Exploring Humanity’s Political Capacities

“Friendly Fire” to showcase artists challenging human beings’ ambivalent interactions with social and environmental issues

Art Mûr, Thursday, March 1 to Saturday, March 17

Vernissage: Thursday, March 1, 5:00 to 8:00 p.m.



MONTREAL — Encircled and manipulated by vast social, economic and political structures, we humans witness, struggle, adapt, resist and sometimes even creatively challenge our complex, even treacherous presence in the world. “Friendly Fire” showcases these relations of ambivalence, contradiction and conflict with socially critical work by sixteen emerging artists from Concordia University’s fine arts programs.

Adrian DiLena’s large-scale drawings depict scenes of an absurd yet critical nature, exploring the meaning of individualism in a world dominated by a collective action deficit. Hélène Brousseau lends an ominous presence to her windswept landscape images, Stray Bullets, with the addition a .12-gauge shotgun to her painter’s palette. Hoda Adra’s Landslide, an appropriation of schoolyard folded-paper fortune tellers, gently exposes Canadian complicity in erasing the memory of Palestinian villages.

With her experimental mini-documentary, Jus ad Bellum, Annie Briard challenges the continuing practice of selling war to civilian populations. In his photographic series, Canadian Forces Base Chilliwack, Michael Love explores the re-evaluated use of architecture, from the structured utility of military housing into the suburban residential home.

Leah Newbold’s White Mamma, combining textiles, printmaking and sound, explores the experiences of people of colour who have been adopted by white parents. In Indians!, Walter Scott presents questions about post-colonial Indigenous identity in drawings of contemporary, young Native Americans against romanticized images of “Noble Savages.” Identity and aspiration take on central roles in +Boys, a photographic series of Asian male youths by Terry Yun. Ayesha Hameed’s video, Outer Space, examines parallels between tropes in science fiction, the fantasies of colonial expansion and current conditions of potential immigrants.

Kate Hampel explores otherness and conquest in “it cannot be taken alive”, a series of impossible hunting trophies that question a need to possess what cannot survive in captivity. Josh Noiseux’s series of photographs, Vegetable Ghettos, explores the liminal zones where vegetation and built environments meet and compete. The nexus between humans and nature is further examined in Implements 01.1, in which Jim Bell reverses the interfaces of ordinary hand tools with surprising results. And with SproutOutLoud!, Emily rose Michaud encourages urban gardening and local food production, offering visitors a real sample of her garden and free instructional booklets on how to grow sprouts from home.

Matt Goerzen takes on the media with his series of drawings portraying the over-saturated modern mind in a mental landscape of media-borne memes, consumptive urges and spiritual concussions. Brian Hunter humanizes celebrity opinion makers with his series of topless Canadian News Anchor Portraits, rendered in marker and hot glue on pillowcases. And on our opening night, armed only with a personal voice recorder and megaphone, J. Peter King presents a video performance of absurd pseudo-newscasts for the mock mentality.

“The day-to-day work of human beings is to encounter troubled and troubling situations and to react and adapt in creative ways,” says “Friendly Fire” co-curator Joshua Barndt. “This exhibition is the product of artists exploring such diverse, resilient human responses to environmental, social and political challenges.”

“Friendly Fire” features works by:

Hoda Adra

Jim Bell

Annie Briard

Hélène Brousseau

Adrian DiLena

Matt Goerzen

Ayesha Hameed

Kate Hampel

Brian Hunter

J. Peter King

Michael Love

Emily Rose Michaud

Leah Newbold

Josh Noiseux

Walter Scott

Terry Yun

Curators: Joshua Barndt and Ed Janzen

All are invited to the vernissage, which will take place from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. on Thursday, March 1.

For further information, or to arrange media interviews, please contact curators Ed Janzen (514-276-2313 or or Joshua Barndt (514-813-9642 or