Biennale de Montreal hosted by Concordia Fine Arts Department with Dean Catherine Wild

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Waking up “le lendemain” from a deep and restful sleep I came to an equally deep new understanding of a social reality. Last evening at the Contemporary Museum of Art in Montreal’s Quartier des Festivals with my daughter Andrea as my guest, we heard an alumni Concordia filmmaker speak for a few minutes – a speech he said he was too lazy to prepare adequately. The artist has produced three works of which he is proud. He is not proud of our present federal leader of the majority Conservative Party however. He humorously cursed him as he spoke about Canada’s ruling party’s arts funding cuts. Later, as we toured the gallery I would say The Biennale pieces were sometimes amusing, sometimes boring, and sometimes very remarkable. The artists and their works are often quite in contradiction to each other or they have genuine integrity. Identity of the artist and the materials used blends with how they are identified by their public viewers. Sometimes they fit together very well (ex. place of birth of the artist with the interests and concerns of such, availability of materials and their accessibility to the artist). Andrea and I were participating in this upscale hot spot event which, according to Concordia President Alan Shepherd who addressed the assembly of over 100, was one of THE places to be last night. Yet, I feel like I am swimming here in Montreal in a sea of floating water bottles, candy wrappers and styrofoam trays. I could gently lift each piece and judge it and its maker for its uselessness or its usefulness but I am thankful that they are there (prayerfully received with thanksgiving). They keep me company or rather I am there keeping them company. One does not speak to such flotsam, one measures the rythmns and vibrations and sounds that pass between us; one measures the reflections of light on surfaces and the relative dangers of collisions. This is my social milieu of created material, animate and inanimate made for Jesus Christ and by Him and through Him (Colossians 1,15-17). Or are these perishing and wasted, separated from the living, eternal things? (John 2. 15-16). Even doves sold in the temple couldn’t pass Jesus’ test. I, his servant will pass through this matrix of loose objects. I could test them, tolerate them or find them loathesome but I am not obligated to do any of that. In fact if I do, I will be measured in the same cup of categories. He who is in me, is greater than what I find in the world and no one can take the Holy Spirit of Jesus away from me. When I am put on the final scales, my weight ought to reflect this added value.

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