M.A.C.‘s director and chief curator, John Zeppetelli, recently presented the 2016 exhibition program, and what an edgy selection it is! New York has the New Museum: Montreal has the M.A.C. (Musée d’art contemporain) one of the major go-to sites in Montreal for cutting-edge art. Internationally-acclaimed Icelandic artist Ragnar Kjartansson combines performance, music and video. His single channel video A Lot of Sorrow (2013-2014) lasts over 6 hours – an ‘unabashedly Romantic, theatrical, melancholic and gently ironic’ (MAC release) experience.
Ragnar Kjartansson. Courtesy of the artist, Luhring Augustine, NY. i8 Gallery, Reykjavik. Photo Elisabet Davids
In The Visitors, 2012, the artist gathered his musician friends to perform different instruments in separate rooms throughout a large house. An ode to music, friendship and art apparently. The M.A.C. is presenting the North American Premiere of The Explosive Songs of Divinity by Kjartansson on March 3 at Place des Arts. An opera without divas (sigh), it is performed by 39 musicians and 16 choristers of the Orchestre Métropolitain. The sets on stage change in a diorama of landscapes in motion – a homage to classic stage design. (Tickets at 514-842-2112). The M.A.C. is also featuring artist Ryan Gander – Make Every Show Like It’s Your Last. One of Britain’s most prolific and interesting artists, his global fame rests on his playfully thoughtful and thoughtfully playful conceptual artworks. Often using a back story, his works suggest a riddle , encouraging the viewer to invent their own narrative. How much fun is that?
Ryan Gander. Toughened glass, paint. Courtesy the artist and Lisson Gallery. Photo Martin Argyroglo
Artist/ teacher Geneviève Cadieux is Guest Curator of an exhibition of works from the M.A.C. Collection. L’Oeil et l’Esprit shows the enduring appeal of modern masters such as Matisse and Giacometti, along side the other hundred works in a specially-built gallery. ”I didn’t want any walls. I wanted the works to coexist everywhere in the same way in the viewers’ gaze.” Her abstract construction Broken Memory 1995 from the M.A.C. collection is also shown. The M.A.C.’s new acquisition, Thomas Demand’s Vault 2012, is not quite what it appears to be, so viewers often spend time admiring the perfect precision of the cut-up paper which was then photographed. The original paper pieces were then discarded. The result challenges memory and the reality of a narrative. Also upcoming at the M.A.C. are the famously-fascinating Max and Iris Stern Symposiums, as well as the spring sessions of Semin-Arts.
Edmund Alleyn. MONDRIAM AU COUCHER. Acrylic on canvas and oil on plexiglass. Collection of the Museé d’art contemporain de Montréal
Artist Edmund Alleyn is showcased May 19 – September 25. Liz Magor, Lizzie Fitch and Ryan Trecartin from June 23 – September 5, 2016. And launching October 20 is the La Biennale de Montréal. Always amazing! Sylvie Fortin, executive and artistic director, announced that the 2016 curator is Philippe Pirotte. The Biennale shows new and/or recent works by 50 Québec, Canadian and international artists and is co-produced with the MAC. Stay tuned!
Activities, events, workshops Sémin-Arts, Family Sundays, concerts, talks, tours. Closed Mondays. macm.org.