As part of the Phil Collins exhibition, the Phi Foundation for Contemporary Art presents four events within the framework of the installation Bring Down The Walls. The public is invited to take part in "school day" informative sessions and workshops on prison abolition, followed by "club nights" organized by Montreal-based and international music collectives.
For the second School Day event of this series, a conversation between Sheri Pranteau and Vicki Chartrand will explore a world without prisons. Their dialogue, grounded in grassroots knowledge and lived expertise, is envisioned as an opportunity for the audience to ask the questions about prisons that they always wanted to know, but could never find the answers to. Members of the Prisoner Correspondence Project will present their pen pal project, where volunteers are invited to maintain a correspondence with currently incarcerated LGBTQ+ individuals. Jude Claude will introduce the activism of Bar None, an abolitionist group based in Treaty 1 territory/Winnipeg. Members of DESTA Black Youth Network will talk about the history of their organizing and introduce some of the services they offer to Montreal communities.
1 PM – Introduction
1:15 PM – Vicki Chartrand and Sheri Pranteau 2:15 PM – Prisoner Correspondence Project
3 PM – Break
3:30 PM – Jude Claude/Bar None Winnipeg
4:30 PM – DESTA Black Youth Network
5:30 PM – Collective discussion
Presentations will be offered in English. English to French whisper translation is available upon request. The event will be filmed. Active listening will be offered on site.
At night, the Phi Foundation will transform into a fully functioning night club, taken over by invited collectives and crews whose activities foster the ethos of social engagement shared by Bring Down The Walls.
About Bring Down The Walls
Organised in May 2018 in New York City by artist Phil Collins, Creative Time, The Fortune Society, and over 100 collaborators, Bring Down The Walls was a three-part public art project which turned an unconventional lens on the prison industrial complex through house music and nightlife.
Originating as a public art project, Bring Down The Walls consisted of a communal space that functioned as an open school by day and dance club by night, as well as a benefit album of classic house tracks re-recorded by formerly incarcerated vocalists and electronic musicians. For the exhibition at the Phi Foundation, Collins proposes Bring Down The Walls (2019), an installation version of this project reconfigured specifically for the Montréal context and the space at 465 Saint-Jean Street, with corresponding public programming that will build on the discussions and relationships that began in New York.