Lush Life, wanderings and trances, a Nicolas Lévesque exhibit

"Life is like jazz, it's better when you improvise."

- George Gershwin

From June 14 to July 9 2016, the Centre for Sustainable Development will be hosting Nicolas Lévesque’s exhibit Lush Life, Wanderings and Trances, produced by the Saguenay Zoom Photo Festival and presented in collaboration with the Montreal International Jazz Festival.

In April 2015, the photographer and filmmaker Nicolas Lévesque let his lens lead him behind the scenes at the Saguenay Jazz and Blues Festival. He stayed up all night, hung out in the artists’ dressing rooms and wandered backstage to snap some of the pictures that make up this exhibit and the book Lush Life, Wanderings and Trances, also to be launched at the Centre on June 14th.

This is how the artist describes his exhibit: 

During the 20th edition of the Saguenay Jazz and Blues Festival, I wandered around all the areas where this rhythmic event was taking place. In order to interview them, I accompanied musicians, technicians and festival-goers during the sound tests, rehearsals, clean-up time and shows, both backstage and onstage. By doing this, I could observe their concentration, their pleasure, their confidence or their doubts and all the trances that submerged them. These are the moments I was looking for: amazingly I was part of the context but they totally forgot about me.     

I asked one of them if he was ever nervous or had doubts before a show and he answered,  “yes of course and it gets worse as you get older!” Time reminds us that we're all fallible and yet this fragility that we all have to deal with can only serve to make us more human and increase our feeling of mutual trust. For me, musicians have always embodied this precious hope: in my eyes, they are creators of a light-filled space that allows us to see life as it should be seen, infinitely beautiful.

Art opening, book launch and panel

The exhibit’s art opening will take place on June 14 at 12:15. On this occasion, the Centre for Sustainable Development, in collaboration with Quintus Marketing, will be presenting the panel “Innovative social and environmental practices for festivals and large-scale events” [French only]. The artist will also be launching his new book, Lush Life, Wanderings and Trances, accompanied by his co-author, ICI Musique host Stanley Péan. 

Event duration: 1:30 Suggested contribution: $5. Sign up here:

About the artist

Born in Québec, Canada, Nicolas Lévesque is a photographer and filmmaker.  After studying photography, arts and cinema, he co-founded the KAHEM Photographers’ Association. His work takes shape in the juncture between various degrees of acceptation in a given reality or context. Thanks to his documentary projects, he has traveled all around the world. He works with the National Film Board of Canada and Télé-Québec and was offered a grant by the SODEC in 2014. He is now writing his first documentary feature film. 

About the book

Nicolas Lévesque was invited by the Saguenay Jazz and Blues Festival to produce the photo essay Lush Life, Wanderings and Trances in honour of the festival’s 20th edition. The writer Stanley Péan contributed many original texts for the book, including L’oeil photographique, Jazz et blues, Petite musique de nuit, Harmonica and Lush life

Published by Canapé Media, this 48-page book will be sold for $25 (cash only) during the opening and at the front desk of the Centre for Sustainable Development during opening hours, from June 14 to July 9, 2016. $2 per book will go to the Centre to support its gallery, the only one linking art and sustainable development in Montreal. 

Thank you!

The Centre for Sustainable Development would like to thank the Montreal International Jazz Festival, Quintus Marketing, the Saguenay Zoom Photo Festival, Fondaction CSN, the Groupe Photo Media International, COPTICOM, Novae, the Journal Métro as well as Alcoa, its main partner in programming. The greenhouse gas emissions generated by participants’ transportation are offset thanks to a partnership with Planetair.