Musée d’art contemporain de Montreal summer 2014 exhibitions

June 2014 marks the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal (MAC), a museum that grew out of the ambitions, the enterprise and, perhaps more importantly, the donations of collectors and artists. To celebrate the occasion, the MAC is inaugurating The Grace of a Gesture, a homage to the builders and makers of the Musée; Pulse Room, an interactive installation by Montréal-based Mexican artist Rafael Lozano-Hemmer; and Australian Angelica Mesiti’s Citizens Band and Prepared Piano for Movers (Haussmann). Also on view in July will be Blindly by Artur Zmijewski, a video work that explores the connections made by the senses in the processes of recognition and like the rest of the artist’s oeuvre reflects on the human condition.

The Grace of a Gesture: Fifty Years of Gifts to the MAC
June 19–September 7
Curated by Josée Bélisle
A wide-ranging tribute to the donors and supporters of the Musée, this celebratory exhibition comprising some two hundred works demonstrates the Musée’s desire to reciprocate the gracious community gesture that led to its founding. For it was through the initiative of some 40 artists, ten collectors, three galleries and one foundation that the MAC came into being in 1964. The initial donation of 100 or so works has yielded tremendous benefit: today, the Musée Collection—which totals 7,800 items—is considered an invaluable part of Québec and Canada’s collective heritage. The many artists represented include Paul-Émile Borduas, Jean-Paul Riopelle, David Altmejd, Nicolas Baier, Geneviève Cadieux, Betty Goodwin, Kent Monkman, Irene F. Whittome, Louise Bourgeois, Anselm Kiefer, Nam June Paik, Giuseppe Penone, Antoni Tàpies and Laurent Grasso.

Rafael Lozano-Hemmer: Pulse Room
June 19–September 7
Curated by Josée Bélisle
Rafael Lozano-Hemmer’s relational, interactive work Pulse Room, a major recent addition to the Musée Collection, will be seen in his home city for the first time. In this vast installation, the heart rates of visitors, captured and transmitted by a computerized system, are turned into pulses of light in some 300 light bulbs suspended from the ceiling. Minimalist music and cybernetics research played a part in the artist’s development of this spectacular, sparkling work, in which the beat of each visitor’s heart is added to that of thousands of others to produce a memorable experience. This installation was presented at the Venice Biennale in 2007.

Angelica Mesiti: Citizens Band and Prepared Piano for Movers (Haussmann)
June 19–September 7
Curated by John Zeppetelli
In her first solo showing in North America, Paris-based Australian artist Angelica Mesiti presents two music-themed works: the mesmerizing video installation Citizens Band, an intimate and moving study of music and migrant culture, and Prepared Piano for Movers (Haussmann), which improbably creates an avant-garde score from everyday labour.

Artur Zmijewski: Blindly
July 16–September 28
Curated by Louise Simard
The summer program ends with the seemingly impossible and invisible: a stunning film by Polish artist Artur Zmijewski that forcefully documents the attempts of several unsighted people to visualize the appearance of the world by painting portraits, landscapes, animals or their own image, while struggling to recall or imagine for the first time. This is a grimly beautiful film about the condition of seeing and being seen, an attempt to say the unsayable, an essay on blind faith in art.

About the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal
Canada’s premier museum dedicated exclusively to contemporary art, the Musée offers a varied program ranging from presentations of its Permanent Collection to temporary exhibitions of works by Québec, Canadian and international artists. With the support of its Education and Documentation Service, the museum presents a host of educational activities aimed at familiarizing the general public with contemporary art. It also stages numerous multimedia events, further fulfilling its mission of promoting contemporary art

Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal
185, rue Sainte-Catherine Ouest
Montréal (Québec) H2X 3X5