It hasn't been that easy for us as artists to move into an entirely new city and new country, where we had no contacts and no history; we left all of that -- a whole lifetime of work, really-- behind in the U.S. Making friends has been quite easy, but finding our way in the art scene has not, except for my music. Being included in an exhibition like ABC : MTL has not only been a good experience for J. as an artist, but it's also made him feel more integrated and accepted as participants in the artistic life of the city we've chosen to call home.
There's a comprehensive review of the ABC :MTL show at the Canadian Centre for Architecture in the January issue of Canadian Architect magazine, including a double-page spread of Jonathan's photograph that was included in the show (p.32-33) In her thoughtful review, Louise Pelletier writes:
"Some of the most successful pieces, however, invite a different kind of participation." They create new places for poetic inhabitation through representing very real conditions. Jonathan Sa'adah's panoramic The Tunnel of Death, for instance, offers an improbable view of the intersection between d'Iberville and Boulevard Saint-Joseph, capturing the complex motions and coexistence of infinite trajectories that share a common space of circulation while inviting the viewer to reflect on the nature of urban space."
Pelletier liked the show, which had as its premise the presentation of a creative, unusual self-autoportrait of the city, and its democratic, open process of inviting proposals from artists, architects, and citizens. She felt the curators had been less sucessful, however, in their stated goal of engaging viewers in dialogue about the future of the city, particularly in addressing some of the problems brought up by the participating artists. I would agree.
However, it's been a very good experience; it was great for him to have a ten-foot print of his work shown in such a public, high-profile venue; he was part of a video interview (2:07) (see image above, or click link to watch the video) with the artists shown at the museum and on the web, and he gave a talk along with several others artists last weekend, quite well-attended in spite of the bad weather. All his interactions with the staff and curators have been very positive and professional; it's been good.