“Créer à rebours vers l’exposition”: The case of 03 23 03

Exhibition catalogue for 03 23 03 – Premières rencontres internationales d’art contemporain, Montreal, 3 – 23 mars 1977.

2019.02.15 - 04.27

Marie J. Jean and Claudine Roger

Opening on Friday, February 15 at 5:00 pm

Continuing its research into the practice, history and future of exhibitions and their documentation, VOX presents the fifth in its series of documentary exhibitions, dedicated this time to the event 03 23 03, organized by France Morin, Chantal Pontbriand and Normand Thériault in 1977.

A multiformat event organized by Parachute, revue d’art contemporain and the Institut d’art contemporain de Montréal, subtitled premières rencontres internationales d’art contemporain (“first international contemporary art gatherings”), 03 23 03 aimed above all to demonstrate the richness and diversity of art practices in the mid-1970s. A series of talks, performances followed by meetings with artists, and an exhibition comprising mail art projects by more than 300 artists were presented in a disused post office at the corner of Amherst and Sainte-Catherine streets in Montréal from March 3 to 23, 1977. The imposing catalogue, containing an essay by Thierry de Duve and the texts of the guest speakers’ talks along with extensive documentation of the performances and each of the projects, testifies to the event’s international ambitions.

03 23 03 (1977)

Exhibition: more than 300 mail art practitioners selected at random from Art Diary, a pocket-size directory of world art published since 1975 by Giancarlo Politi.

Performances: Giuseppe Chiari (Italy), Simone Forti and Charlemagne Palestine (United States), General Idea (Canada), Raymond Gervais (Canada), Klaus Rinke (Germany), Katharina Sieverding and Klaus Mettig (Germany), Michael Snow (Canada), Reindeer Werk (England), Western Front–Vincent Trasov (Canada).

Talks: Jean-Christophe Ammann (Director of the Kunstmuseum Luzern, Switzerland); Annette Michelson (professor in the Department of Film Studies at New York University); Germano Celant (Italian art critic, author of Arte Povera); Caroline Tisdall (art critic with Studio International and the Guardian, London).