Visual arts



Information on the activity

March 5, 2020 to May 3, 2020

Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal Book

From March 5 to May 3, 2020.

Nightlife is a 3D film made by artist Cyprien Gaillard using remnants of colonial history that can be seen in our contemporary landscape. This collision of sociopolitical realities gives rise to a stunningly beautiful narrative that unfolds to the accompaniment of words sung by Alton Ellis, one of the most expressive voices in the history of Jamaican music. Two versions of his song Blackman’s World are played on a loop, with the resigned refrain “I was born a loser” changing into the declaration “I was born a winner”.

The power of this immersive work stems from its ability to connect History and Nature, by repositioning us in our power relations with respect to those two elements. Presented several times since it was made in 2015, Nightlife is distinctive for its ability to engage us in a perceptual, critical and philosophical experience based on a telescoping of time. It reframes the scars left by historical events. Its beauty is born of the clash of realities.

Gaillard’s process is rooted in a visual archaeology based on the erosion of physical forms, social meaning and the historical gaze. With a keen interest in ruins, he focuses on the heritage and future of architecture, and the recurring nature of time. Born in Paris in 1980, he lives and works in Berlin. Winner of the Prix Marcel-Duchamp in 2010, Cyprien Gaillard is one of the outstanding artists of his generation.