It is my belief that art institutions must make sure they are evolving in the face of changing social realities. Certainly, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (MMFA) is an expert at achieving that. For instance, take their newest show “Connections – Our Artistic Diversity Dialogues with Our Collections” – truly poignant! This presentation will be displayed at the Museum from September 18, 2018, to June 16, 2019.
Firstly, Connections is an exhibit of art pieces by seven artists from diverse communities. That being said, each artist created their own piece inspired by art from the current World Cultures collection of the MMFA. Hence, the result is remarkable!
Moreover, most museum collections featuring art from around the world are brought in by Western collectors. Consequently, this can only give us a partial reflection on the artwork’s meaning. However, having artists from culturally diverse backgrounds reappropriate the World Cultures collections allows us to better understand the works and their original social contexts.
The seven featured artists of this exhibit are the below. Click on their names for a direct link to their websites to further explore their art.
- ARWA ABOUON
- MARIA EZCURRA AND NURIA CARTON DE GRAMMONT
- BRENDAN FERNANDES
- HUA JIN
- KAREN TAM
- PAVITRA WICKRAMASINGHE
- Z’0TZ* COLLECTIVE
Secondly, all we can say is: what an incredible evening! On one hand, yes, we got to see the art. On the other hand, the MMFA went above and beyond and invited each artist to speak about their pieces (for the media). So, this allowed us to connect with each of them on a deeper level. In addition, the pieces from the Museum’s collection that inspired each of the artists are displayed next to their new counterparts. Above all, they seemed almost “in conversation” with each other.
Thirdly, each art piece had its particularities. For example, Brendan Fernandes’ Lost in Display touched me. More specifically, this piece explores the absence of movement behind African masks. To clarify, in a museum we see the mask presented statically and mostly on its own. However, their traditional use was for a full-bodied performance.
Further, you can see this yourself by putting on the Virtual Reality goggles that are part of the display. In other words, you can see dancers “perform” with masks from the museum collection (digitally added to the image of course!). We found this use of technology very relevant to how we consume art in our society.
Part of the Community
To close, the Connections show is a vivid example of Canada’s rich artistic diversity. Also, it makes us feel a part of a pretty amazing community! This show is for anyone who has an interest in seeing art from new perspectives. You can find the details of the exhibit here and buy tickets to beat the line here.
On a last note, the Jano Lapin team is a big fan of the MMFA since they are constantly surpassing themselves at bringing art closer to the people! Check out our article about the Young Philanthropist Circle (YPC) for another example of MMFA initiatives.
JMSB alumna with a business mind and a creative heart. Prefers any environment where she can combine the two. World traveler who is at her happiest in airports/train stations/bus stands because that usually means she is on her way to explore a fascinating new destination. Curious about the process and history of creators such as Gaudí, Dalí, and Chanel to name just a few. Montrealer who loves discovering art and stories that set the soul on fire, making them all the more exciting to share!