Louise Déry holds a PhD in art history and has been director of the Galerie de l’UQAM (Université du Québec à Montréal) since 1997; previously, she was director of the Musée régional de Rimouski and curator of contemporary art at the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec and the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. She has organized exhibitions by Canadian and international artists presented in Quebec and Canada, Europe, the United States, Mexico, and Asia, and she was curator of the Canadian pavilion at the Venice Biennale in 2007 (David Altmejd). In 2007, she was the first winner of the Hnatyshyn Foundation Award for Curatorial Excellence, and in 2015, she received the Governor General’s Award in Visual and Media Arts. A member of the Royal Society of Canada, she was made a Chevalier des arts et des lettres in France in 2016.
An interview by Jacques Doyon
JD: How did you come up with the plan to host the exhibition Uprisings in Montreal? Why did you feel it was relevant to bring the exhibition here? Was the Galerie de l’UQAM a partner in the project from the beginning?
LD: Usually, collaborations are born of intellectual and amicable alliances and from the desire to share ideas and bring them alive. Participation by the Galerie de l’UQAM in the Uprisings project conceived by Georges Didi-Huberman was therefore, from the start, an affair between friends that goes back to the 1990s. The publication of Didi-Huberman’s book Ce que nous voyons, ce qui nous regarde (Éditions de Minuit, 1992) was of great interest to a historian of “exhibited art” such as me. Didi-Huberman then published many books that were fundamental to the history of these disciplines, and that were widely read and shared in Quebec academic, museum, and art circles. As he became better known to and appreciated by a broad community of art historians and philosophers in Montreal, he came here several times to participate in conferences and seminars, and I got to know him through one of these events some twenty years ago. When he returned to UQAM in 2014 to receive an honorary doctorate, he talked to me about Uprisings and his desire to present this ambitious project at the Galerie de l’UQAM. I quickly expressed my strong interest in exploring the possibilities of hosting this incredible transdisciplinary “montage” on political upheavals that have caused population uprisings. The director of Jeu de Paume, Marta Gili, contacted me in early 2015, at Didi-Huberman’s request, as plans for an international tour of the project were beginning to take shape. That’s how our collaboration began…
Translated by Käthe Roth
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