I am a Montreal based urban curator with a background in professional theatre practice and performance studies. I am working at the intersections of site-responsive, critical, spatial, interdisciplinary, and socially engaged art practices.  I am an assistant professor in the Department of Theatre, and affiliate in the Department of Geography, Planning and Environment at Concordia University, Montreal, where I also hold a University Research Chair in Performative Urbanism (new scholar, 2018-2023). I am currently undertaking research in the field of expanded scenographic practices, environmental performance, and concepts such as spatial dramaturgy and performative urbanism.  Since 2018 I have been the Director of the Institute for Urban Futures.

Within the context of urban change, in my curatorial practice I often work with artists to create site responsive performances, interventions, installations, and collaborative community projects. My projects often involve long-term documentary and site-specific research projects. In my practice I ask how critical curation can be a mode of intervention in the urban realm, and how neighbourhoods in transition might be active collaborators, with artists, in the surfacing of significant pasts, sublimated political positions, and forms of cultural agency, including the agencies of the built environment itself.  I am working with oral history, post humanist thought, feminist and queer theory to rethink sites, discourses, and themes such as spatial agency, the public sphere, gender, class, race, gentrification and the right to the city.  My ongoing research addresses the cultural politics of postindustrial urban spaces, and the role of art/ists in creating politically engaged communities in these spaces. In 2010, I founded Urban Occupations Urbaines, a curatorial platform for artists, communities and the public to creatively and critically engage with cities and urban change. In Montreal, I have collaborated with La Fonderie Darling, the Griffintown Horse Palace Foundation, Heritage Montréal, Centaur Theatre, Montréal Arts InterculturelLe Corridor culturel de GriffintownLe Sud-Ouest de Montréal, Parks Canada, and the Centre d’histoire de Montréal. I am a founding member and formerly co-director of Points de vue, a Montreal based community-engaged art, research, and urban activist platform.  I have given public lectures and presentations at cultural institutions such as the Canadian Centre for Architecture (Ephemeral City, 2010),  Articule (“Would you be my curator?” 2012), and The McCord Museum (City Talks, 2013). I have created and staged collaborative site responsive works and installations in Quebec, Germany, Australia, Italy, Chile, and New Zealand.

contact: shaunacjanssen@icloud.com