Le Grand Balcon [The Grand Balcony], the 2016 edition of La Biennale de Montréal, explores an unusual question: is hedonism possible today? The project posits the urgency of forming a materialistic, sensualistic approach to the world that mobilizes the capacities of both brain and body to their fullest. It sets out the challenge of developing an ethical hedonism and a joyous utilitarianism.

Commissarié par: Philippe Pirotte


The project drawn up by curator Philippe Pirotte comprises new and/or recent works by about fifty Québec, Canadian and international artists who are rethinking hedonism. It features painting, sculpture, installation, performance and other forms of experimentation. Le Grand Balcon is presented by La Biennale de Montréal and co-produced with the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal.

The three members of curator Philippe Pirotte’s advisory team are Corey McCorkle, Aseman Sabet and Kitty Scott.

Corey McCorkle is an artist living and working in New York.

Aseman Sabet is an independent curator, arts writer and doctoral candidate in Art History at the Université de Montréal.

Kitty Scott is the Carol and Morton Rapp Curator, Modern and Contemporary Art at the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto, Canada, and co-curator of the 2018 Liverpool Biennial.

Artists presented at the MAC

Njideka Akunyili Crosby
Hüseyin Bahri Alptekin
Éric Baudelaire
Thomas Bayrle
Nadia Belerique
Valérie Blass
Michael Blum
Shannon Bool
Elaine Cameron-Weir
Chris Curreri
Moyra Davey
Nicole Eisenman
Geoffrey Farmer

Isa Genzken
Liao Guohe
Lena Henke
Anne Imhof
Luis Jacob
Myriam Jacob-Allard
Brian Jungen
Brian Jungen and Geoffrey Farmer
Janice Kerbel
Hassan Khan
David Lamelas
Zac Langdon-Pole
Tanya Lukin Linklater

Luzie Meyer
Shahryar Nashat
Cady Noland
Celia Perrin Sidarous
Marina Rosenfeld
Ben Schumacher
Walter Scott
Luke Willis Thompson
David Gheron Tretiakoff
Luc Tuymans
PME-Art / Jacob Wren
Haegue Yang


Guest Curator Biography

Philippe Pirotte (born in 1972 in Belgium) is an art historian, curator, critic and Director of Frankfurt’s Städelschule Academy of Fine Arts and of Portikus, leading centres for contemporary art in Germany and beyond. Pirotte was one of the co-founders of the contemporary art centre objectif_exhibitions in Antwerp, Belgium. From 2005 to 2011, he was Director of the internationally renowned Kunsthalle Bern in Switzerland, where he organized solo exhibitions by artists such as Anne-Mie Van Kerckhoven, Owen Land, Oscar Tuazon, Jutta Koether, Allan Kaprow and Corey McCorkle. From 2004 to 2013, Pirotte held the position of Senior Advisor at the Rijksakademie for Visual Arts in Amsterdam. In 2012, he became Adjunct Senior Curator at the UC Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive. He also served as Advising Program Director for the Sifang Art Museum in Nanjing and is an advisor for the Kadist Art Foundation (Paris/San Francisco).

Information: La Biennale de Montréal