The MACM is always an accessible museum, but these days it’s even more interactive than usual thanks to two works by British-born, Berlin-based artist Tinho Segal. Creating a cross between theatre and visual art that somehow sidesteps art performance, Seghal builds entire sets in museums and hires “actors” to animate them in carefully choreographed situations.
Right now there are two of his pieces at the MACM: his iconic Kiss, from 2002, which involves a couple reinterpreting famous kisses drawn from the history of art in a tightly choreographed 8-minute loop; and This Situation, from 2007, a conversation piece that has the “agents” discuss philosophical issues between themselves and with the visitor, if you so choose. Passersby can influence the whole direction the performance takes awhile they are in the room. Now that’s power!
Right next door in the video room don’t miss 4 000 Disparos by Brazilian artist Jonathas de Andrade, for which he filmed male faces in Super 8 film as he travelled throughout Uruguay, Argentina, Chile, Bolivia, Peru and Colombia, in a journey of territorial recognition of a Latin America he belongs to without feeling part of. French artist Laurent Grasso and Montreal artist Lynne Cohen round out the current exhibitions: With his trickster’s take on temporality and the making of history, Grasso’s show, titled, Uraniborg, presents neon signs, objects, videos and more that lead to the creation of what the artist calls a “false historical memory.”
Cohen, on the other hand, presents 40 of her interior landscapes – since the 1970s the artist has been capturing, unpopulated, often odd spaces constructed by humans, used by humans, but devoid of humans. The images are filled with the tension created by that emptiness and the occasional inexplicable aspects of the photographs. Photo: courtesy of Olga Korper Gallery, Toronto.
On April 5, make sure you catch the Friday Nocturne, the museum’s popular series from 5 to 9 pm every first Friday of the month, which this time features saxophonist Colin Stetson. Famous as a member of Bell Orchestre and a collaborator of Arcade Fire, Lou Reed and Feist, Stetson explores the limit of his instrument in his solo work, creating beautiful soundscapes that will transport you to wholly ethereal planes.
In May this bunch of exhibitions will make way for two new guys: the first solo exhibition in Canada of Brooklyn-based artist Eve Sussman and her collaborative team Rufus Corporation, for one. Generated by algorithm but influenced by the films of Andrei Tarkovsky, Jean-Luc Godard and Wim Wenders, Sussman’s filmic pieces offer a futuristic look at space and time, utopia and dystopia, fractured narration and torn landscapes from Russia and Central Asia. In the next room there’ll be Montreal artist Michel de Broin, whose playful multidisciplinary practice extends from photography to video to sculpture, and explores the notions of resistance, misappropriation and recycling with a cynical sense of humour.
Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal, 185 Sainte-Catherine West, (514) 847-6226