Montréal, April 15, 2013 — On Monday, April 22 at 7 p.m., curator and art critic Bruce W. Ferguson will give a lecture entitled Not in the Age of Pharaohs at the PHI Centre (407, rue Saint-Pierre, Montréal).  This lecture is organized jointly by DHC/ART Foundation for Contemporary Art, the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal and PHI Centre. Admission is free.

This lecture takes as its starting point the assumption that works of art can be symptomatic of larger cultural and political issues without necessarily using them as their content. Bruce W. Ferguson will discuss in detail the present day issues of Egypt through an investigation of works by four artists in the two years prior to the now-famous 18 days of Revolution begun in January of 2011. He shows how the four artists were already a compact measure of the upcoming discontents and how these art works had values that coincided with values of an earlier Modernist literature in Egypt, as well as the values of the years of protests that preceded the Revolution. Ferguson does not overvalue the works of art as predictive or as the cause of the uprisings but carefully shows how the works of art can be seen to be investigative and analytical in advance, like a symbolic social diagnosis of a political disease. The last artist Ferguson explores produced work both before and after the revolution and acts as a hinge to the newer iterative work now being produced, mostly on the streets of Egyptian cities and towns in the form of graffiti.

Bruce W. Ferguson is currently Dean of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at the American University in Cairo. He served as the Dean of the School of Arts at Columbia University as well as President and Executive Director of the New York Academy of Art.  In Phoenix, Ferguson was responsible for the formation of Future Arts Research at Arizona State University.  He has curated exhibitions for institutions from the Louisiana Museum in Copenhagen to the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston. He also organized exhibitions within the international biennales of Sao Paulo, Sydney, Venice and Istanbul. Ferguson was the founding director and curator of the Site Santa Fe biennial in New Mexico. His academic research centers on the subject of exhibition theory and practice.  In 1996, he co-published with scholars Reesa Greenberg and Sandy Nairne an anthology entitled Thinking About Exhibitions which was seminal in opening the field of curatorial studies.


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.

Source and Information

Anne Dongois
T. 514 826-2050
[email protected]