When Art Meets Science: Two Artists in Residence at the Mont-Mégantic Observatory

When Art Meets Science: Two Artists in Residence at the Mont-Mégantic Observatory

The Centre d’exposition de l’Université de Montréal has created a research-creation residency at the Mont-Mégantic Observatory.

The Université de Montréal announces that Bettina Forget and Yann Pocreau have been selected to take part in a research-creation residency to mark the 40th anniversary of the Observatoire du Mont-Mégantic (OMM) and the 20th anniversary of the Centre d’exposition de l’Université de Montréal (CEUM). The collaboration between the two institutions aims to build bridges between disciplines.

Following the call for artist submissions launched on December 20, 2017, CEUM received an impressive number of applications. The research-creation residency will take place at the Mont-Mégantic Observatory with the researchers present, and will provide access to the experimental astrophysics laboratories on the UdeM and Université Laval campuses. Subsequently, an exhibition of Bettina Forget and Yann Pocreau’s work resulting from this residency will be held at the Centre d’exposition de l’Université de Montréal from September 27 to December 15, 2018.

«Resnik crater», de la série Women With Impact 2015 - 2018 acrylique et graphite sur papier, 11" x 14" chaque dessin série de 30 dessins.

“Resnik crater”, from the series Women With Impact 2015 – 2018 acrylic and graphite on paper, 11″ x 14″ each drawing series of 30 drawings. Credit : Artist: Bettina Forget. All rights reserved.

Bettina Forget is a visual artist, gallerist, art educator and researcher. She lives and works in Montreal. Born in Germany, she studied at the Central St-Martins School of Art in London, Curtin University in Perth, Australia, and the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts in Singapore. She is currently pursuing a doctorate in art education at Concordia University. Her research project addresses the convergence of art and science, and how women and girls can engage with science, technology, engineering and mathematics through art.

Bettina Forget’s creative work is rooted in space science, inspired by her avid involvement with amateur astronomy. Her works deal with astronomy, science fiction and feminist issues. She has exhibited her work in the USA, Canada, Germany, Iceland, Singapore and Nicaragua. The artist is owner and director of the Visual Voice gallery, which presents contemporary art exhibitions creating a dialogue between art and science.

Since 2016, Bettina Forget has been an art-science researcher for the SETI Institute’s artist-in-residence program. In this capacity, she is interested in the transposition of ideas arising from collaborations between artists and scientists, and explores different modes of knowledge.

«Lumières 02», Épreuve numérique, 102 cm x 69 cm, 2015.

“Lumières 02”, Digital print, 102 cm x 69 cm, 2015. Credit : Artist: Yann Pocreau. All rights reserved.

Yann Pocreau was born in Quebec City and lives and works in Montreal. Through photography, he is interested in the strong presence of place and subject, and their intimate cohabitation.In his recent research, he studies light as a living subject and its effect on the narrative weave of images.He has participated in a number of Canadian, American and European exhibitions, including Québec Gold, presented in Reims (France); Exercices d’empathie, at Espace Bortier in Brussels; Mois de la photo in Montreal in 2011; Under the Radar: The New Visionaries, Paperwork and 1:3 Light in New York; L’image rôde at Le Fresnoy, France, in 2014 (curated by Louise Déry); and the 5th Sinope Biennial in Turkey.

His work has been reviewed in various magazines, and can be found in the collections of the National Bank of Canada, Hydro-Québec, Desjardins, Deloitte in Toronto, the Ville de Montréal, the Ville de Longueuil, the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, the Musée d’art de Joliette, and in the Prêt d’œuvres d’art collection of the Musée National des beaux-arts du Québec.Until 2014, he was general coordinator of the Centre d’art et de diffusion CLARK. He is represented by Galerie Simon Blais in Montreal.

The selection committee, chaired by Bruno Viens, Director of CEUM, was made up of :

  • Olivier Hernandez, Director of Operations, OMM;
  • Suzanne Paquet, Associate Professor in the Department of Art History and Film Studies, Head of Graduate Studies in Art History and Director of the Interuniversity Doctoral Program;
  • François-Joseph Lapointe, full professor in the Department of Biological Sciences and professional artist;
  • Peter Krausz, full professor in the Department of Art History and Film Studies and professional artist;
  • Patrick Mailloux, Exhibition and Collection Coordinator, CEUM;
  • Myriam Barriault Fortin, CEUM Promotion and Liaison Officer.

“The CEUM and the OMM would like to warmly thank the committee members for their involvement in selecting the many submissions received during the call launched on December 20, 2017,” points out Myriam Barriault Fortin, promotion and liaison officer at the CEUM.


About the Mont-Mégantic Observatory

The Mont-Mégantic Observatory (OMM) is an infrastructure jointly administered by Université de Montréal and Université Laval. It comprises experimental astrophysics laboratories on the campuses of both universities, and the telescope on the summit of Mont Mégantic in the Eastern Townships. This telescope is dedicated to fundamental astrophysics research. For their part, the laboratories work in close collaboration with industrial partners to design high-tech instruments for large telescopes on the ground and in space.

In addition to its research and instrument development missions, the OMM also provides training. The OMM welcomes many graduate students. It trains highly qualified personnel active in industrial, university and government research, teaching and communications. Finally, the OMM is deeply involved in education and the popularization of science. With the ASTROLab in Mont-Mégantic National Park, it attracts over 20,000 visitors to this region of Quebec every year. The economic spin-offs (especially in terms of tourism and recreation) are estimated at several million dollars.

OMM staff are dedicated to enhancing its telescope and designing cutting-edge astronomical instrumentation for its own telescope, as well as for major national and international observatories, both on the ground and in space. These projects are carried out in close collaboration with high-tech companies in Quebec (ABB Bomem, INO, nüvü Camēras) and Canada (COM DEV), the Canadian Space Agency, the National Research Council of Canada, Canadian universities and various international partners: NASA, the European Space Agency and several universities in the USA and Europe, particularly in France. OMM researchers are the leaders of major fundamental and instrumental research projects on the international scene. Examples include the first photograph of an extrasolar planet system in 2008, a major scientific breakthrough, and the construction of a state-of-the-art instrument for the James Webb Space Telescope.


About the UdeM Exhibition Centre

A recognized museum institution, the Centre d’exposition de l’Université de Montréal (CEUM) is the center for the dissemination of the Université de Montréal’s artistic and scientific heritage, and one of the few places in the metropolis where exhibitions from disciplines as varied as the social sciences, the arts and the sciences follow one another.

The main mandate of the Centre d’exposition is to highlight the knowledge and know-how of members of the university community, to encourage partnerships between them, private partners and cultural organizations in order to establish networks, and to create opportunities for encounters and exchanges between members of the UdeM community and the public. The variety of the CEUM’s exhibitions attracts a public with diverse interests and of all ages. It presents an average of five exhibitions a year, covering visual arts, creative arts, history and science. It also showcases the University’s many collections, which represent an important artistic, anthropological, historical and scientific heritage.


Media Contacts

Julie Gazaille
Université de Montréal
Tel: 514 343-6796

Olivier Hernandez
Observatoire du Mont-Mégantic
Tel: 514-343-6111, p. 4681

Myriam Brault Fortin
Centre d’exposition de l’UdeM
Tel: 514-343-6111, p. 3548

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