*** NOTE ***
By Russ Cooper
From the moment he gets talking about Prodfest, it's obvious Matt Soar doesn't only instruct and guide his students – he's a passionate observer and a huge fan as well.
"My expectations go up every year, but hand on heart, for my money, it gets better every year," says Soar.
Prodfest is an umbrella term for all the events that showcase the work produced for the second and third year comm studies production courses.
Among the shows was the Intermedia 3 vernissage on April 25 at a loft in industrial Mile End. Featuring the new media, photography and film of the class' students, the night also saw the launch of the student produced music video for local rock and roll outfit Mackenzie 1st to accompany the upcoming release of their album, I Shot The Monkey.
On April 28, the Sound 2 and Intermedia 2 classes wrapped up the year with a combined vernissage. Entitled L/M/N/\L, the night's theme surrounded 'liminality'; the occupying of a position at, or on both sides of, a boundary or threshold. Held at one of Montreal's newest venues Il Motore, 46 students proudly exhibited everything from stage performances, installation art, graphic design, interactive database documentaries to sound projects.
To set the night into motion, Communication Studies Professor Owen Chapman and Soar took the stage for a short moment to salute the support staff and congratulate students. "A night like this is a great way to have closure on a hectic year," said Chapman.
Only steps from the entrance, the table displaying [ ] scape magazine (the product of Intermedia 2 students Guillaume Dubois, Gabrielle Savoie and Myriam Des Cormiers) attracted those coming through the door. The beautiful print interpretation of Montreal through photography and graphic design introduced people to the class' output.
Moving only two or three steps forward, Saulo Madrid’s project, simply named Object, was a stunning installation using light and plexiglass. Originally developed as a print project, he asked contributors to supply pieces reflecting their relationship with objects and identities. Realizing print wasn't the ideal medium, he stumbled upon plexiglass and began engraving upon it, turning it into a multi-layer installation piece.
"The text on the first plexiglass sheet is the letter from a neurologist describing how he chose his profession," said Madrid. "His story of identity is reflected through a mirror, and the lights are reflective of the idea that we're always in different spaces."
With the academic year now wrapping up, it was Soar's encapsulation of the year from the stage that perhaps summed it up best.
"We had some shouting, some tears, some sadness and laughs, some joy and some fun. And you've made it to the end in one piece," said Soar. "I'm amazed at what you've done. Let's have some fun tonight. You've earned it."