Poupart: Phenomenal Art Gallery, itty bitty space.

Artouteast is reaching out a bit this week, as the new Poupart Gallery has no fixed address; nor is it an e-gallery. Nope, it is a physical space, small enough to fit in the back of your car and travel the world. Poupart comes from the French word for doll poupée but also carries a sense of whimsy and playful sarcasm.

Here are a few questions I asked Director/ Curator Lianne Zannier:

Where did the gallery come from?

I purchased the house in Montreal from Jean Gilbert who has a storage container/shed where he holds perpetual yard sales all summer long. What is particular about these yard sales is that Gilbert is a collector of antiques along with memorabilia from St Henri which is the neighborhood of Montreal in which I reside. Inside his space he has the streetcar used in the film Bonheur D’occasion based on the book by Gabrielle Roy about St. Henri. He also has full stain glass panels of the original church that used to be in the center of the neighborhood. Pretty amazing really, especially when you consider that the neighborhood has been in the process of gentrification for several years now with old factories turned into lofts, offices or art spaces. Gilbert has a record of this place tucked away and disassembled into parts behind a garage door of a storage container which is sandwiched between two duplexes, the roof is caving-in in certain spots but form the outside you would never know. The dollhouse itself was poorly made, with rusted nails, glued in strange places and the inside was painted with crazy bright colours, some of the paint dripped down onto other floors. Actual carpet, that was moldy, had been glued to one of the top floors. I have basically taken the shell of the dollhouse and renovated it. I called it doing ‘home renos.’ So the dollhouse half belongs to Gilbert’s St. Henri and half belongs to me.
for more info on Jean Gilbert: http://www.milieuxdefavorises.org/serie_C/32.html

 What is the mandate of the gallery all about?

The gallery is about manipulating scale; providing an alternate way of looking at and presenting work. The Poupart Gallery aims at playing with nostalgia, narrative and the potential for miniatures to be both big and small at the same time. The goal of the Poupart Gallery is to manipulate those concepts. It is part curatorial and part collaboration between artists’, the space and myself.

The first installment of the Poupart Gallery is taking place from March 9th to 12th as part of the Art Matters Festival at a gallery in St. Henri called Coatcheck Gallery. Inside you will find  a combination of installations by artists Amele Bissonnette who has made miniature ceramic furniture; Hugo Dufour, who has recreated dioramas he uses for his photography; and Kamil Chajder who is installing the puppets from a stop-motion animation. The attic of the Poupart Gallery contains a miniature projector (Really!), so (Zannier) will be screening several animated works.

This brings the idea of “Pop Up” stores and galleries to a whole other place.

Congrats, Lianne, and Happy Birthday to you AND Poupart Gallery!



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