Art: Phi Centre + Film Screenings / Bureau & Kolakis

Kolakis' objéts in Phi Centre

If you've got some appetite for visual stimulation you can do worse than visiting "Living in a Material World" exhibit currently on at Montreal Old Port's newest and hipest art-shelter Phi Center. Presented are the works of locally-based greek artist and sculptor Valérie Kolakis and quebecois painter Paul Bureau in a court, but vivid exhibition. Involving Kolakis' curious use of glass, cement and metal deployed to render everyday-life objects bizarre and displaced in the vast blank exhibit space and Bureau's protruding colour abstractions realized in thickest layers of paint that you can physically feel by looking at them.

Paul Bureau's thick-layered colour abstractions in Phi Centre

The exhibit is decidedly more about organization of the art-space itself and interesting curatorial choices rather than particular objects on display. 

More fascinating is Phi Centre's growing dedication to the audiovisual programming. In recent months Phi served as one of the locations for Guy Maddin's experimental attempt at recreating lost films by great directors of the last century and hosted city's premieres for recent art-house hits, like Sofia Coppola's "Bling Ring". In September gallery (or should I say art centre) came up with the whole schedule of high profile screening for films sometimes too marginal or festivals-oriented to have theatrical or even physical release. Considering that Montreal's film festivals are effectively killed by the mixture of bureaucracy, bad programming, nationalism and ever-growing fabulousness of TIFF, Phi Centre is certainly filling the void for a certain clientele. 

This month we have already witnessed the premiere of wack-o-rama that is "The Act Of Killing" by Joshua Oppenheimer. Reenacting Indonesian mass-murders with real-life "authors" and in various cinematic renditions. Werner Herzog-approved.

Joshua Oppenheimer's "The Act Of Killing" movie poster 

Joshua Oppenheimer's "The Act Of Killing" movie poster 

Down the line is Caroline Martel's documentary on mysterious instrument Les Ondes Martenot ("Wavemakers", September 20, 21:15), Canadian premiere of recent Sundance hit "A Teacher" by Hannah Fidell (September 19, 20, 19:00) and considerably more upbeat Scarlett Johansson-featuring dramedy "Don Juan" by actor-turned-director Joseph Gordon-Levitt (September 24, 19:30).

Also on the list of forthcoming events are FILM Pop screening events as part of the indie-friendly music festival running from September 25 to 29 and David Gordon Green low-key comedy "Prince Avalanche".