SYMPOSIUM ART: entre émotions et langues


Brain, emotions, language, art and creativity

Explore how neurobiology, the study of emotions, and mother language have an impact on creativity and art appreciation.


Toronto | April 5 - 7  2022

Royal Ontario Museum

In hybrid format | in-person and virtual

Tuesday APRIL 5 2022

(14:30) Presentation

Bureau des regroupements des artistes visuels de l’Ontario

Welcoming > Mónica Márquez

Territorial Acknowledgement

Words from our main funders

Presentation of the “Symposium” > Prof. Yves M. Larocque

(15:00) Epigenetics, consciousness and culture

Prof. Jean-Pierre Changeux

CNRS et Collège de France, Paris, France

The work of art is generated by the brain’s “physical-chemical machinery”, whose development is not only born of genetics but also of its familial, social, and cultural environment, hence the “epigenetic development of the brain”. What is the role of emotions in the epigenetic development of the brain? Where lies consciousness?


(16:30) Metaphysics, beauty and language

Prof. Jean Grondin

Université de Montréal

Metaphysics is the constant effort of human thought to understand the ultimate reason of things, amongst which are language and works of art. Thanks to language, a person can express not only the discourse on the real, but also the meaning of things. Metaphysics finds its foundation in the experience of beauty. What allows the beautiful to stand out and be noticed so vividly? How to propagate the “beauty” of language?

(17:00) Launch of CONFLUENCES and FR | closing of the exhibition of selected works from French Ontario


In this flagship publication produced for BRAVO’s 30th anniversary, curator-artist Marion Bordier presents seventy-seven artists who form the subject matter of the six exhibitions in this collection, Confluences. They offer to everyone a few facets of what is being created today in French-speaking Ontario.


Exceptionally produced during the pandemic under the direction of artist-curator Stefan St-Laurent, FR presents the breadth and diversity of Franco-Canadian art and is aimed at art lovers, curators and critics who wish to immerse themselves in one of the country’s most dynamic art scenes.


Wednesday APRIL 6 2022

(9:00 ) The brain, emotions and visual arts

Prof. Jean-Pierre Changeux

CNRS et Collège de France, Paris, France

The work of art is a cerebral production engaged in a kind of social communication, distinct and complementary to language. It intervenes mainly in the sharing of emotional states and is subject to constraints, which are those of the rules of art. How can the visual artist maximize the impact of his work on the viewer?

(10:00) The brain, emotions and music

Prof. Isabelle Peretz

Université de Montréal, Canada

Since prehistoric times to the present, music has existed in all forms of culture. But why? Are we a musical species? How does our brain manage this musical capacity and what are its essential components? How does this brain function interact with other human capacities such as language?

(11:00) Emotions, culture and aesthetic judgment

Gerald Cupchik

University of Toronto, Canada

Emotions, Culture, and Aesthetic Response

The depth of the aesthetic experience reflects the quality of the interaction that results from an encounter between either an artist or a beholder and a a work of art. It involves a balance between familiar themes or qualities (mimesis) and personal meanings (spirit resonance). To what extent are our judgments of quality integrated with our lives and feelings? (en anglais)

(13:30) Emotions, mother tongue and second languages

Jean-Marc Dewaele

Birkbeck, University of London, U.K.

Multilinguals prefer to communicate their emotions in particular languages because of perceived emotional resonance. Why are languages acquired early in life usually felt to be more emotional and powerful? What is the impact of language choices in self-expression?

(14:30) Culture, multilingualism and creativity

Prof. Enrica Piccardo

University of Toronto, Canada

The bi-cultural experience enhances the creative potential especially when individuals commingle their cultural identities. It is essential to simultaneously engage in two different cultures to foster the creative process. Multilinguals are more capable of perceiving and breaking through boundaries, thus creating in-between spaces.

( 15:30 ) Plurilingualism, translanguaging and the museum institution

Danielle Moore

Simon Fraser Univerisity, B.C., Canada

It is known that plurilinguals speak and mix their languages. Should we accept, or even encourage, hybrid practices? Does the museum institution have any role in the development of both visual and written French skills of plurilingual people? What is the role of French in the development of literacy in an essentially Anglophone museum environment?


(16:30) Panel discussion

Panel discussion (to be determined)

(18:30) Book Launch "Laurent L. Vaillancourt, à la confluence de l'art conceptuel et d'un nouvel Ontario.

Laurent L. Vaillancourt

Visual artist established in Hearst (Ontario)

For the past 40 years, Laurent L. Vaillancourt has been an agent of change on the Francophone art scene in small communities in Ontario. His work, resolutely assuming his roots, explores Francophone identity with strategies that promote mutual understanding and highlight a plural identity. His work shows that an artist can not only settle in the North but also renew himself and, more significantly, be part of the major trends in current art, producing relevant work that is in tune with the times.

by Gabrielle-Louise Noël and edited by Yves M. Larocque



Thursday APRIL 7 2022

(9:00 ) Stimulating creativity: lessons from neuroscience

Prof. Oshin Vartanian

University of Toronto, Canada

Fostering Creativity: Insights from Neuroscience

There is growing evidence from neuroimaging to suggest that creativity emerges from the dynamic interaction of large-scale networks in the brain − each of which supports a different mode of thinking. Can artists develop the ability to shift between these modes of thinking to boost the generation of novel ideas? (en anglais)

(10:00) The body, the senses and creativity

Vanina Leschnizer

University of Toronto, Canada

Body, Senses, and Creativity

When creating a new song, a piece of art, or a culinary dish, the information and stimuli on which individuals draw on are associated to their sensory experiences of the sound of instrumental combinations, the texture of clay or oil paints, or the smell, taste, and appearance of ingredients they have either experienced in the past or have yet to experience. In short, the knowledge artists draw on for their creative endeavors is better understood as grounded in their own flesh and blood. (en anglais)

(11:00) Francophone culture in Ontario

To come

(19:30 - 24:00 ) Networking Soirée (The Great Gathering)

Le Grand Rassemblement à la salle Madarin de l’hôtel DoubleTree – Hilton.

Prestations culturelles (déatails à venir)











© Walk the Arts | BRAVO 2022


À l’image de la communauté francophone de l’Ontario, BRAVO réunit les artistes en arts visuels, médiatiques et de métiers d’arts et les appuie dans leurs milieux respectifs, pour leur permettre d’atteindre leurs objectifs professionnels.



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