Montréal, February 11, 2020 – For the 17th edition of Nuit blanche à Montréal, the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal (MAC) is offering a wide range of activities in a warm and welcoming atmosphere. On the program: three exhibitions and an art workshop. Art mediators will also be present in the exhibition rooms to answer the visitors’ questions. Young and old alike can discover two exhibitions of the MAC Collection, presenting a portrait of 1980s Québec and Canadian painting and six video works spanning almost forty years of moving image art. In the basement, visitors will dive into the striking artwork-event Love Is the Message, the Message Is Death by artist and filmmaker Arthur Jafa. Finally, all are invited to express their imagination in the art workshop Starry Sky. On this invigorating evening, admission to the Musée will be free from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m.

Points of Light

Points of Light brings together six works spanning almost forty years of moving image art, attesting to the range and depth of the Musée’s video collection. The selection explores the interplay between the evolving properties of the medium and the conceptual, social or psychological content of the works – between tiny pixels of light and vast zones of aesthetic and intellectual illumination. Therefore, visitors will have an opportunity to experience various forms of video art, ranging from Liquidity, Inc. (2014), a saga by German artist Hito Steyerl on finance, combat, and water, presented in an environment in which visitors may sit on a structure resembling a gigantic wave, to Scénario du film Passion (1982), in which Jean-Luc Godard revisits the writing of the screenplay for his movie Passion, revealing the inner workings of his creative process.

Artists: Jean-Luc Godard, Nelson Henricks, Gary Hill, Christian Marclay, Angelica Mesiti, Hito Steyerl.

Painting Nature With a Mirror

This portrait of 1980s painting in Canada showcases twenty or so paintings and drawings from the collection of the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal, more than half on display here for the first time since they were acquired. The 1980s saw the return of a style of painting that, rather than attempting to follow the course of modernist abstraction inherited from the mid-century avant-gardes, adopted a sometimes disconcerting heterogeneity: figuration and abstraction were employed simultaneously and aesthetic explorations were marked by diversity, but above all by a desire to be free of the previous generation of artists’ conceptual rigour. L’exposition propose une réflexion et un rapprochement avec l’actualité artistique. Beyond stylistic references, why do the pictorial aesthetics developed in the 1980s resonate with a younger generation of artists? What is it about the zeitgeist of today that draws us back to the works gathered here?

Artists: Sylvie Bouchard, Joseph Branco, Gathie Falk, Betty Goodwin, Kathleen Graham, John Heward, Robert Houle, Lynn Hughes, Harold Klunder, Wanda Koop, Medrie MacPhee, Martha Fleming and Lyne Lapointe, Sandra Meigs, Ron Moppett, François Morelli, Leopold Plotek, Leslie Reid, Susan G. Scott, Joanne Tod, Carol Wainio, Shirley Wiitasalo.

Points of Light and Painting Nature with a Mirror are part of Pictures for an Exhibition, an evolving cycle of exhibitions based on works from the collection and intended to generate new connections between historical works and recent acquisitions, between the different media and artists of various generations.

Arthur Jafa: Love Is the Message, the Message Is Death

First presented in New York just after the U.S. election of November 2016, Love is the Message, the Message is Death had an immediate and explosive effect. The work, which New Yorker magazine called a « crucial ode to black America » that « is required viewing », shows a rapid-fire montage of images from a mesmerizing range of sources set. It oscillates between scenes of untenable violence and images of ordinary black life as well as iconic clips of such figures as Barack Obama, Nina Simone and Serena Williams, among many others, to Kanye West’s hip-hop song Ultralight Beam.

At once a celebration of black creativity and excellence, and a depiction of the violence of the state, this immersive projection presents powerful and devastating manifestations of physical restraint and liberation, adapting for the screen the complexity of the Afro-American music experimentation.

Art Worshop – Starry Sky

Visitors are invited to illuminate their evening by painting a northern landscape under a starry sky with the inspiration of the work Arctic Night, 1984, by Kathleen Margaret Graham, showed in the exhibition Painting Nature with a Mirror.

Art mediators in exhibition rooms

Art mediators will be present in the exhibition rooms from 8:30 p.m. to midnight to answer your questions and to give you more information about the artists, their work and the exhibitions. Feel free to speak with them!


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 Government of Canada and the Canada Council for the Arts.

Regarding Pictures for an Exhibition, the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal is grateful to Québec’s Ministère de la Culture et des Communications for a grant provided under its program to support permanent exhibitions, which has made this project possible.

Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal

Located in the heart of the Quartier des Spectacles, the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal makes today’s art a vital part of Montréal and Québec life. For more than fifty years, this vibrant museum has brought together local and international artists, their works and an ever growing public. It is also a place of discovery, offering visitors experiences that are continually changing and new, and often unexpected and stirring. The Musée presents temporary exhibitions devoted to outstanding and relevant current artists who provide their own, particular insight into our society, as well as exhibitions of works drawn from the museum’s extensive Permanent Collection. They may feature every form of expression: digital and sound works, installations, paintings, sculptures, ephemeral pieces, and more. In addition to its wide range of educational activities familiarizing the general public with contemporary art, the Musée organizes unique artistic performances and festive events. It is a window onto a myriad of avant-garde expressions that extend the reach of art throughout the city and beyond.

Source and Information

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