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Announcement of theme 20 – Wasteland

Updated: Sep 9, 2021

Wasteland: an empty area of land, especially in or near a city, that is not used to grow crops or built on, or used in any way - Cambridge Dictionary Generally, the idea of the wasteland brings to mind an abandoned space, in its "natural" or "wild" state: it is most often defined by its absence of construction or human intervention. It also seems that this space belongs to everyone and to no one at the same time. It is part of a common landscape. For example, in 2013, a collective transformed a wild, green, vacant lot intended to become a "truck yard" for the city of Montreal into a "Field of Possibilities". The organization Les Amis du Champ des Possibles was composed of an expert in urban biodiversity, an artist, and a community of residents and workers. Among the objectives of this citizen project are the protection of the heritage and biodiversity of the area, the promotion of artistic and educational practices, and the development of a recreational space. This field, the Champ des Possibles, is now a reinvented place where citizens get involved and where biodiversity, creation, and living together become one.

Les Amis du Champ des possibles, between 2009-2010.

The month of January

The month of January is of course the beginning of the calendar year and a time of renewal: it is a moment when we might decide to do things differently.

At the Musée d'art de Joliette, January is a month when we make room for new exhibitions. It is one of the periods (like May and September) of dismantling and installing. In January 2021, there will be no usual renewal. Due to the pandemic, the Musée has been closed since October, three weeks after the opening of our fall season. We have chosen to keep most of our exhibitions up this winter so that more people can visit them when we reopen.

Creative constraints of the month

👉 This month on Quarantined Museum, we propose the theme of the wasteland as a blank page or a space where everything can be invented and built. Your vacant lot can be a physical space, such as a collective space, a room in your home, or even a blank sheet of paper. It can also be a mental space, to be inhabited through a performative action.

Questions for reflection

We encourage you to think about the notion of empty space: what can we implant there, for what reasons and what purpose? What does this change bring? Is it individual or collective? When everything has to be done, where does one start? Is it necessary to have a specific goal in mind when starting this process? What does it mean to renew? Starting all over again? What to keep and what to reject? Which foundations are there in a wasteland to build on? Is a vacant lot necessarily a clean slate? Do you believe in the impossible?

Filling the void and facing the blank page: is it scary? Is it motivating? Are you one of those people who feel the need to fill the void? Or do you prefer to let things take their own space?

A frozen lake in Lanaudière. Photo: Camille Blachot


Follow the indications to participate and get your art on this platform. The next deadline is Sunday, January 31, 2021, at noon. The exhibition will be online on Thursday, February 4, 2021.


Les Amis du Champ des possibles, undated.

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