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Press kit - Press release - Zoo - Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal (MAC)

Zoo

Montreal, Canada

Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal (MAC)

Twenty artists delve into the relationship between humans and animals


Montreal, Canada, 2012-05-29 - 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.

Multiple approaches to the same theme: the artists in Zoo

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).

Among the major works—some of them brand-new—showcased in Zoo:

Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads: Gold, 2010, by dissident Chinese artist Ai Weiwei, is a remarkable work being shown here for the first time in Canada. It is a reinterpretation of the twelve bronze animal heads, representing the traditional Chinese zodiac, that used to adorn the famous water clock at the imperial gardens of Yuanming Yuan, in Beijing.

Produced specially for the exhibition Zoo, David Altmejd’s Le Spectre et la Main, 2012, takes up elements typically used by this artist and applies them like a leitmotiv. The work suggests a vivarium of surprising size that interweaves a multitude of threads introducing the idea of movement and perpetual metamorphosis.

Also worthy of mention is a large-scale installation by Trevor Gould, titled God’s Window, created specifically for the Musée Sculpture Garden, where it has been built onto the fountain. The sculpture features the monkey figure that often appears in the artist’s work, and its structure speaks to the surrounding architecture.

Finally, Chair Apollinaire, by Jana Sterbak, is a “club” chair made of meat. Its presentation at the MAC is a Canadian premiere.

Organization

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

Catalogue

The Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal is launching a major publication for the exhibition. This lavishly illustrated, 240-page catalogue, also titled Zoo, contains an introduction by the show’s curators, Marie Fraser and François LeTourneux, texts presenting each of the artists and a typology describing the relationship between humans and animals as reflected in natural history, philosophy, fiction and science. With over sixty quotations from authors who played a critical role in the history of ideas or who are currently re-examining this subject in depth, the typology extends to the nature of life itself and the systems that have been developed to classify it, as well as the way the animal world has been portrayed in myths, the natural sciences and zoos. It was written by Marie Fraser with the collaboration of Dominique Allard and Julie-Ann Latulippe. The catalogue may be purchased for $32.95 at the MAC Boutique and in bookstores.

