Autumn 2018: Contemporary Art in Montreal

After 8 years, I’m back in Montreal. My third business trip in Canada. This trip, I flew in with my husband from New York. I only had a week to visit and most of my time is spent at work. Here’s a few of what I’ve seen in a somewhat short and meaningful trip.

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Upon arriving Montreal, we immediately went to the city to have our late lunch and to visit Musee d’Art Contemporain de Montreal. Admission is 17 CAD for adults. We were welcomed by a sound of a heart beat and lights flickering up the ceiling and saw people touching a metal platform with handles. Visitors are invited to touch the handles and hold it until lights flickers. You hear a sound of a heart beat and it gets louder as more light bulbs light up and gets in rhythm with the sound of the heart beat.

The artwork is made by Rafael Lozano – Hemmer. He’s Mexican-Canadian who’s well-known for his electronic art. He took up a degree in Physical Chemistry and although he didn’t pursue a direct career path in science, most of his interactive art is influenced by it.

Researching more into his profile, he is deeply involved in “Relational Architecture” which translates to the technological visualization of buildings and the environment. He aimed to superimpose the urban dwellings with audio – visual elements creating a different impression of the urban setting.

We also managed to see some sculptures by Francoise Sullivan who’s an accomplished artist studied both in Montreal and New York. She has experimented on different kinds of art narratives and has been successful in executing her ideas. In her art, I witnessed an artist who’s enthusiastic of trying new things and skillfully adapt and transform in the changing landscapes of the art scene.

Francoise is now 93 years old and lives in Montreal.

Coincidentally, while in Montreal I chanced upon an artist whose brilliance I’ve also witnessed in NYC have his exhibition ongoing. Julian Rosefeldt’s Manifesto is on exhibit. It’s one of those exhibitions although you can see them on film, it’s still better to see them in person in a live multi screen environment to fully appreciate it.

I much prefer the set up in NYC than in Montreal because the space and the set up in NYC is more comfortable and the timing is more on point. I’m not sure if everybody else noticed it but since I viewed it before I was more sensitive to the timing and the spaces between videos.

On one of the days that I get to finish work early, my husband and I went to explore downtown more and to eat Fondue which is a perfect cold weather snack. On a whim, we looked for art galleries nearby and spotted DHC/Art Foundation by Phoebe Greenberg founded in 2007 and is a non-profit organization dedicated in the presenting contemporary art.

On exhibit is the Slovenian artist Janina Cibic. Her art focuses on installation, performance and film exploring on architecture and construction of National cultures, their ideology and political goals. The execution of each film was mesmerizing. It’s like watching MTV but tasteful and provocative.

The choreography, the textiles, and the architecture was rich, profound and equally disturbing.