Second annual ASFASA Interdisciplinary festival 

<em>Chemo</em> by Tara Chartrand from the festival’s <em>Do Tell Me More</em> exhibition exploring art and psychology. Magnifying glass

Chemo by Tara Chartrand from the festival’s Do Tell Me More exhibition exploring art and psychology.

For the second year, the Arts and Science Federation Association (ASFA) and the Fine Arts Students Association (FASA) teamed up to present the ASFASA Interdisciplinary festival.

Last year’s festival developed themes in relation to different colleges and departments. This year, exhibitions were more directly related to specific disciplines.

From Feb. 9 to 18, the collaboration showcased three exhibitions, each one an artistic interpretation of its host department: Do Tell Me More in the psychology department’s PY Building; Cyborgs Galore, exploring biology, in the SP Building atrium; and It’s All Relative in the philosophy department’s PR Building. The Webster Library also presented artwork related to all three of the chosen disciplines in its glass display casings conceptually and aesthetically linked to ideas of text.

The artwork – varying from print to installation to visual to audio/video – shares common ground: “…the place of the individual is what brings these different disciplines together in an artistic capacity,” said studio arts student Mariane Bourcheix-Laporte, FASA VP external and two-time organizer for the festival.

The approach, she says, is similar to last year’s inaugural festival (see Journal, Feb. 12, 2009), but varies in subject matter and interpretation.

“It’s fascinating to see the collaboration and to see the work from artists from different fields and different mind frames.”

Last year, the theme identity, gender and sexuality was displayed within the Simone de Beauvoir Institute; the geography department hosted the environmental and sustainability theme; and post-colonialism and multiculturalism exhibit occupied the Department of Anthropology and Sociology.

“We tested the waters to see if people would be responsive. We received excellent feedback,” says Bourcheix-Laporte. “A few departments even asked if the artwork could become a permanent installation.”

In early-fall, FASA decided the three disciplines would probably make for an interesting art show. In November, organizers put out a call for submissions to all fine arts students. By January, the art had been chosen and the display spaces in the departments finalized.

The art displayed at the 2009 edition was reproduced in the publication Indissociable: Fine Arts and Sciences. Three hundred copies, funded by both ASFA and FASA with help from the Alumni Association, were distributed to numerous departments around Concordia, as well as libraries, galleries and artist-run centres throughout Montreal.

Organizers hope to produce the second edition (as yet untitled) for this year’s festival.


Concordia University