The MAPP_MTL Festival and Light Beyond Entertainment

MAPP_MTL, the Festival of Luminous Video Frescoes (commonly referred to as video mapping), which combines ambitious displays at the Quartier des Spectacles and “neighborhood parties” under the Van Horne flyover, begins its seventh edition on Wednesday.

We will present creations that are both more intimate and ambitious than those that generally adorn the walls of the metropolis. A way to highlight the creative flourishing that makes Montreal a global hotspot in the field.

“Every time we propose projects to the Quartier des Spectacles, for example, we try to push the boundaries of what we can present,” explains Thien Vu Dang, founder and general and artistic director of the festival. With MAPP he wants to enliven the public space, but also surprise.

That’s the job effects of influence, by Slovak artist Boris Vitazek, which will be presented on the facade of the Wilder building from September 22, may “disrupt” the public, he says. “The artist addresses our impact on the environment, but what he proposes can be visually disturbing. We took that risk: it’s one of the raisons d’être of art and of our festival,” he notes.

The potential of projections

The man who worked as a video jockey in the early 2000s is fascinated by the “infinite” potential of video projection. However, he concedes that the glowing murals are more associated with flashy entertainment than artistic creation worthy of the name. With MAPP, the image maker wants to restore this medium to its former glory.

“Since our first edition, we have featured the work of Brazilian artist VJ Suave. The artist rides a bicycle and then animates and projects his images live depending on what he traverses on his way, it’s very intimate and personal,” says Thien Vu Dang.

MAPP, which hosts events outside the festival throughout the year, once again presented the work of VJ Suave in the Rosemont-La Petite-Patrie district last week. We can also see him again during the festival.

Thien Vu Dang is also proud of his “MAPP minutes”. Presented since 2013, this part of the festival features luminous video frescoes, each lasting one minute, on the facade of Million Tapis et Tiles in front of the Van Horne skate park. “You can see a great variety of suggestions and ideas. People have carte blanche,” he explains.

Skateboardpark Van Horne also serves as the festival’s headquarters, while MAPP organizes “digital block parties” there from Thursday to Saturday. Until 10pm, DJs will host these evenings projecting creations on both sides of this emblematic Mile End venue.

Montreal, a mecca for mapping

Thanks to MAPP and the many monumental projections that illuminate the city throughout the year, Montreal has become a “world capital of mapping » says Thien Vu Dang happily.

However, some critics stress the importance of aligning the projections with the actual needs of the districts and presenting content that goes beyond simple entertainment.

In his exam Creepy Montreal. Or the dark side of urban light animations, published last February, the art historian specializing in urbanism Josianne Poirier defends, among other things, the idea of ​​doing useful work with luminous fresco projects. The author also regrets that these works, which are very visible in public spaces, “are not considered artistic” or relevant if they highlight a concern, movement or social group we could read on the pages of Have tolast February.

For his part, Thien Vu Dang notes that Montreal is attracting more and more studios from ” video mapping on various socio-political issues.

In particular, Marie-Pier Veilleux, director of public relations and international affairs at Moment Factory, explains that her company – a Quebec flagship in this field whose reputation is second to none – is committed to “increasingly more sustainable projects” and “LED lighting”. to introduce” with a smaller ecological footprint.

Be that as it may, she believes that metropolitan Quebec enjoys cultural characteristics that make her a pioneer in this field: “ [À Montréal, qui est] Ranging between a very American need for flash, grandiose projects and a European sophistication, the projects have always been particularly creative. »

And for now, many new works will be presented at MAPP_MTL on September 21-25.

To see in the video

Earl Bishop

Thinker. Professional social media fanatic. Introvert. Web evangelist. Total pop culture fan.

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