Montréal, June 19, 2019 – The Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal (MAC) is pleased to announce that its summer exhibitions will be inaugurated with a major presentation by award-winning Anishinaabe artist Rebecca Belmore. Organized by the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO), where it was warmly received last summer, the exhibition Facing the Monumental presents a group of strikingly visceral images—in sculptures, videos, and photographs—that address the urgent question of our times. Nadia Myre, Chloë Lum & Yannick Desranleau, and Ragnar Kjartansson & The National are also included in the summer program. Finally, in August, the MAC will once again partner with the MUTEK festival by presenting the world premiere of the ISM Hexadome installation, a collaboration between MUTEK and the Institute for Sound & Music in Berlin (ISM).

As the start date of the MAC’s transformation project has been postponed, the MAC will continue to hold its activities in its current location, on Sainte-Catherine Street, offering high-quality programming to visitors. Updates about the transformation project will be shared as they become available.

“We announced last fall what we believed would be the final exhibitions at the MAC before the much-anticipated renovations,” said John Zeppetelli, Director and Chief Curator at the MAC. “Yet here I am again proudly introducing more exhibitions in this same building! In a nutshell, after receiving unanticipated new information we came to realize that the wise decision would be to postpone the transformation for another year, leaving us time to refine the project. In the meantime, we’re staying focused on our inspiring mandate of offering major exhibitions and a unique museum experience to our visitors. The enormous pride that I take in this summer rich programming mitigates any temporary frustrations arising from our complex and ever-evolving construction project.”

Rebecca Belmore: Facing the Monumental
June 20 to October 6, 2019

“The world will be a different place in twenty years, and we have no idea what that looks like. I think that’s why we have conversations, that’s why we have to listen, that’s why we make art.”

— Rebecca Belmore

One of Canada’s most celebrated and important contemporary artists, Rebecca Belmore started working as a performance artist in the late 1980s. This medium of immediacy and presence continues to influence her diverse practice. Her works address global conflicts and crises driven by climate change, water access, land use, homelessness, and human displacement and migrations. She contends with our conflicting relationships with land, the state of women’s lives, historical events and continuing violence against Indigenous peoples.

Facing the Monumental brings together a focused selection of sculptures, installations and photographs dating from 2001, as well as a compilation of ten video documents of her performances since 1991. It is the largest survey of her work to date, providing a sense of the breadth of her practice and the depth of her political engagement.

A fascinating duality in powerful works

Materially diverse and aesthetically compelling, Belmore’s works are often grounded in specific stories, events, or individuals, and address issues that are central to the lives of Indigenous peoples.Her poetic representations of human dignity, the beauty of youth, a sleeping subject, the power of water, or the quieting effect of snow all provide a contrast to the turmoil of our world. “Her art asks us to consider where we are, and what we face in our future,” notes Lesley Johnstone, Curator and Head of Exhibitions and Education at the MAC.

As Wanda Nanibush, curator of the exhibition and Curator, Indigenous Art, at the AGO, states, Rebecca Belmore “makes it clear that artists are meant to show us something about being human, to understand our condition as connected to the earth, to water, to all non-human living entities. Belmore’s practice connects us to our fundamental vulnerability—something that is universal and yet irreducibly different. We experience this elemental openness in her work.”

The exhibition is organized by the AGO and curated by Wanda Nanibush, Curator, Indigenous Art. The MAC presentation is organized by Lesley Johnstone, Curator and Head of Exhibitions and Education.


A member of Lac Seul First Nation (Anishinaabe), Rebecca Belmore is an internationally recognized multidisciplinary artist currently residing in Toronto. Her exhibitions include: Biinjiya’iing Onji (From Inside), documenta 14 (2017); KWE: The Work of Rebecca Belmore, Justina M. Barnicke Gallery (2011); Rebecca Belmore: Rising to the Occasion, Vancouver Art Gallery (2008); and Fountain, Venice Biennale (2005).

