A year of living through the pandemic and being forced to distance with one another has had a profound impact on our bodies and our minds. Every day we try to adapt to solitude, to resist isolation and imagine new ways of being and doing. This lack of contact with others has generated an irrepressible desire to come together. A strong and powerful desire, almost akin to withdrawal, which reminds us of the importance of each other’s presence.
What paths can we take in order to find ourselves again? What maps can we draw in order to imagine everyday life being livable once more? How can we navigate in a world that is forever uncertain or seems always further away? How can we avoid going back to the status quo?
Borne by the desire to “come back together, but not to the way things were,” we imagined a nomadic version of the OFFTA that would sneak into the many corners of the city to shed light on the familiar landscapes we had to abandon. Faced with uncertainty, we have decided to vacate our interiors momentarily to come to you – and anyone else who is not expecting us!. Artists of this 15th edition take the city by storm and offer singular propositions to reinhabit this unstable and broken world of ours. Their interventions were redesigned to fit the Montréal context, and to identify potential paths for us to walk along.
Until we can go back to the artistic venues we love so dearly, we will occupy the unexpected and in-between places from Verdun to Rosemont, via Pointe-St-Charles and Centre-Sud. Pencil in hand, we will try to sketch out the blurry outlines, shortcuts and blocks of cohabitation between the city, its artists and you. All this to draw a crude map that we hope will help us model new hospitable spaces.
Vincent de Repentigny, Artistic and General Director and the whole festival team