2009-2010 Residency: Vincent Bonin and Jon Knowles

Artists publications from 1965 to 1975 in the collection of Artexte

This past summer, Artexte invited Vincent Bonin and Jon Knowles to engage with its collection, in particular, the artists’ publications from the late 1960s and early 1970s. During their ongoing discussions around the material on hand, Bonin and Knowles commented on the fact that Artexte’s holdings from this time period represent “a verifiable reflection of the late (and arguably last) radical avant-garde response to the dynamic political-economic-social climate of the day, as well as being a vital membrane for thinking through a historically significant hotbed of democratizing gestures.”

From their initial impressions of the pre-75 materials, and specifically by their understanding of how artists treated the format of the magazine as a quasi-readymade, Bonin and Knowles have responded to our invitation by renewing and reinterpreting a few of the so-called “magazine projects” from that time. Currently, they are finalizing a project based on their research at Artexte, which is scheduled to open to the public in Montreal in May 2010.

Vincent Bonin is an author and independent curator. From 2000 to 2007, he worked as an archivist at the Daniel Langlois Foundation for Art, Science, and Technology (Montreal). As a curator, he notably organized the three-part project (consisting of two exhibitions and one publication) entitled Documentary Protocols (1967-1975) at Concordia University’s Leonard & Bina Ellen Art Gallery (2007-2008). Besides his research on conceptual art practices of the 1960s and 1970s, Bonin is interested in the social meaning of archives, and the refashioning of the documentary genre in the field of contemporary art.

Jon Knowles is an artist who works across artistic disciplines, materials and methods; and has developed an idiosyncratic approach to art research. Knowles was included in Rien ne se perd, rien ne se crée, tout se transforme: La Triennale d’art québécois at the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal; The Perception of Ideas leads to new ideas at the Kunstverein für die Rheinlande und Westfalen Düsseldorf; OFF BNL MTL with Pavilion Projects; Exalted Beings: Animal Relationships and Actual, both at Dalhousie Art Gallery; and Converse without leaving home at Cooper Gallery, Dundee, Scotland. As a member of the collaborative group Knowles Eddy Knowles (along with Michael Eddy and Robert Knowles), he has produced artworks and performances for the following venues: TENT, Portikus, Apex Art, Presentation House Gallery, Form/Content, Fabbrica del Vapore, Centre de Recherche Urbaine de Montréal, Museo Studio del Tessuto, Vitamin Creative Space, and the Leonard & Bina Ellen Art Gallery. Knowles Eddy Knowles also took part in the Informal Architectures project at The Banff Centre.