Curator / Researcher / Cultural Advisor / Founding Director, aPOSteRIORI, Montréal, Québec. Born: Haiti.
Dominique Fontaine is a curator, researcher, cultural advisor and Founding Directorof aPOSteRIORI, a non-profit curatorial platform – researching, documenting,developing, producing and facilitating innovation in diverse contemporary art practices.
Dominique graduated in visual arts and arts administration from the University of Ottawa, and studies curatorial practices at De AppelStiching Curatorial Training Programme (Amsterdam). Her ongoing research, “Evidence: Inter-documentation”, surveys contemporary visual art practices by Black artists, curators, critics, theorists, and art historians as a response to a gap concerning the accessibility of updated material on diverse artistic propositions from Africa and its Diaspora.
Since 1992, she has curated and organized several contemporary art events in Canada and abroad. Her recent curatorial projects included “Images, Imageries, Imaginaires” – International Photography Exhibition of the World Festival of Black Arts and Cultures (December 2010); “Forms and topographies: African Cityscape in flux”, Thessaloniki Biennale, Greece (2009); “Moshekwa Langa: Unlimited”, Art Star Video Biennial (2005); and “Zineb Sedira”, Art Star Video Biennial (2003).
Other: Curator, “Images, Imageries, Imaginaires” – International Photography Exhibition of the World Festival of Black Arts and Cultures (2010); curator, “Forms and topographies: African Cityscape in flux”, touring exhibition and video program (2008 to present); guest curator, “Old News #4”, Midway Contemporary, Minneapolis, Minnesota (2008); member, International Association of Curators of Contemporary Art (since 2007); Guest Curator, “Moshekwa Langa: Unlimited”, Art Star Video Biennale, Galerie Saw Gallery, Ottawa (2005); Member, Delegation on Cultural Diversity in the Arts, Montreal Arts Council, Montreal Guest (2004-2007); curator, “ZinebSedira”; Art Star Video Biennale, Galerie Saw Gallery, Ottawa (2003); Guest Curator, “Matthijs De Bruijne: A Similar Place”, Artengine, Ottawa (2002); Co-Curator, “In the meantime…” De Appel, Amsterdam (2000-2001); Project Coordinator, “Retreks”, Zar Works, Johannesburg, South Africa (2000); Co-founder and Vice-President for North America, Fondation AfricAmerica, Montreal (1998-2000); Curator / Jury member, DAK’ART ’98, la biennale de l’art africain contemporain, Dakar, Senegal (1997-1998); Board member, Saw Gallery Video Co-op, Ottawa, (1997-1998); Associate Curator, “First Ottawa-Hull Black Artists Showcase”, Black History Ottawa, Ottawa Professional Association (1992).
Affiliations: Member, programming committee, and Advisory Board of the Bina Ellen Gallery, Concordia University, Montreal (2007-2010); Member, International Association of Curators of Contemporary Art (since 2007); Selection Committee member, Cité Invisible / Invisible City, 7th Biennale Champ Libre, Montreal (2006); Founding Director, a POSteRIORI, a non-profit research and curatorial platform Montréal (2006); Board member, Canadian Artists Network: Black Artists in Action, Toronto (1996-1998); Organizing Committee member, “Black Site ’96”, Saw Video Co-op, Ottawa (1994-1996); conference organizer, Artists Against Hate, Saw Video Gallery Co-op, Ottawa (1997); Founding member, Little Pear Garden Collective, Toronto (1994).
Works: Catalogues, collective books, articles: “Marie-Hélène Cauvin in Conversation with Dominique Fontaine – Sharjah Biennial 10” (Sharjah, United Arab Emirates, 2011, p. 105); ”Biennàle :2 – Thessaloniki Biennale of Contemporary Art” (Thessaloniki, Greece, 2009, p. 3); “Snap Judgments: New Positions in Contemporary African Photography”, CV ciel variable, 74, (Montréal, 2006, p. 29-30); “Moshekwa Langa : Unlimited”, Art Star Biennale de Vidéo d’Art, Galerie Saw Gallery, Ottawa (2005); “Letters from Montreal”, ‘Letters from five continents’, Printed Project, (Dublin, Ireland, Issue 02, p.43-44); “Zineb Sedira”, Art Star Biennale de Vidéo d’Art, Galerie Saw Gallery (Ottawa, 2003, p. 48-53); “Matthijs De Bruijne: A Similar Place”, Artengine, Ottawa (2002); “Tracey Rose”, 19th World Wide Video Festival (2001), World Wide Video, Amsterdam, Pays-Bas (2001); “Tracey Rose: TKO”; In the meantime…, De Appel, Amsterdam, Pays-Bas (2001); “Contemporary Haitian art of the 90s”; Políticas de la Diferencia: ArteIberoamericano fin de siglo / “Politics of the Difference: End-of-century Iberoamerican Art”, Generalitat Valenciana, Spain (2001).
Favourite book? There are so many books, I can’t choose only one favourite. [I enjoy] Haitian literature, particularly Les arbres musiciens by Jacques-Stéphen Alexis; Gouverneur de la rosée by Jacques Roumain; Mille eaux by Émile Ollivier; also, Breath,Eyes, Memory by Edwidge Danticat. I also love reading poetry; Rumy is my favourite poet. L’amant by Marguerite Duras, has a special place in my library; I read it when I was a teenager and was inspired by the writing, the language, and the atmosphere.
Favourite quotes? 1) « Lorsque tu ne sais pas où tu vas, regarde d’où tu viens. » (“When you do not know where you’re going, look where you came from.”) – African proverb 2) “Act first, think later — that way you have something to think about.” – Marcia Tucker (Curator and founder of the New Museum of Contemporary Art) 3) “The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science.” – Albert Einstein
Given the chance, what would you love to do that you haven’t done yet? To chair (host in Canada) a three to five year program dedicated to research and creation in Africa, and the African Diaspora in the Americas (North, Central and South) and the Caribbean.
What inspires you? Life inspires me!
Why do you do what you do? Passion.