Montréal, September 5, 2019 – The Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal (MAC) is once again collaborating with MOMENTA | Biennale de l’image to be the first in North America to present Children’s Games by renowned Belgian artist Francis Alÿs. Starting now until January 5, 2020, the MAC will be home to seventeen touching and disarming videos comprised in the work, showing children at play throughout the world. María Wills Londoño, curator of the Biennale, will be hosting a tour of the exhibition for visitors at 12:30 p.m. on Friday, September 6. Museum goers can also attend the upcoming Nocturne evening and explore the exhibition in a fun, late-night atmosphere until 2 a.m. The event will be held on Friday, September 13, at the MAC.

Francis Alÿs: Children’s Games
September 4, 2019 – January 5, 2020

World-renowned for his body of work at the crossroads of the political and poetic, disrupting our perceptions of the world, Belgian artist Francis Alÿs is interested in everyday gestures and the political and symbolic potential that they contain. Ongoing since 1999 and now comprising nearly twenty videos, Children’s Games show scenes of children at play around the world. This inventory of childhood activities offers a fresh perspective on real-life moments that are both banal and remarkable. Through the sparkling imagination of children, Alÿs presents an intimate yet political view of the universal and unifying nature of games.

The images he has captured in Mexico, Afghanistan, Nepal, Belgium, Iraq, Venezuela, France, Morocco and Jordan show how children turn simple, ordinary things—chairs, coins, sand, stones, plastic bottles—into the foundation of unlikely and fantastical universes. Transformed by imagination and a fraternal spirit that is both tacit and spontaneous, these objects lose their usual prosaicness to find new symbolic potential. With each gesture, the children reinvent the world, the tensions that organize it and the converging forces that travel through it.

“I’m extremely proud of the piece we are presenting for the 16th Biennale de l’image,” says John Zeppetelli, Director and Chief Curator of the MAC. “Each video conjures magical yet ordinary games as essential ways of being in the world. Despite the many economic difficulties or social realities the kids may be facing, their imaginations are centre-stage and beautifully celebrated, while a touching poetry also transpires.”

Born in Belgium, Francis Alÿs lives and works in Mexico City. His multidisciplinary projects have been presented at many pivotal contemporary art platforms, such as Tate Modern (London), KANAL—Centre Pompidou (Brussels), the Museum of Modern Art (New York), the Gwangju Biennale, and the Venice Biennale.

Francis Alÿs: Children’s Games is an exhibition produced in collaboration with MOMENTA | Biennale de l’image.

Nocturne du MAC
Friday, September 13
5 p.m. – 2 a.m.

The next Nocturne evening – a fun, late-night event where the museum stays open until 2 a.m. – will launch the new season with exhibits by Francis Alÿs and Rebecca Belmore.

Starting at 5 p.m., visitors will be welcomed in a transformed Museum for the occasion, and will be able to have a drink and a bite to eat, visit the exhibitions at their own pace or follow a guided tour (from 7:30 p.m.), participate in a creative workshop (6 p.m. to 12 a.m.) and enjoy music from well-known DJs. The music program for the evening was developed in collaboration with Jason Voltaire, aka M. Bootyspoon, whose debut album, Silk Eternity, was highly praised upon its release in 2018. He will be playing a set at 5 p.m. and will be mixing with CLICKBAIT from 7:30 p.m. CLICKBAIT and Bamboo Hermann will also play a set each, at 8:30 p.m. and 11 p.m. respectively.

Essential happening of the Montreal nightlife since 2007, the Friday Nocturnes at the MAC are the perfect opportunity to plunge with friends, a drink in hand, into the most current and most relevant form of contemporary art of the moment.


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.

The MAC would also like to thank its media partners: La Presse and The Gazette. As part of Francis Alÿs: Children’s Games, the MAC extends its thanks to Cinéma Beaubien and Cinéma du Parc, as well as to the Festival du nouveau cinéma (October 9 – 20, 2019) and to the Montreal International Documentary Festival (RIDM) (November 14 – 24, 2019).

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 MAC 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 collection. These may feature any and 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 MAC 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]