Musee d’art contemporain de Montreal presents Zoo

. July 5, 2012

The Musee d’art contemporain de Montreal presents Zoo, an exhibition on view through september 3, 2012, that that is bound to spark debate on the highly topical question of the place accorded animals and nature in today’s universe.

David Altmejd, Le spectre et la main, 2012. Plexiglas, coconut shells, epoxy clay, epoxy resin, thread, resin, metal wire, horse hair, acrylic, 124 1/4 x 269 x 98 inches. Private collection, Montréal. Photo: Guy L’Heureux

Some fifty works that are bound to spark a highly topical discussion of the human-animal relationship will be in the spotlight in Zoo, the summer show at the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal, set to run from May 24 to September 3. This group exhibition contains pieces by twenty Québec, Canadian and international artists. Focusing on zoos as a mode of portraying the animal kingdom and living beings, it features works that will prompt an examination of the marked interest in animals seen in the contemporary art of the past few years. It also fits in with recent debates about natural history and our relationship to a world that has undergone unprecedented ecological and geopolitical change. Of particular note: in a major Canadian premiere, the work Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads: Gold by dissident Chinese artist Ai Weiwei will be presented at the MAC for this occasion.

Through their works, the artists explore the tremendous variety of connections that exist between humans and animals, and broach the issue within a very broad perspective. Some artists use this relationship to explore cultural representations, reinterpret anthropological stereotypes or highlight the notion¾still very commonly held¾of the primacy of humankind. Others focus on the collection, classification and exhibition methods that are characteristic of both museums and zoos, which share a similar way of understanding and organizing the world. Yet other artists employ spaces or metaphors that open up to other dualities or areas of conflict. Today, we cannot speak of animals, or of animality, without speaking of our relationship to them and, more broadly, our relationship to the Other.

The artists taking part in Zoo are: Ai Weiwei (born in Beijing; lives and works in Beijing), David Altmejd (born in Montréal, lives and works in New York), Shary Boyle (born in Scarborough, Ont., lives and works in Toronto), Mark Dion (born in New Bedford, Mass., lives and works in New York), Nathalie Djurberg (born in Lysekil, Sweden, lives and works in Berlin), Jason Dodge (born in Newton, Penn., lives and works in Berlin), Trevor Gould (born in Johannesburg, lives and works in Montréal), Renée Green (born in Cleveland, lives and works in San Francisco), Rachel Harrison (born in New York, lives and works in Brooklyn), Mona Hatoum (born in Beirut, lives and works in London), Pierre Huyghe (born in Paris, lives and works in Paris), Matthew Day Jackson (born in Panorama City, Calif., lives and works in Brooklyn), Brian Jungen (born in Fort St. John, B.C., lives and works in Vancouver), Liz Magor (born in Winnipeg, lives and works in Vancouver), Ugo Rondinone (born in Brunnen, Switzerland, lives and works in New York), Kevin Schmidt (born in Ottawa, lives and works in Vancouver), David Shrigley (born in Macclesfield, England, lives and works in Glasgow), Kiki Smith (born in Nuremberg, Germany, lives and works in New York), Haim Steinbach (born in Rehovot, Israel, lives and works in New York) and Jana Sterbak (born in Prague, lives and works in Montréal).

The exhibition Zoo was organized by Marie Fraser, Chief Curator of the Musée, and François LeTourneux, Associate Curator. –

Category: Fine Art News

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