10 Must-See Art Installations, Talks, Films and Performances at POP Montreal 2017
Published Aug 24, 2017Promotional consideration provided by POP Montreal
Since 2002, POP Montreal has attracted audiences, critics, curators and music industry veterans alike from around the world to celebrate independent art and artists in the heart of the city.
For the annual festival's 16th edition, they've crafted one of their most diverse lineups yet, recruiting the likes of Wu-Tang Clan leader RZA, Royal Trux, Lido Pimienta, Think About Life, Dead Obies, Mount Eerie, the Dears (performing No Cities Left in its entirety), Thee Oh Sees, the Besnard Lakes and others.
But there's more to POP Montreal than just the music. That's why we dug deep into the five-day festival to highlight some of the must-see film, art, symposia and, of course, music-related attractions at this year's edition.
Look below to learn about 10 must-see events happening from September 13 to 17 at POP Montreal.
Sami Saif | Denmark, 2017 | 74 min
North American Premiere
Thursday, September 14, 9 p.m., Cinéma du Parc #3
One of the world's most notorious performers, American punk singer GG Allin made a name for himself on and off the stage thanks to his polarizing stage presence (he was prone to self-mutilation and physically attacking audience members while performing) and appetite for destruction (he died of an accidental heroin overdose in 1993).
There have been a lot of documentaries about the antagonistic artist over the years, but never one like Sami Saif's The Allins, which offers audiences a closer look into the lives he left behind, including his brother, fellow the Murder Junkies member Merle and GG's mother, Arleta (who continues to guard her late son's tomb against fans looking to piss on his grave).
For further watching: Don't miss out on the latest documentary from filmmaker Brett Whitcomb (Netflix staple GLOW: The Story of the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling), A Life in Waves: an intimate look at electronic music pioneer and virtuosic sound sculptor Suzanne Ciani, as well as A, Mitchell Stafiej's experimental, atmospheric and arresting 16mm film about a young ambient musician (played by Alex Zhang Hungtai of Dirty Beaches/Last Lizard fame) and his struggle with addiction, life and love.
Click here for more information on this year's films.
William Basinski in Conversation with Erin Gee
Friday, September 15, 4 p.m. – 5 p.m., POP Quarters (POP Box 2)
One of the most respected avant-garde composers in contemporary experimental music, William Basinski (The Disintegration Loops, this year's A Shadow in Time — a two-part album inspired by the passing of David Bowie) comes to Montreal to take part in a unique conversation with Erin Gee (a local artist and composer known for her biotechnological performances and robotic media) about his art, techniques and the ideas behind them.
For further learning: Montreal's own rising sound explorer Lunice is hosting an interactive and in-depth workshop in the Gymnasium at POP Quarters on Friday, September 15 that will offer practical tips for fellow beatmakers and insight into his songwriting process.
The next day in Pop Box 2, writer Sasha Geffen, Don Giovanni Records co-founder Joseph Steinhardt, Montreal hip-hop artist and Art Not Love Records A&R manager Peggy Hoan, publicity, marketing and management whiz Beth Martinez, and Kelp Management and Debaser co-ordinator Rachel Weldon will sit down to discuss accountability within the music scene and the growing divide between fans and the industry.
Acoustic Sound Blanket
Thursday, September 14, 6 to 8 p.m., POP Quarters (POP Box 2)
New York City's Baseera Khan has quickly made a name for herself thanks to her thought-provoking art, which thematically mixes American popular and consumer culture with her experiences growing up as a Muslim woman in the U.S. For her stop at POP Montreal, she'll perform with one of her Acoustic Sound Blankets, which allow Kahn "to create an out of body experience removing her voice from the site of her body." Audience members are often invited underneath; Cheryl Sim Head, managing director and curator from the DHC, will moderate a discussion after the event.
If that's not enough: Maryland MC Jay "J-Berd" Keating will be showcasing his painting of rappers like MF Doom, the Beastie Boys, Action Bronson, A Tribe Called Quest and more throughout the festival (as well as spitting a few bars on Wednesday, September 13), while Detroit artist/performer Maya Stovall will be teaming up with two local dancers to bring her original performance piece, Manifesto 2, to life on Sunday, September 17 (not to mention showcasing episodes from her Liquor Store Theatre film series at POP Quarters for the length of the festival).
Get more info here.
Thursday, September 14, Theatre Rialto | Salle St-Ambroise
Critically acclaimed Canadian electronic act Austra bring the progressive and political sounds of new album Future Politics to the Theatre Rialto | Salle St-Ambroise on Thursday, September 14 ($25 in advance, $28 at the door).
For even more info on this year's festival, click here.