articule was founded in 1979 and incorporated as a non-profit organization in 1980 by a group of young artists who wanted to create a place of multidisciplinary presentation focused on research and artistic experimentation. These artists have come together to rent a space on the de la Montagne Street in Montreal, and shared programming and management. articulates became part of, what was called at the time, the network of parallel galleries. The organization has subsequently moved a few times in the central neighborhoods of Montreal. Since 2006, it's been occupying a bright space in the multicultural and lively Mile End. In 2009-2010, articulates celebrated its thirtieth anniversary with a thematic programming and Event Fundraising Who's Who which brought together artists who contributed to the center during its history.
articule’s founding members shared common values that remain central to the centre’s operations today: bilingualism, collaboration, and participative management. In addition to maintaining these modes of governance as an engaged and creative space, articule offers programming that is political, critical, flexible, and extremely diverse.
From site-specific choreography and performance (Dena Davida, 1979, Mona Hatoum, 1983) through Fluxus theatre (Geoffrey Hendricks et John Giorno, 1996-97), to travelling interventions (Bookmobile, 2001) and the VIVA! art action (2006 - ), articule supports practices associated with performance art in its broadest terms, and has made a significant contribution to the development of this discipline in the Montréal region.articule’s programming is equally marked by a desire to take art outside of the gallery walls. An agreement established with Montréal retailers has given artists the opportunity to exhibit in store fronts since the early 1980s. This practice continues today with subsequent exhibitions and events being held in apartment buildings, hospitals, retirement homes, theatres, cinemas, parks, and a Salvation Army centre, to name but a few venues.
In tandem with its exhibition programme, articule has developed different avenues of activity in response to the needs and trends of the milieu. Examples of note would be the multimedia programming of the 1990s, comprising, for example, the work of Trinh T. Minh-ha, Steve Reinke and Pipilotti Rist; Special Projects, allowing for more site-specific works (1994 onwards); the conservation projects (2000 onwards), such as Hôpital (2001) and Carolee Schneeman’s 2005 exhibition, and the in-house window projects initiated in 2007.
An enduring discursive tradition began in articule’s first decade, with the publication of Discussion (1981-1989). With important thematic conferences, publications, and workshops bringing national and international artists together, this space has continued to thrive as a centre for dialogue and knowledge sharing.
Since 1979, articule has supported a great number of young artists, offering many a first opportunity to exhibit their work in a professional environment. At the same time, the centre has given the public the opportunity to discover artists of international renown. Among such artists are Marie Chouinard (1979), François Morelli, Stephen Scholfield, (1980-81), Lisa Steele, Pierre Falardeau (1982-83), Bill Vazan, Michael Snow, Chris Burden (1983-84), Martha Rosler (1984-85), Ed Pien (1985-1986), Peter Doig (1989-1990), Robert Houle (1991-1992), Pipilotti Rist (1993-94), John Giorno (1996-97), Dena Davida, (1998-99), Julie-Andrée T. (2000-01), Evergon (2001-02), Gary Neil Kennedy (2003-04), Carolee Schneemann, (2005-06), Kelly Richardson (2007) Nelson Henricks (2008), Aleesa Cohene (2008), Greg Staats (2011) and Carl Trahan (2012).