Call for Submissions: Triennale Banlieue! Interrègnes – 2021



Interrègnes – 2021

Marie Perrault, Chief Curator
Yan Romanesky, Co-Curator
Alexandre Warnet, Coordinator, Partnerships and Community involvement

Deadline: April 15, 2020
Exhibition date: Summer – Fall 2021

Salle Alfred-Pellan, Maison des arts de Laval

After Banlieue! Ordre et désordre (2015) and Banlieue! Là où se prépare le futur (2018)—the edition that set the event definitively as a triennial—Banlieue! Interrègnes (2021) will grapple with the presence of nature in the suburbs and with the dynamics that have developed between the human habitat and natural ecosystems.

Often defined in opposition to the cities they encircle, North American suburbs have been lauded for the natural or rural settings, particularly by real estate promoters since the 1960s. Paradoxically, suburbs are the prime manifestation of urban sprawl, which stands accused of being the main culprit for the loss of natural environments and farmland. Beyond the often opposing, ideologically driven clichés, what are the relationships and interactions between suburban space and the natural territory? What place does nature have in the suburbs? What form is it given or does it take?

The reflections raised by Triennale Banlieue! are often universal and transcend the framework of Laval, the city hosting the event. Incidently, consultations with Laval’s citizens provide readings that are germane to suburban concerns, testifying, for instance, to their attachment to this closeness to nature. For the occasion of Triennale Banlieue!’s 2021 edition, artists are invited to express their own view on this suburb/nature binary, to explore the ways in which it is rendered, even to articulate it in their own terms.

Apart from the major roadways and shopping malls they are often associated with, suburbs comprise sectors that offer various possible interactions with nature, be it wild, maintained, or developed. The woods and riverbanks that dot the territory and partially surround it are elements of a natural heritage that offers an experience of “the wild,” or of settings little marked by human presence, conducive to a contemplative appreciation of flora, fauna, and the lushness of nature. Moreover, numerous parks and landscaped green spaces host a variety of outdoor activities, whether athletic, cultural, or community-related. In addition, horticultural and agricultural areas sometimes make up a large part of the territory (30% in Laval). This proximity to natural and rural environments can also be seen in the old village centres whose historic settlements are distinct from the suburban housing developments that now surround them. Finally, the many landscaping features one finds around public and commercial institutions, in residential gardens, abutting the highway interchanges and even the soundwalls, are yet more manifestations of interaction with nature. One could even think of the presence of ornamental plants in shopping centres, educational establishments, and recreational facilities.

All are situations and phenomena that urban planning, landscape architecture, and earth and life sciences are approaching with new expertise and perspectives. One may think of transitional socio-ecological citizen initiatives, such as proposals for forestry and urban agriculture that tend to revitalize the binary suburb/nature relationship. Similarly, the growing concern for local consumption and the development of shops in short circuits is bringing townspeople closer to the countryside, as evinced by the multiplication of farmers’ markets and the development of community gardens. The mobilization for the preservation of desirable animals, such as birds or bees, and the often legitimate concerns regarding species considered harmful attest to the issues of shared territory underlying this process.

After several decades of rapid development of suburbs in North America, how can we invest in and redefine this human-inhabited territory, especially with respect to its real or symbolic proximity to nature?


We would like to receive proposals dealing with the relationship between people and nature, particularly in the context of a reflection on the suburb.

They may be articulated around:

  • original observations describing phenomena, or micro-phenomena, testifying to situations or experiences in the field, relevant to this dynamic;
  • original comments regarding these situations;
  • proposals that attempt to redefine the terms of the situation, to influence its development, and to imagine the suburb of the future.


Types of existing works or planned projects we are looking for: painting, sculpture, installation, photography, and media arts. The triennial also wishes to integrate works of relational art, performances, or works derived from citizen action. Some works and events will resonate and be deployed on the territory, depending on locally-developed partnerships.

Required documents:

  • personal vision and experience of the suburb (500 words or less);
  • description of the planned or existing work in relation to the event theme (500 words or less);
  • ten digital images of recent works, identified (descriptive list no.–year–artist surname–first name or initial) and in jpg format (max 1Mb per image);
  • or video excerpts (max 5 min.), in mov., vmv, or mpeg-4 format, in medium or low resolution;
  • descriptive list (title, year, medium);
  • artist statement (500 words or less);
  • cv (max 4 pages).


Types of existing works and planned projects we are looking for: contemporary drawing, print art, short graphic art narratives, excerpts from zines and comic books inspired by the theme of the event and that will be published on a maximum of 4 pages in the event publication, the format of which has to be defined.

Required documents:

  • personal vision and experience of the suburb (500 words or less);
  • description of the planned or existing work in relation to the event theme (500 words or less);
  • preliminary budget for adapting or producing the work;
  • example of a recent project that you have produced or on which you collaborated;
  • artist statement (500 words or less);
  • cv (max 4 pages).


  • Proposals should be sent via WeTransfer by April 15, 2020, at the latest, to the following address:
  • Subject: Banlieue Proposal
  • Please identify each document with your complete name and the title of the document, without accents or spaces (ex.: laroche_rene_vision.pdf).

Salle Alfred-Pellan (SAP) is a museum institution dedicated to the dissemination of contemporary and current art. The SAP provides a space of manifold exchanges, first through the museological process between artists, curators, and our team, and then between the exhibitions and the visitors through its artistic mediation program. Its mission enables it to present projects of national scope while offering the public tools and activities to help appropriate the presented works.