Exhibition view from “Art Hisotires” at VOX. Courtesy of VOX.
VOX is a Montreal-based artist-run centre founded in 1985. After relocating many times within different areas over the years, VOX settled in March 2012 to its permanent home, in the brand new culture complex building 2-22, situated at the heart of downtown Montreal. The inaugural exhibition of their new space entitled “Art Histories” was curated by VOX artistic director Marie-Josée Jean and showcases a total of 16 international artists which all in their own way attempt to deconstruct art history and challenge this great institution. Jean talked to M-KOS of the history of VOX and their inaugural exhibition.
M-KOS [MKOS]: Can you start by introducing VOX, its mandate and its decision to move to the most central location of Montréal?
Marie-Josée Jean [MJJ]: The history of VOX is quite long because this is a group that was formed in 1985, and it’s interesting to know that at the onset the original name was Vox Populi. It was a communications collective predominantly using photography as one of many means of communications, but also radio. The origins of VOX were socially quite active, notably to the extent that VOX gave itself the mandate to defend the rights of youths. Over the years the group specialized into an exhibition space for photography. Nonetheless, our origins are clearly associated with social activism. In fact, the son of the founders of VOX, Marcel Blouin and Lucie Bureau, is now one of the key leaders of Québec’s current student protest (Leo Bureau-Blouin) [laugh].