Women Deconstruct Myths at MCAM

Posted on October 29th, 2009 by .

MONTREAL’S CONTEMPORARY ART MUSEUM (MCAM) recently unveiled three new exhibitions running from October 10, 2009 to January 3, 2010, focusing on the work of three talented women artists from Montreal, Vancouver and the U.K. If Francine Savard, Tacita Dean and Tricia Middleton don’t seem to have much in common at first, look closer and you’ll see that the common theme in their work is the deconstruction of modern myths in our society.
Read the full story to find out more about a bizarre apartment filled with dirt, detritus and random objects.

Francine Savard’s retrospective explores the relationship between painting and space, somewhat like CLAUDE TOUSIGNANT’S EXHIBITION presented earlier this year at the MCAM. However, Savard adds a cryptic poetry to her artwork, including references to geography, literature and language. She deconstructs all the codes of art and painting; instead of showing a final work that represents a portrait or a landscape, she prefers to exhibit what can’t be expressed on a canvas, creating an impossible dialogue between the meaning of a work and the materials that convey the message.

Tacita Dean deconstructs the idea of contemporary dance with a live performance filmed and projected on six large screens. She asked renowned choreographer Merce Cunningham to interpret John Cage’s work in three movements, 4’33’’, entirely composed of ambient silence. The 88-year old Cunningham sits in a wheelchair and doesn’t move, expressing himself through different poses for each variation. How can you show such an essential concept as silence? Tacita Dean answers this question beautifully in this heartbreaking video series about human fragility.

Last but not least, Tricia Middleton’s “cave” is probably going to disturb and shock a few people. Her installation Dark Souls resembles an apartment that could have been the site of an unfortunate after-party filled with dirt and detritus. Objects, accessories and pieces of furniture are covered with unknown substances and abandoned in a nauseatingly claustrophobic environment. Middleton’s work is a strong statement against our society of mass consumption and the way we deal with our environment. Her deconstruction of everyday spaces shows an overly oppressed territory that’s surprisingly (and unfortunately) not too far from reality.

I would also highly recommend checking out the current Projections series on the lower floor of the museum, right next to the bookstore. Jane and Louise Wilson present The Silence Is Twice as Fast Backwards, a thrilling visual experience that explores the “psychology of places” when emotions are often associated with the immediate environment. For only $8, you get to see four exceptional exhibitions, and on Wednesday night, you can see them all for free until 9 p.m. Check out the MCAM’S WEBSITE for more information.


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