Devora Neumark and Jennifer Van de Pol
WeatheringNovember 30, 2023 - March 6, 2024
with Alida, Alvana, Djedjiga, Fatiha, Foulematou, Gaétan, Geneviève, Henryette, Isaac, Muna, Natacha, Nguyêt, Patricia, Tharwat, Tima, Wodase.
Interdisciplinary artists Devora Neumark and Jennifer Van de Pol are co-creating a public writing project in collaboration with participants from CÉDA, an education centre and DARE-DARE neighbour that has been active in Montreal’s South-West for 50 years. CÉDA aims to improve the conditions of people living in situations of poverty and exclusion in order to build a fairer society.
Devora and Jennifer have been collaborating for over a decade, most recently on a project titled Prompts as Portals, involving a prompting methodology that they first explored during a month-long research-creation residency in 2016 at Things That Can Happen Art Space in Kowloon, Hong Kong. Prompts as Portals is a 20-month long project that continued to draw on their respective contemplative and somatic practices and their previous collaboration in Hong Kong.
Together, Devora and Jennifer have been working with a CÉDA learning group of approximately 10 participants, ages 28-82, and experimenting with this prompting approach. The outcome of this collaboration will include 12 texts to be publicly shared that are connected to the concept of weathering. Our explorations are rooted in questions such as:
1. What are the most effective means of communicating the need for both environmental and social justice[I] through short texts to a transient public who might come across them by chance?
2. How might this project be an opportunity to care for each other, and us, over great distances (from Iqaluit to Victoria to Montreal,) while co-creating public art?
3. How can we honour and attend to our internal weather/climate (bodies, breath) while the external climate continues to change, at times drastically?
[I] Environmental activist Leah Thomas calls this intersectional environmentalism. See also the City of Montreal’s Climate Plan 2020–2030.
Devora Neumark and Jennifer Van de Pol’s artistic collaborations explore questions about embodiment, community, and equitable futures, driven by a heartfelt commitment to social and environmental justice. Their work is rooted in self-reflection and shared understanding, presented through video, writing, drawing, performance, and social practice projects. Their interdisciplinary work has been showcased in exhibitions, publications, and residencies in Canada and beyond, with the hope of cultivating spaces for genuine human connection.
Devora and Jennifer are honoured to be collaborating with a CÉDA French language- learning group to co-create the texts for Weathering. Devora is based in Iqaluit, NU (“place of plenty fish” in Inuktitut) in Inuit Nunangat and Jennifer is based in Victoria BC (“place to smoke herring”), the traditional lands of the Lək̓ʷəŋən People.
Devora and Jennifer want to note that they would've loved to honour all participants' first languages with translations. There simply wasn't enough time & resources to accommodate this. They would like to share that these languages are: Arabic, Vietnamese, Algerian Berber (Amazigh), and Fula (widely spoken in West Africa.).