… and room in the bag of stars is a group exhibition that presents works produced in the context of the inaugural PHI MONTRÉAL residency, launched by PHI and carried out in the summer of 2021. The five laureates of this edition of the residency, kimura byol-nathalie lemoine, Salima Punjani, Dominique Sirois, Santiago Tamayo Soler and Karen Trask, proposed projects in response to a prompt inspired by the work of science-fiction author Ursula K. Le Guin: an invitation, after a moment of prolonged social isolation, to imagine spaces, temporalities, conditions, or systems where we can all get together, again.
The resulting exhibition engages with these themes while encompassing a wide range of formal and conceptual approaches, offering insight into the ways in which artists are grappling with the urgency of this question, and how it can resonate both on individual and collective levels. The exhibition’s title stems from The Carrier Bag Theory of Fiction, a short essay written by Le Guin in 1986. Throughout the text, the author develops an alternative theory of the power of fiction: rather than opportunities to glorify virile and violent heroism, Le Guin sees stories as chances to reinvent our collective futures and make space for our everyday gestures and feelings. Le Guin’s thinking was profoundly inspired by the research of anthropologist Elizabeth Fisher, who posited that the most essential tool for the survival of prehistoric humanity was not the weapon, as previously believed, but the bag used to carry seeds and fruits. Following this, Le Guin reimagines bags as works of art: supple, soft and adaptable recipients, ripe for infinite future harvests.
PHI MONTRÉAL Residencies
At PHI, we value the role of art and culture in our everyday lives. The purpose of PHI MONTRÉAL is to nurture a relationship between artists, curators and visitors by inviting them to investigate the pressing issues of our time through the production and presentation of artworks. This residency explores art making and presentation through the concept of the ecosystem, a community-building network that relies on interaction and interconnectivity for its health and wellbeing.