Looking for some queer artists to check out during POP this year? Well, POP partner Festival image+nation LGBTQueer Film Festival, Canada’s oldest queer film festival, has taken the liberty of highlighting some of the best queer content happening at POP this year. image+nation’s mission is to promote and prepare contemporary and future generations of queer storytellers while offering platforms for sharing LGBTQ+ stories and lives to encourage self-identification and empathy. Check it out!
Saturday, 26 September 2020 at 3:30 PM, Rialto Clubhouse
Born in Ottawa to Haitian parents, POP Montreal fixture NOVEMBER started performing at 11 when he begged his mom for vocal lessons. Driven by his curiosity, he gained his early musical inspiration from surfing the internet and consuming as much music as possible, especially the non-mainstream acts that MTV Canada was broadcasting at the time. NOVEMBER came into his queerness around that same time and says that all his art stems in part from his experience as a Black gay man. He says, “As hard as that has been sometimes and may be in the future I’m so incredibly grateful for the perspective my queerness offers because it makes me an overall better person.” With a background in musical theatre dating back to high school, his cinematic music borrows sounds from his surroundings and mixes them with 80s synths and Hip-Hop influences. He describes his sound as “sonically layered New-Wave Pop that’s meant to make you feel something,” but he says that something is up to you to decide on.
KYLE ALDEN MARTENS
Part of the Art POP’s group show Opening Night, September 23 to 27, Studio Rialto
Kyle is a multimedia artist whose work centres around themes of queerness and features sculptures in performance that often break audience expectations of what those objects should be used for. His work is often called dreamlike because of its familiar shapes used in nonsensical ways, specifically clothes that are as far away from being wearable as possible and still be called clothes. He says that his art practice is inspired in part by his mother’s seamstress practice and his father’s carpentry work and uses millennial pastel aesthetics as a commentary on the longing for childhood. By addressing function and dysfunction in alignment with queerness, he pokes fun at contemporary fashion design and object fetishization but with a dark, deeply self-reflective angle.
KEYBOARD FANTASIES: THE BEVERLY-GLENN COPELAND STORY
Presented by Film POP x Image+Nation, September 23rd, Cinéma Moderne
Born in 1944 in Philadelphia, Glenn Copeland was never afraid of breaking barriers. Moving to Canada at 17, the young vocalist was the only Black student in his classical music class at McGill University, and openly lived as a lesbian in the early 1960s before coming out as a trans man. Obsessed with sci-fi and living in near isolation in Huntsville, Ontario, Copeland self-released the electronic album Keyboard Fantasies on cassette in 1986. This collection of curious, visionary folk-electronica tracks went largely unnoticed, until a Japanese rare-record collector reissued it three decades later, bringing it to the ears of raving fans. Finally getting the recognition he deserved, the musical genius found himself catapulted to cult status and embarked on his first international tour at age 74. Featuring refreshingly honest interviews with the generous musician, this time-traveling tale will soothe those souls struggling to find their place in the world.
image+nation LGBTQueer Montreal supports and encourages the production, presentation, promotion and dissemination of local and national LGBTQ+ culture and storytelling through its various projects and initiatives. A pioneer of LGBTQ+ cinema for 33 years, the image+nation LGBTQueer Film Festival is the first festival of its kind in Canada, showcasing award-winning local and international films that strive to preserve the authenticity and diversity of LGBTQ+ voices while chronicling an evolving queer cinematic practice. The Festival explores New Queer Storytelling - both the uniqueness and the universality of these stories - offering queer and non-queer identifying audiences contemporary representation of what it means to be LGBTQ+ in the 21st century. Through its various productions, Image+nation, LGBTQueer Montreal makes queer stories a part of everyday life in meaningful and empowering ways; exploring the uniqueness and the universality of these stories while supporting queer art and culture.