New co-direction — Alicia Turgeon & Cían Walsh

 

Montreal, May 19, 2021 — Eastern Bloc is very pleased to announce the nomination of Alicia Turgeon as General Director and Cían Walsh as Artistic Director.


The Board of Administrators and the Eastern Bloc team would like to congratulate Cían and Alicia, a new co-direction that is enthusiastically welcomed!

Alicia is already well known to Eastern Bloc and its community, as she has held the position of Artistic Coordinator for the past four years. In addition to her familiarity with the dynamics and history of the center within the Montreal artistic sector, Alicia has always shown great rigor, dynamism, and enthusiasm in her involvement with Eastern Bloc. It was therefore only natural that the Board of Administrators decided to nominate Alicia as General Director.

Mainly drawn by media arts and tridimensional practices, Alicia is most interested in cultural sustainability through the concepts of accessibility, intergenerational exchange, relationship-building, radical care, and design for appropriation. She believes in the power of alternative approaches in makers' spaces and investigates in her own creative pursuits the boundaries of authorship through open design and DIY praxis.

During her early time at Eastern Bloc, Alicia also worked as the exhibition coordinator at the Art Matters Festival, the largest student-run festival in North America. During her mandate, she worked with more than 200 artists, speakers, and curators in producing multidisciplinary events, programs, and learning outcomes for emerging artists around the city of Montreal. She had been sitting on the board of the organization ever since and has been elected as the chairperson since fall 2020.

Alicia is currently a BFA candidate at Concordia University with a specialization in Sculpture where she was recently awarded a Sustainability Research Award (2020) and an Experimental Learning Grant (2020-2021) for one of  last productions. More recently, she started working as a research assistant for the Kinawind Lab (of the Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Arts Practice, Nadia Myre).

“It’s an honor for me to have the opportunity to further my involvement with Eastern Bloc, especially at this exciting time during which the center is relocalizing and reshaping itself. I started working for Eastern Bloc in 2017 and got the chance to work under Eliane Ellbogen, the co-founder, and all the great directions that followed. I could not be more grateful and motivated for this new challenge and to be able to help further build and resonate with this amazing community!” - Alicia

With a strong background and experience in the arts and sciences, Cían Walsh, as Artistic Director, will bring his innovative vision and an international perspective to the programming of Eastern Bloc.

Finding inspiration in radical transdisciplinary artistic practice, he has found his niche at the intersection of art, science, technology, and culture. A biologist by training, he is most interested in the collision of the organic and technological—the interface of natural and artificial intelligence. He believes in the necessity of holistic viewpoints, of provocative investigative art forms, the practice of research-creation, and the promotion of critical dialogue and experimentation.

Prior to his move to Montreal, Cían was Exhibition Producer at Science Gallery Dublin, the founding member of the award-winning Global Science Gallery Network. There, he worked with over 200 artists and scientists developing and producing exhibitions and programs at the avant-garde of art-science, bio-art, and digital art.

Cían holds a B.Sc in Biomedical, Health and Life Sciences from University College Dublin and a Postgraduate Certificate in Creative and Cultural Entrepreneurship from Trinity College Dublin. Since graduating, he has worked as a researcher and producer, spending time in Dublin, Paris, and Chicago before making the move to Montréal this year.

"I am delighted to have been given this rare opportunity at Eastern Bloc. The center has such a sterling reputation within Montréal’s exceptionally vibrant arts scene. I can’t wait to work with the city's emerging artistic talent. With the center in the process of moving to a new space in a new neighborhood, I couldn’t join the team at a more interesting time." - Cían

We finally would like to warmly thank Marie-Michèle Fillion, our previous general director, for all her work accomplished with energy and enthusiasm, to whom we wish the best for the future.

 

Photo crédits: Vincent Castonguay