A word from the Edgy ‘Organisatrix’
Posted by Laura Beeston

By the end of this week, expect Montreal to get edgier.

Not in the obvious, chain-smoking, nervy way people get when they’re stressed, but through fierce, female-driven performance art that will descend on this city for the 18th edition of the Edgy Women Festival, running at the end of the week, from March 19 to April 2. (Get excited.)

“This year is smaller, but it’s really juicy,” said Miriam GinestierOrganisatrix, the founder, artistic director and “organisatrix” behind Edgy. “It’s really exciting when work is artistically strong and political at the same time. And it’s not easy to find that combination.”

Bringing together diverse works from the local, national and international performance art scene since 1994, this year’s femme fest will showcase truly signature aesthetics.

Some of the “Edgy attributes” Ginestier looks for in her women are “people who are one of a kind, who have a really strong voice, and have unusual work. I like artists who can be great inspirations to other artists.”

Explaining that a series of strong, solo voices have overwhelmed any tangible ‘theme’ that emerged from this year’s lineup, Ginestier said she hopes that this year’s audience walks away from each performance and activity trusting Edgy to deliver the goods—and to keep coming back for more.

“The one thing I always want to do with Edgy is introduce artists to Montrealers, and bring some back in order to build a following,” she said. “This edition [...] we chose to stick with the really strong projects. There’s not a lot of emerging artists in the program, it’s pretty international, and there aren’t a lot of Montrealers either. But it’s part of the fun, I think, to bring in outsiders and having the local community exchange with them.”

Some of the Edgy Women on the roster include radical sex educators and internationally acclaimed erotic artists Annie Sprinkle and Elizabeth Stephens, the Brooklyn-based choreographer Narcissister, (who has described herself as a “post modern, post feminist sex artist”) and Edgy repeat Karen Sherman, who continues to buck classical dance expectation.

Through an accessible and radical celebration of women and art, Ginestier explained that the curatorial content addresses more than simply “women’s issues,” offering many levels and opportunities for the community to connect.

“I think there’s a real misconception that anytime art is about a women’s issue that it’s going to be dour, didactic and dreary,” she said. “That’s not the case here. It can be really exciting, really humanist […] in a very visceral way. Edgy is about bringing together the thought-provoking and fun.”

Edgy after parties, a university speaker series and a Sidewalk Sex Clinic are also running in tandem with the performance art schedule, and programming partners this year include “Galerie Powerhouse” La Centrale.

So get ready to get Edgy. (And stay tuned to the Blog for all the updates!)

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