Home » VoCA loves…Quebec (Part Two)

VoCA loves…Quebec (Part Two)


26 juin au 31 août, 2008

Quartier Ephemere/Fonderie Darling

“Darboral s’articule autour de plates-formes artistiques et spirituelles, qui invitent le visiteur à prendre part à différents rituels. Partages de nourriture à l’occasion de repas et suçage de noyaux, ateliers de créativité lors de moulages corporels et adaptation de prothèses, prise de conscience des modes d’ouverture physique et psychique, méditation, donnent lieu à une série d’éléments dont les traces de passage composent Darboral.”

It’s a work that concentrates on the rhythms of the creative experience, and shares these processes with others. It’s a contemplative space that gives back to art it’s original function, in the service of the ritual.

The Massimo Guerrera installation at Quartier Ephemere. Image: VoCA

Click on the thumbnails to see full picture:






For the website, please click HERE.

Massimo Guerrera is represented in Toronto by Clint Roenisch. Please click HERE.


With “the best of everything in contemporary art, fashion, design and dining”, what more do you need? Pavilion Projects produces an independent guide, available for free, three times a year. This latest issue – available as a download HERE – was produced in collaboration with the IKT conference and Parachute.

Pavilion projects: click HERE.


May 24 – 7 September, 2008

The Musee d’art Contemporain, Montreal

We’ll let VoCA contributor Catherine Toews tell you about it below, but our two cents: David Altmejd’s two sculptures were the best thing we’ve ever seen by him – better than the Venice pavilion. The twinned sculptures played off each other marvelllously – one a giant, his insides eaten away and replaced with miniature staircases, like an MC Escher. The other sculpture was a column of mirror that had been shattered in parts as if pelted with stones. The twin towers of our imagination – one a fantasy of discovery, the other stoic, impenetrable, damaged.

M.C. Escher, Relativity. Image: globalgallery.com

By Catherine Toews:

The inaugural Québec Triennial, the largest exhibition ever attempted by the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal, is a massive, sprawling exhibition which gives viewers an insider’s perspective into the current Québec art world. It is a huge curatorial effort, handled with a great deal of care, consideration and innovation. The sheer volume of art on display requires time and patience on behalf of the viewer, but it is well worth the effort. The Triennial is fresh, exciting, and eager to please.

Our path through the many rooms of the exhibition began with Tricia Middleton’s intensely feminine, glitter and hair-filled construction Factory for a Day (1996-2008). As its title suggests, the ramshackle foam house speaks to issues of production and process, but it also reads as a secret hideaway, exposed in the harsh gallery light. Low moans emanating from a female figure on a tiny video screen lie in stark and unsettling contrast to the overall pink-hued sparkle of the building materials.

Tricia Middleton, Factory for a Day, 1996-2008. Image: alumni.concordia.ca

Following from this large Styrofoam introduction, sculpture and installation feature prominently in the chosen artworks. Valérie Blass’ curious sculptures are often hilarious, and their placement in the gallery is perfect. In one, a terrified lemur of some sort stares out at the viewer as it clings tightly to an armless satyr creature. Indeed, her sculptures are so entrancing that they do a disservice to Cynthia Girard’s paintings, which line the room and are rendered secondary, despite their bright colouring and chaotic subject matter.

There is also a lot of good video art to be seen – so much so, in fact, that by the time we reached the screening room for the commissioned one-minute Video Spot Artworks by Québec artists, we were too tired to appreciate them properly. But the video art that we did make time for was memorable. Most notably, Patrick Bernatchez’s Chrysalide: Empereur (2007), wherein a man dressed as Ronald McDonald smokes a cigarette and then drowns as his car slowly fills with water. Set to a booming soundtrack, it is a video which hooked us with a joke but left us with a lasting sense of impending doom.

Valerie Blass, deux assemblages crédibles à partir de mon environment immédiat, 2007. Image: designboom.com

This strange sense of humor is employed by many of the featured artists, and it is part of why the Triennial is, at its core, so immensely likeable. Every time we began to lose steam and interest, we would turn a corner and stumble upon something so carefully crafted and undeniably great that it left us no option but to stand up and take notice. The Québec Triennial represents a heady time for Québec art and its artists and for an inaugural effort there are few kinks to work out for the future.

Gary Hill, Loop Through, 2005. Two-channel video and sound installation. Image: donaldyoung.com

Rest assured, now is a perfect time to visit the MACM. Although most of the gallery is occupied by the Triennial, there is still even more to see. On the ground floor, we were entranced by the stunning Gary Hill installation Loop Through, featuring a haunting performance by the French actress Isabelle Huppert. Also, be sure to visit Arrimage 2008: Understanding the World Around Me. A huge basement room is devoted to this annual collaboration between young students and the MACM. Although many institutions habitually make space in their calendars for exhibitions of children’s artwork, few are as respectfully curated and installed as this delightful offering.

Arrimage 2008, Exhibition view Image: macm.org

For the Musee website, please click HERE.

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