Acknowledgments

The Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal is a provincially owned corporation funded by the Ministère de la Culture, des Communications et de la Condition féminine 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 Musée’s principal partner.
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Press kit | 701-07 - Press release | Zoo - Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal (MAC) - Event + Exhibition - Insects, 2007SHRIGLEY, DavidMétal et peinture noire76 pièces, maximum 35 x 30 cm, minimum 10 x 6 cmCollection privée, Suisse
Insects, 2007SHRIGLEY, DavidMétal et peinture noire76 pièces, maximum 35 x 30 cm, minimum 10 x 6 cmCollection privée, Suisse
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Press kit | 701-07 - Press release | Zoo - Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal (MAC) - Event + Exhibition - Zoodram 5, 2011HUYGHE, PierreÉcosystème marin, aquarium, système de filtration, masque en résine, crabe bernard-l’hermite, crabes-flèches, basaltes76,2 x 134,6 x 99 cmAvec l’aimable permission de l’artiste et de la galerie Marian Goodman, New York
Zoodram 5, 2011HUYGHE, PierreÉcosystème marin, aquarium, système de filtration, masque en résine, crabe bernard-l’hermite, crabes-flèches, basaltes76,2 x 134,6 x 99 cmAvec l’aimable permission de l’artiste et de la galerie Marian Goodman, New York
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Press kit | 701-07 - Press release | Zoo - Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal (MAC) - Event + Exhibition - Impénétrable, 2009HATOUM, MonaAcier noir, monofilament de polyester transparent300 x 300 x 300 cmCollection du Musée des beaux-arts du Canada, Ottawa. Achat 2011
Impénétrable, 2009HATOUM, MonaAcier noir, monofilament de polyester transparent300 x 300 x 300 cmCollection du Musée des beaux-arts du Canada, Ottawa. Achat 2011
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12.83 x 9.5
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Press kit | 701-07 - Press release | Zoo - Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal (MAC) - Event + Exhibition - Sad Wolf (vue de l’installation), 2006SCHMIDT, KevinInstallation vidéographique, projecteur fabriqué, 4 min 11 secDimensions variables pour l’installationAvec l’aimable permission de la galerie Catriona Jeffries, Vancouver
Sad Wolf (vue de l’installation), 2006SCHMIDT, KevinInstallation vidéographique, projecteur fabriqué, 4 min 11 secDimensions variables pour l’installationAvec l’aimable permission de la galerie Catriona Jeffries, Vancouver
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5.0 x 3.37
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Press kit | 701-07 - Press release | Zoo - Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal (MAC) - Event + Exhibition - Amethist, Garnets and Rubies Inside of an Owl, 2008DODGE, JasonHibou naturalisé, améthystes, grenats et rubis55 cm (hauteur approx. du hibou)Avec l’aimable permission de l’artiste et de la galerie Yvon Lambert, Paris
Amethist, Garnets and Rubies Inside of an Owl, 2008DODGE, JasonHibou naturalisé, améthystes, grenats et rubis55 cm (hauteur approx. du hibou)Avec l’aimable permission de l’artiste et de la galerie Yvon Lambert, Paris
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14.28 x 9.55
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Press kit | 701-07 - Press release | Zoo - Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal (MAC) - Event + Exhibition - Beast (Highland Series), 2007BOYLE, SharyHuile sur panneau40 x 35 cmAchat, avec l'aide du programme d'Aide aux acquisitions du Conseil des Arts du CanadaCollection Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal
Beast (Highland Series), 2007BOYLE, SharyHuile sur panneau40 x 35 cmAchat, avec l'aide du programme d'Aide aux acquisitions du Conseil des Arts du CanadaCollection Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal
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10.55 x 13.96
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Press kit | 701-07 - Press release | Zoo - Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal (MAC) - Event + Exhibition - Le spectre et la Main, 2012ALTMEJD, DavidPlexiglas, noix de coco, argile époxy, résine époxy, fil, résine, fil métallique, crin de cheval, acrylique315,6 x 683,3 x 248,9 cmCollection particulière, Montréal
Le spectre et la Main, 2012ALTMEJD, DavidPlexiglas, noix de coco, argile époxy, résine époxy, fil, résine, fil métallique, crin de cheval, acrylique315,6 x 683,3 x 248,9 cmCollection particulière, Montréal
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Press kit | 701-07 - Press release | Zoo - Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal (MAC) - Event + Exhibition - Chair Apollinaire, 1996STERBAK JanaViande, fil, métal90 × 87 × 75,4 cmAvec l’aimable permission de l’artiste et des galeries Toni Tàpies, Barcelone et Laroche Joncas, Montréal
Chair Apollinaire, 1996STERBAK JanaViande, fil, métal90 × 87 × 75,4 cmAvec l’aimable permission de l’artiste et des galeries Toni Tàpies, Barcelone et Laroche Joncas, Montréal
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Press kit | 701-07 - Press release | Zoo - Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal (MAC) - Event + Exhibition - Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads: Gold, 2010AI WeiweiBronze à patine doréeCollection particulière, États-Unis
Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads: Gold, 2010AI WeiweiBronze à patine doréeCollection particulière, États-Unis
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Press kit | 701-07 - Press release | Zoo - Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal (MAC) - Event + Exhibition - Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads: Gold (détail Serpent), 2010AI WeiweiBronze à patine doréeCollection particulière, États-Unis
Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads: Gold (détail Serpent), 2010AI WeiweiBronze à patine doréeCollection particulière, États-Unis
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Press kit | 701-07 - Press release | Zoo - Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal (MAC) - Event + Exhibition - The Men of My Family, 2010JUNGEN BrianPeaux d’orignal et de cerf, pièce de carrosserie automobile (ailes), congélateur, acier269 x 122 x 76 cmCollection de la Vancouver Art Gallery, fonds d’acquisition de la Vancouver Art Gallery
The Men of My Family, 2010JUNGEN BrianPeaux d’orignal et de cerf, pièce de carrosserie automobile (ailes), congélateur, acier269 x 122 x 76 cmCollection de la Vancouver Art Gallery, fonds d’acquisition de la Vancouver Art Gallery
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Press kit | 701-07 - Press release | Zoo - Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal (MAC) - Event + Exhibition - The Men of My Family, 2010JUNGEN BrianPeaux d’orignal et de cerf, pièce de carrosserie automobile (ailes), congélateur, acier269 x 122 x 76 cmCollection de la Vancouver Art Gallery, fonds d’acquisition de la Vancouver Art Gallery
The Men of My Family, 2010JUNGEN BrianPeaux d’orignal et de cerf, pièce de carrosserie automobile (ailes), congélateur, acier269 x 122 x 76 cmCollection de la Vancouver Art Gallery, fonds d’acquisition de la Vancouver Art Gallery
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