Visual art, unlocked
February 12, 2021
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There’s still a bit of winter left, but the first signs of spring are already bringing some warmth to the world of culture: museums and galleries, which have been closed to the public since the fall, are reopening to offer you stimulating – and safe – experiences. If you love visual art, or even if you’re just curious, here’s your chance to check out some great new shows with complete peace of mind.
The Musée d’Art Contemporain is going big by opening all of its galleries to the public with four all-new shows. La machine qui enseignait des airs aux oiseaux includes pieces by 34 artists from the Greater Montreal area. The pieces were selected based on the theme of the materiality of language. Along with a selection of complementary films and a podcast series, the exhibition celebrates our local artists and their new perspectives and practices. Meanwhile, Des horizons d’attente brings together, for the first time, a number of the museum’s recent acquisitions, in this case works that explore major and enduring political, social, feminist and identity issues. The video installation Vertigo Sea by John Akomfrah is a magnificent but tragic work that comes with an impressive track record: it was first exhibited at the 2015 Venice Biennale, where it was unanimously praised by the critics. The piece takes a heartbreaking look at the ocean, that sublime domain threatened by horrors of our own making.
The Vox contemporary image centre presents three shows for the whole family. Tropicana, by Juan Ortiz-Apuy, is aimed at children from 6 to 14. It takes a critical but humorous look at our consumer society and encourages young people to participate through a workshop and several observation games. The exhibition “I Almost Ran Over Liza Minnelli Today”: Colin Campbell and Lisa Steele in L.A., 1976-1977 sheds new light on a stay in Venice Beach, California, by two Canadian video artists. Over several months, the pair created important avant-garde explorations of genre, autofiction and subcultures. Lastly, with five short films on the border of documentary and experimental film, Sky Hopinka - Disclocation Blues is a window on the work of a very promising filmmaker. In these films made between 2015 and 2017, the Ho-Chunk artist takes a personal look at questions of Indigenous territory, language and myth.
This gallery, at the intersection of contemporary art, new technology and poetry, presents two new shows. Floating Paper features works by nine artists who are curious about the role of drawing in digital and robotic art. Reservations are recommended for this exhibition. Virtual reality fans won’t want to miss CULTVRAL Gallery by Samuel Arsenault-Brassard, a Montreal artist who focuses on the relationship between architecture and hyperreality.
This exhibition space is reopening gradually and safely, starting with virtual guided tours of Artexte, showcasing its physical and digital document collections (using its digital research and storage platform, e-artexte). Meanwhile, its Mixcloud platform offers access to numerous interviews with artists and other players in Canada’s art scenes, while giving researchers the opportunity to access select documents from the gallery’s physical collection via its digitization service.
The joy of art at home
“Elles font l’art” is a free online course offered by the Pompidou Centre in Paris, created in partnership with UQAM.
The course is open to all, and highlights the work of the leading female artists of the 20th and 21st centuries, from Frida Kahlo to the Guerrilla Girls. Through videos, quizzes and a variety of activities, we discover the major contributions women have made to avant-garde art and feminist activism.