Galerie de Montcalm group exhibit to recreate fictional library: Artists invited to submit projects that capture the imagination
The Ville de Gatineau is inviting artists to submit projects for an upcoming group exhibit at Galerie Montcalm located in the Maison Citoyen at 25 rue Laurier.
The exhibit will be based on the 1941 short story by Argentinian author Jorge Luis Borges The Library of Babel which is about a fictional library that contains all the books already written, those yet to be written as well as those that will never be written but could be using every possible combination of letters in the alphabet, space and punctuation marks.
The “Bibliothèque” exhibit will recreate Borges’ fictional library and artists are being asked to submit visually engaging books inspired by the short story. While applicants do not have to follow the original guidelines set out in the story of 400 pages with 40 lines each, they are invited to submit projects that inspire viewers to imagine the works that might have been in this library. All projects should primarily be works of visual art rather than written pieces and should have a striking appearance that inspires viewers to imagine what the library’s mysterious content might be.
Artists may also submit projects that represent characters from the short story, although a maximum of two projects of this kind will be accepted since the primary focus will be on recreating the library.
The call for proposals is open to both professional and non-professional artists, but all projects must be of high quality and to a professional standard. Submissions will be evaluated according to the following criteria: direct connection to the exhibit’s theme, creativity, professional use of expressive forms and chosen techniques, and respect for the size limit of three cubic metres maximum. Project titles must also correspond to the name of the book that the project aims to evoke or represent. All selected artists will receive a payment of $300.
Isabelle N. Miron, Chair of Gatineau’s Commission for Arts, Culture, Letters and Heritage, described the upcoming exhibition as a “great occasion to discover and promote new artists” and encouraged applicants to submit projects that “represent or evoke the theme of the Library of Babel while also bringing their own vision and creativity to the exhibition.”
All applicants are encouraged to read Borges’ seven-page short story ahead of preparing their project proposals. An English translation of Borges’ original short story is available for free online by googling “The Library of Babel text” and a link to the French translation of the story can found on the Ville de Gatineau’s call to artists page (directions below).
The exhibit will run from September 7 to October 15 2023 and the deadline for submission is December 14 2022 at 9:00 am. For further information and submission instructions, visit www.gatineau.ca and click “Activities, events and outing ideas” then “Art galleries and exhibits” and click “Appel aux artistes – La Bibliothèque” under the “Learn more” menu to the left. For additional questions, the Galerie Montcalm can be contacted at 819 595-2488 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.