2015 Honorary President

A Rebellious Gaze

Before our eyes, more than forty works by contemporary Quebec artists. More than forty gazes upon the world around us — free gazes aimed at society, politics, the international situation, the environment, the economy. Artists are attempting to defend the fortress within which contrary attitudes and free discourse are still possible. With their creative, insurgent passion, artists can resist pressure from the political and economic spheres and from public opinion.

The art world, however, is not a sanctuary sheltered from outside influences. The artwork is diverted from its original purpose to become, in turn, an object of fashion, marketing, and speculation. International auction houses are breaking sales records; for some art is a hedge against inflation, and at the same time, the state and public institutions are withdrawing their support. Governments are able to disengage from culture without political repercussions because public opinion cares very little for its state of health. We seem to be lost somewhere between “comfort and indifference.”

By purchasing the works selected by the jury, not only are we contributing to the development of esse magazine and its reflection on art and society, but we are also supporting the Quebec art market. When purchasing an artwork, we take the truly thrilling risk of being moved. We may even be shaken up, see the world differently, rediscover something of our capacity for revolt or amazement that lies dormant, deep within us. I am happy to rediscover some artists and discover new ones, and I want to say to everyone, “Let’s wake up our minds, and remain rebellious and vigilant! ”

Sébastien Barangé

Biography of Sébastien Barangé​

Sébastien Barangé is vice-president, communications and public affairs at the CGI Group. In this position, he is responsible for public and media relations, acts as spokesperson, and directs the company’s communications teams in Canada and France.

As a journalist at Radio-Canada, Barangé contributed to a number of publications, including Le Devoir, for which he conducted interviews with international personalities. He was then an advisor to Michaëlle Jean during her mandate as Governor General of Canada, from 2005 to 2010.

Sébastien Barangé is known for his active involvement in the Montreal community; he sits on a number of committees and boards of directors in the education and culture sectors, including Montréal Métropole Culturelle, Brigade Arts Affaires de Montréal, the arts-business committee of the Conseil des arts de Montréal, Ensemble pour le respect de la diversité, Théâtre Pétrus, and MASSIVart. In 2013, he co-founded Jeunes mécènes pour les arts, an initiative bringing together fifty young professionals who award privately funded grants each year to young artists or cultural organizations in Montreal. In 2014, he co-founded Brigade Arts Affaires de Montréal and launched Cadeau MTL 375e, a fund-raising campaign aiming to mobilize young business people with the goal of offering a work of public art to Montreal for the city’s 375th anniversary.

Sébastien Barangé is a graduate of HEC Montréal, the Institut d’Études Politiques (Aix-en-Provence, France), and the Classes préparatoires aux grandes écoles françaises.

Photo: © Christine Bourgier