The Belgo Report

The Belgo Report is a monthly podcast talking about visual arts in and around the Belgo Building, Montreal’s largest centre of visual arts and home of over 30 contemporary art galleries and artist’s studios.

Every month host Bettina Forget chats with the artists, gallery owners, and curators who bring their amazing talent to the building, and gives you an in-depth behind-the-scenes look into Montreal’s contemporary art scene.


#10 • Contemplations: Sovereignty, Portraiture, and Nature

March 30, 2014
The Belgo Report

In this episode of the Belgo Report we capture inner monologues, explore quiet spaces in nature, and we contemplate ideas surrounding sovereignty. Host Bettina Forget chats with photographer Marisa Portolese about her exhibition Belle du Jour at Galerie Lilian Rodriguez, and explores how she captures her model’s inner landscape.

In her interview with curator Cheyanne Turions, Bettina and Cheyanne discuss the exhibition A Problem So Big It Needs Other People at SBC Gallery of Contemporary Art, which unites the talents of five First Nations artists. The central theme of the show is sovereignty, a concept which has been the topic of study at SBC for the last two years.

Last, but by no means least, is Bettina’s chat with Montreal artist Christian Knudsen, who stepped into the role of curator for the exhibition Nature at Galerie Nicolas Robert. We talk about walks in Montreal’s Botanical Garden, hand-tinted Japanese prints, and how Christian got the largest skylight in Quebec.

This month’s playlist
Anitek, Disconcert
Adela, Ora Chi Tornu
music from the musical Transmigrations
Miyata Kohachiro, Honshirabe
John Coltrane Quartet, Lonnie’s Lament

Useful links
Marisa Portolese
Galerie Lilian Rodriguez
Cheyanne Turions
SBC Gallery of Contemporary Art
Christian Knudsen
Galerie Nicolas Robert

#9 • Ticking Clocks and Toxic Flora

February 23, 2014

In this episode of the Belgo Report we’re talking about ticking clocks and toxic flora. Host Bettina Forget sits down with François LeTourneux, associate curator at the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal and its man in charge of exhibiting one of the most iconic works of contemporary art: Christian Marclay‘s The Clock. François and Bettina discuss Marclay’s roots in sound art, his masterful music and video remixes, and the best ways to watch The Clock.
Montreal artist Natalie Reis talks to Bettina about her current show titled Compendium, featuring toxic floral bouquets, deconstructed bodies, and the taboos associated with motherhood – and breast milk. Natalie’s most recent body of work critically examines the role of women, motherhood, and femininity.

This month’s playlist:
Christian Marclay‘s apprearance on the TV show Night Music, October 1989
Tracy Bonham, Mother Mother
Christian Marclay, The Clock, 2010 (excerpt)
Christian Marclay, Telephones, 1995 (excerpt)
Christian Marclay, Video Quartet, 2002 (excerpt)
Christian Marclay, Jane Birkin and Serge Gainsbourg, 1997
Christian Marclay, Pandora’s Box, from ‘Records 1981-1989’

Useful links:
Galerie Trois Points website
Natalie Reis website
Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal website


#8 • Starlight, Polaroids, and Time

December 15, 2013
The Belgo Report - Episode 8

In this episode of the Belgo Report we’re talking about light, time, polaroids, and contemporary alchemy. Host Bettina Forget and Montreal artist Fiona Annis discuss dead stars, pre-film photographic techniques (which require some solid knowledge of chemistry), and how Fiona uses her art to bridge the past and the present. Much like Fiona Annis, Anthony Vrakotas also investigates how echoes of the past invade today’s technology. Anthony uses expired polaroid film to capture the elusive memories of his childhood. His exhibition titled An Instant used to be Three Minutes Long refers to the time it takes to develop a Polaroid image – a process that seemed magically instant not too long ago.

This episode features an eclectic collection of space-inspired music:
Space Lion – 4 Hero by  The Seatbelts
We Who Are Not As Others by Jazzanova
Protostar – Antares (Alpha Scorpii) by GV Sound
Supernova Sonata by Alex Parker
Hymne an die Nacht by A. M. Mahler, performed by Maude Paradis (mezzo soprano) and Clark Schaufele (piano)

Useful links:
Galerie Lilian Rodriguez
Fiona Annis website
Mésures Celestes concert featuring Maude Paradis and Clark Schaufele [Vimeo]
Supernova Sonata video by Alex Parker
Galerie Nicolas Robert
Anthony Vrakotas website

#7 • Mois de la Photo à Montréal

September 17, 2013
The Belgo Report

This episode of The Belgo Report focuses on the photography biennale Mois de la Photo à Montréal. Host Bettina Forget talks to the biennale’s curator Paul Wombell about the theme “Drone – The Automated Image” and the idea of photography without a photographer. In the second half of the program Bettina talks to artists Véronique Ducharme and Cheryl Sourkes; both are showing their work at Galerie B-312 as part of the Mois de la Photo programming. Find out about hunter’s cameras capturing deer at night and webcams capturing people in the nude in this episode’s investigation of automated photography.

The music this month is by Bersarin Quartett, which is not, as the name would suggest, a quartet, but just one talented guy in Berlin called Thomas Bücker.

Useful links:
The Mois de la Photo à Montréal
Galerie B-312
Véronique Ducharme
Cheryl Sourkes
Bersarin Quartett

#6 • The Q & A Edition

August 11, 2013

This is our first Q & A edition of the Belgo Report! Host Bettina Forget chats with Rhonda Meier about the role of the curator, history buff Guy Rogers explains where the Belgo building got its name, and André Laroche has a few tips about vernissages and how to get the most out of your gallery visit.

The music played during this episode is by local talent Ben Wilkins from his self-titled album.

Useful link
Galerie Laroche/Joncas –

#5 • Highways, Concrete and Art

July 20, 2013
Belgo Report Episode 5 | Michel Martino

Host Bettina Forget chats with Montreal artist Michel Martino about his fascination with the Turcot interchange, a crumbling concrete behemoth despised by most Montrealers but, according to Michel, one of the city’s most beautiful pieces of architecture. Horrid highway or underappreciated urban icon? You decide.

And, as per usual, at the end of the hour Bettina has a few recommendations of exhibitions you should check out in the galleries Belgo building.

Music for this episode is, fittingly, Autobahn by Kraftwerk (taken from the original 22-minute version).

Useful link
Webpage of Michel Martino’s exhibition Turcot at Visual Voice Gallery
Michel Martino – TURCOT