Montreal, Canada, 2013-05-21 -
To launch the summer season, the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal (MAC) is presenting a critical overview of the work of Michel de Broin. The first major Canadian museum exhibition devoted to this Montréal artist, Michel de Broin brings together some thirty pieces, several of them new and produced specially for this occasion. At the same time, the MAC has mounted the first solo show in Canada focusing on Brooklyn-based artist Eve Sussman and Rufus Corporation. Michel de Broin and Eve Sussman ● Rufus Corporation will be on view at the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal from May 24 to September 2, 2013.
Michel de Broin
The selection of works from the last decade on display in the exhibition Michel de Broin attests to the artist’s persistent interest in the notions of resistance, appropriation and recycling. Over the past twenty-plus years, this multidisciplinary artist has continually challenged systems of all kinds and the way they operate. Adopting a critical yet playful point of view toward everyday objects and preconceived ideas, de Broin applies analogies and metaphors to reveal the forces that frame and direct our actions and interactions in our day-to-day environment. The artist explores the coexistence of opposing elements and the relationship between the strange and the familiar, explaining: “One of the premises of my practice involves introducing a foreign element into a normative system to see how that agent produces an unexpected reaction in its new setting.” A notable example is Silent Screaming, a seminal work from 2006−2007 that features a device designed to muffle the sound produced by an alarm system by creating a vacuum⎯an environment where sound cannot travel. Visitors can see the movement of the hammer striking the bell jar, but the alarm “scream” is inaudible.
De Broin favours an experimental approach, so that his works are perpetually evolving. Often, the boundaries between preparatory sketch and model, documentation and finished piece, become merged and blurred. A model may in fact be presented as a work in itself, only to be reborn later in the form of a sculpture, photograph or video. This exhibition includes updated versions of some pieces previously shown, such as Embrase-moi, 1993−2013, and Objet perdu, 2002−2013.
The works newly created by the artist in 2013 for this show are the monumental Blowback⎯two 2/3-scale replicas of World War II Howitzer cannons looped together at their front ends⎯Anthropométrie, Étant donnés, L’Abîme de la Liberté, L’Étendue de l’abîme, Tenir sans servir c’est résister and Têtes de pioches.
Born in Montréal in 1970, Michel de Broin was the winner of the 2007 Sobey Art Award and took part in the first Québec Triennial at the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal in 2008. He has exhibited in Europe, the United States and Canada, and has presented a number of major public-art projects (both permanent and temporary), among them Majestic (New Orleans, 2011), Révolution (Rennes, 2010), La maîtresse de la tour Eiffel (Paris, 2009), Overflow (Nuit Blanche, Toronto, 2008), Encerclement (Scape Biennial, Christchurch, New Zealand, 2006), Shared Propulsion Car (Exit Art, New York, 2005 / Mercer Union, 2007) and Révolutions (Ville de Montréal collection, Parc Maisonneuve-Cartier, 2003). The MAC collection includes the imposing sculpture Black Whole Conference, 2006, a spherical assemblage of 72 chairs, and the recently added Dead Star, 2008, Cut into the Dark, 2010, and Drunken Brawl, 2011, acquired at the sixth edition of the National Bank Private Wealth 1859 Collectors Symposium. Works by de Broin may also be found in private and public collections in France, Germany, Korea, the United States and Canada.
The exhibition Michel de Broin was organized by Mark Lanctôt, curator at the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal.
In connection with this exhibition, the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal has published Michel de Broin, a 160-page catalogue illustrated with 30 colour plates; some 60 black-and-white photographs illustrate his earlier works. The publication includes an essay by Daniel Sherer, titled Entropic Engines and Retooled Appliances: Michel de Broin and the Technological Unconscious, and an interview with the artist, by curator Mark Lanctôt. It may be purchased for $29.95 at the MAC Boutique and in bookstores.
Eve Sussman ● Rufus Corporation
The exhibition Eve Sussman ● Rufus Corporation presents a series of interrelated works produced over a four-year period on numerous journeys through Russia and Central Asia. The centrepiece is the film installation whiteonwhite:algorithmicnoir, which draws on Kasimir Malevich’s radial abstractions and reflections on transcendence, as well as the fate of Russian astronaut Yuri Gagarin. Generated by algorithm, edited in real time and heavily informed by twentieth-century filmmakers like Andrei Tarkovsky, Jean-Luc Godard and Michelangelo Antonioni, whiteonwhite is a fascinating exploration of space and time, utopia and dystopia, fragmented narrative and landscapes ravaged by economic and environmental upheavals. The algorithmic programming yields a film that runs forever and is never the same twice. The backdrop of this bold project is the disillusionment of Late Communist societies and the illusions Western societies continue to entertain under Late Capitalism. A series of photographs by Simon Lee taken during the shooting of whiteonwhite rounds out the exhibition.
The wide-ranging practice of Eve Sussman and Rufus Corporation encompasses film, video, photography and installation. Sussman garnered international recognition with two ambitious films, 89 Seconds at Alcázar, 2004, referencing Diego Velázquez’s 1656 work Las Meninas, and The Rape of the Sabine Women, 2007, which engages with Jacques-Louis David’s 1799 painting Les Sabines. Sussman has collaborated since 2003 with Rufus Corporation, a think tank made up of actors, artists, musicians, writers and producers who come together to produce works of art. Eve Sussman was born in England in 1961, and lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. She is represented by Cristin Tierney Gallery, New York.
The exhibition Eve Sussman ● Rufus Corporation was organized by Lesley Johnstone, curator at the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal.
A 112-page catalogue accompanies the exhibition Eve Sussman ● Rufus Corporation. It contains three essays: whiteonwhite by curator Lesley Johnstone, The Promise of whiteonwhite by Jonathan T.D. Neil and Monuments of Fire by Jeff Wood. The publication is available for $22.95 at the MAC Boutique and in bookstores.
The Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal is a provincially owned corporation funded by the Ministère de la Culture et des Communications du Québec. It receives additional funding from the Department of Canadian Heritage and the Canada Council for the Arts. The museum gratefully acknowledges their support and that of Collection Loto-Québec, the MAC’s principal partner.