or not; they can develop around a production project with the intention of presenting it publicly. The time allocated to the project can vary and adapt to the nature of the work. To suit his needs, the artist can condense the residency into a specific timeline or break it down into shorter periods of time. The residencies can also include a mentoring agenda, allowing the artist to expand the boundaries of his reflection or to strengthen his practice.
Considering that a critical discourse on art and its specific problematics is essential to the development and to the evolution of current and future practices, writers are invited to submit a personal writing project. It can be linked to the work of one or many artists presented by the centre or focus on a larger issue. Bang wishes to include these projects in an annual publication and to integrate them to its publication programme on various media (print, digital and video).
• Video projection on large screens
• Occupation of public or commercial spaces
• Promotion of art work expressly created for the web and various mobile platforms
• Experimentation with video mapping and sound installations in order to inhabit the public space
The goal is for Bang to attain an optimal dimension allowing it to cover a larger spectrum of the practices in art today. All adapt their work towards the recognition of the expertise developed by artist-run centres. All focus on encouraging dialogue and the sharing of knowledge and expertise between artists, cultural workers and business and academic communities by establishing innovative collaborations.
Bang Centre seeks to position art and artists as beacons illustrating society's evolution by offering a critical and constructive perspective on the present day's various issues.
In order to do so, our vision relies on freedom of speech, on accessibility to art and to culture, on the necessity for a society to recognize and respect the importance of the work of artists by putting forth and maintaining a social and economical framework that supports its flourishing.
Its team and members wish for Bang to further contribute to making the Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean region a leader and a fundamental contributor to the digital art culture in Quebec.
In the fall of 1997, it acquired a 12 000 square feet, three-story building located in downtown Chicoutimi. A first phase of renovation allowed the centre to provide artists with spaces allotted to producing and promoting their work while developing partnerships with various entities, including the University of Quebec in Chicoutimi (UQAC). In 2008, a second phase of renovation resulted in the inauguration of Espace Michael Snow. [Séquence] also developed a residency programme which acts as an exceptional opportunity for cultural mediation, thanks to its geographical location. Since 2001, [Séquence] produces TraficART, a biennial event that provides very important input in Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean for the expansion of an audience for contemporary practices in art.
The Centre turned 30 in 2013, acting as a laboratory for research, experimentation, production and promotion in the fields of visual, digital and media arts for over three decades.
In early 2012 began a thought process regarding the integration of Espace Virtuel while considering the history of both organizations and their respective areas of expertise.
Bang Centre was inaugurated on October 17th, 2013.
Espace Virtuel was created 57 years ago, making it one of the first artist-run centres in Canada. Founded in 1958, the organization, then called Le Cercle des arts de Saguenay, already aimed towards supporting artists and promoting their work. In 1966, Le Cercle des Arts became La Société des arts de Chicoutimi. Twenty years later, in 1986, its name changed to Espace Virtuel and it joined the Regroupement des centres d’artistes autogérés du Québec (RCAAQ).
In over fifty years, the organization sailed through many stormy seas. Thanks to its members’ dedication, it was able to overcome organizational and artistic issues. Since then, it has been playing a crucial part in the expansion of art now in its region as well as on a national level.
Espace Virtuel is now located within the walls of the Chicoutimi CEGEP. It is devoted to promoting art now and stands as the first artist-run centre within the national network to set up a bookstore solely dedicated to promoting and sharing art now publications. It also produces Art Nomade, a performance art event.
[Séquence] was born from la Galerie de l’Arche (Jonquière, 1975). Founded in 1983, it is one of the first multidisciplinary artist-run centres in Quebec.
Bang grants significant importance to the consideration of the vocational integration aspect of emerging artists’ project proposals, in order to further their professional growth and facilitate their integration to associative life and to the Quebec art now environment.
Bang’s artistic perspective is centred around the interconnection between artistic practices, which increasingly embody the concepts of interdisciplinarity, multidisciplinarity and transdisciplinarity.
Bang Centre is an important economic actor in regional development whose efforts contribute to the recognition of the expertise put forth by artist-run centres.
Bang Centre advocates the necessity for art and artists’ significance to society by supporting Quebecois, Canadian and international artists in their practice in visual and digital arts. Its spaces dedicated to production and promotion present various exhibitions, residencies and cultural mediation activities.
Artistic projects endorsed by Bang shine a critical yet constructive light on our time’s challenges. Generating new knowledge, innovating and sharing experience and expertise amongst members of the cultural and artistic community are key priorities for the Centre.
Bang’s artistic direction values revitalization of creative languages, sensibility in the artist’s discourse and innovative approaches.
While certain practices in digital arts explore dematerialization, without excluding it, we give priority to projects which comply with the piece’s materiality. Our programme is developed in order to support well-established artists as well as up-and-coming creators from our region, Quebec, Canada or abroad.
EXHIBITIONS (SOLO AND COLLECTIVE)
Solo and collective exhibitions – as well as various platforms for promotion allow for presenting artistic work in a professional setting. Artists are also provided with all the logistical and technical support necessary to the space layout of the pieces in order to display them to an audience. The centre is also responsible for promoting the events, in accordance with its communications plan.
Bang wishes to collaborate with independent curators willing to submit projects that complete or concur with its regular programme. The centre seeks to establish a constructive dialogue with art now gallery managers in order to create a bridge so that they can exchange with artists.
The creation residencies provide artists with a time and a place solely allotted to reflection, exploration, experimentation and development of expertise. Condensed into a specific timeline or broken down into shorter periods of time, according to the artist’s needs, these residencies focus on research and don’t necessarily result in actual art pieces to present. They can also include a mentoring agenda, allowing the artist to expand the boundaries of his reflection or to strengthen his practice.
Participatory management implies the contribution of active members to the centre's vitality. The committees act as work structures responsible for reflecting and researching in order to come up with recommendations. They allow administrators to make important decisions regarding the centre's development within a reasonable timeframe by providing coherent and thoughtful input. The committee meetings create a space that encourages learning and stimulates cohesion within the members, while contributing to sparking a sense of belonging :
• Programme committee : the artistic coordinator, collaborating with
the general director and three active members.
• Projects committee : a staff member and two other active members
• Events committee : a staff member and two other active members
• Communications committee : a staff member and two other active
• Infrastructure committee : the general director and two other active
• Finance committee : the treasurer, the director general and an
• Documentation centre and archives committee : the secretary and
two other active members
• Bookstore committee : a staff member and two other active members
• Mediation committee : a staff member and two other active members
As part of an NPO and an artist-run centre, members play an important part in the well-being of the organization. Having the opportunity of being elected as administrators, members are also responsible for sharing Bang's mission and its activities by adopting an attitude which carries out the organization's objectives.
Services to the members :
• 10% off any purchase from the Point de Suspension bookstore
• The right to vote in the general assembly when the
membership fees have been honoured
• Affordable options for rental spaces or material : office spaces,
studios for temporary projects, etc.
• Access to a well-supplied art documentation centre and to a
communications billboard linked to other artist-run centres and
galleries in Quebec. Recent publications and periodicals in
contemporary art : Zone Occupée, Art Sabord, Parachute, Etc.,
Montréal, Inter Art Actuel, Espace Sculpture, Esse, CV Photo,
Vie des arts, C Magazine, etc.
• Subscription to a newsletter for information about exhibitions,
special projects and artist talks.
• Invitation to all the exhibition openings
BECOMING A MEMBER
Sébastien Harvey, General Director|direction(a)centrebang.ca
Patrick Moisan, Assistant Director | adjoint(a)centrebang.ca