DRIVE-END AT MONTREAL’S FINE ARTS MUSEUM

Posted on June 21st, 2010 by .

Remember drive-in movies? Today, many are abandoned. The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts presents Drive-End, a collection of Martin Beauregard’s photographs, many of which show these mammoth screens sitting silently. No one is watching anymore.

The MMFA show, Drive End, is prophetic and sad. A beautiful loneliness pervades the abandoned cars, piled in what was once a huge drive-in theatre, now an automobile graveyard. Slowly rust is claiming their bodies. Time goes by at the end of all movies. We move on – as does life: the only constant is change. Once the car drove to escape urban sprawl; to places further out of town – to the drive-in for some privacy. Now, these old cars and the drive-ins are obsolete: both no longer needed.

An old man, wearing a ‘Marlborough man’-style cowboy hat sits quietly. Unseeingly, he gazes into the past, as he sits in a pile of dying cars with his memories. We can almost feel his sadness. I loved the size of the images. They are enormous and they glow – just like a drive-in screen. And although I felt they were photographs of a real scene, they were, in fact, carefully staged by Beauregard, each a piece of theatre. Our worlds have changed at a faster and faster rate.

The drive-in was discarded for the megaplex, then for the home theater, for computers …and now, museum walls. Beauregard mentions that his show ‘’is about the migration of film to contemporary art spaces.’’

The show was packed when I saw it. An interesting mix of young and old. Both appreciated the works from their own points of view. Some knowingly nudged their partner when they saw the drive-in screen – possibly remembering stolen moments of long ago. The young ‘uns simply stared and enjoyed the images at face value. A bit of face time indeed. I simply loved the beauty, and wished I had a big enough wall for their poignant presence.The photographic project by Martin Beauregard is the artist’s first solo show in a museum.

DETAILS

This exhibition is free at all times. On until September 19, 2010

Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, 1380 Sherbrooke Street West 514- 285-2000

Hours: Closed Mondays. Tuesday 11 – 5pm. Wednesday through Friday 11 – 9 p.m. Admission for adults is half price on Wednesdays from 5 – 8:30 pm. Saturday and Sunday 10 – 5 pm.

WHILE YOU ARE THERE…

An absolute must-see is the Napoleon Collection.. Gaze at personal items belonging to the Emperor. The Collection is a gift from the Ben Weider Collection, and is one of North America’s most important collections of items relating to Napoleon.Free admission.

HUNGRY?

No need to go far. The casual Petit Café and the Café des Beaux-Arts bistro are popular with both locals and tourists.

SOUVENIRS?

The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts’ M Boutique offers a huge choice of fabulous books, contemporary pieces, jewelry and in December, some of the most innovative and beautiful decorations in town.

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