Belmore was awarded the prestigious Gershon Iskowitz Prize by the Gershon Iskowitz Foundation in partnership with the Art Gallery of Ontario in 2016; the Governor General’s Award in Visual and Media Arts in 2013; the Hnatyshyn Visual Arts Award in 2009; the Jack and Doris Shadbolt Foundation’s VIVA Award in 2004; and honorary doctorates from the Emily Carr University of Art and Design (2017) and the Ontario College of Art and Design University (2005).

Nadia Myre, Chloë Lum & Yannick Desranleau
June 20 to August 4, 2019

In keeping with Rebecca Belmore’s exhibition, the MAC will present works from its collection and new acquisitions, including pieces by Nadia Myre, that express something profoundly human as they tackle topics of desire, loss, resilience and knowledge. Based on themes such as Indigenous identity, Meditations on Red, 2013, is a series of photographs depicting meticulous beadwork. Through the piece, Myre offers a critical reflection on identity as defined by blood and the racist concepts of “white man” and “red.” With her Contact in Monochrome (Toile de Jouy) (2018), wallpaper and Pipe (2017), her bronze-cast tobacco pipe, she reinterprets the history and evolution of the tobacco trade.

The theme of performativity, present in Rebecca Belmore’s work, can be seen through a completely different lens in the work of Chloé Lum and Yannick Desranleau. Two installations—one a sculpture: The Face Stayed East The Mouth Went West (2014), a recent acquisition of the MAC’s Collection here for the first time, and the other a video installation, What Do Stones Smell Like in the Forest? (2018)—will be positioned in mutual dialogue. The installation will serve as a testimony to the development of the artists’ work of the last few years in relation to the live arts and performativity.

Ongoing media art programming:
Ragnar Kjartansson & The National starting June 20, MUTEK starting August 13

As of June 20, programming dedicated to media works and projections will be presented in the museum’s Beverly Webster Rolph room. Ragnar Kjartansson & The National will open the show and occupy the space for much of the summer with A Lot of Sorrow (2013). Belonging to the MAC’s Collection, the piece is the result of a performance organized by MoMA PS1 and directed by Kjartansson, in which he invited The National to perform their song Sorrow repeatedly for six hours, or 105 times.

From August 13 until September 2, the MAC will host the Canadian premiere of the ISM Hexadome, an immersive video installation combining cutting-edge art and technology, part of the official program of the 20th edition of the MUTEK festival. The installation, a collaboration between MUTEK and the Institute for Sound & Music (ISM) in Berlin, will present nine immersive works by artist duos: Suzanne Ciani & AudeRrose, Ben Frost & MFO, CAO & Michael Tan, Holly Herndon & Mathew Dryhurst, Frank Bretschneider & Pierce Warnecke, Lara Sarkissian & Jemma Woolmore, Peter Van Hoesen & Heleen Blanken, René Löwe & Pfadfinderei, Tarik Barri & Thom Yorke.

On June 20: a one-night performance event

Los subrogados | Les substituts is a one-night event featuring eight performance artists, four in Mexico City and four in Montreal. Each artist will update or create a work that will be performed simultaneously by a delegated artist in the other city. The project is based on the diversity of the voices–of their trajectories, identities, generations–in each place, to showcase today’s most relevant forms of performance.

Co-presented by the Museo Universitario Arte Contemporáneo (MUAC) and the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal (MAC), in collaboration with Darling Foundry, Los subrogados | Les substituts was organized by Véronique Leblanc, guest curator at the MAC et Alejandra Labastida, assistant curator at the MUAC, Mexico City, with the complicity of the artists.

The invited artists are:

Sarah Chouinard-Poirier | Juan Caloca, in collaboration with Nicolás Medina Mora
Catherine Lavoie-Marcus | Nadia Lartigue
Helena Martin Franco | Alicia Medina
Martín Rodríguez | Guillermo Santamarina

Thursday, June 20, 6 p.m. – 10 p.m., free, at the Darling Foundry, as part of Place Publique


  • In recognition of National Indigenous Peoples Day, the MAC will be free of charge on June 21, all day, to allow more visitors to view the summer exhibitions, including presentations by Anishinaabe artist Rebecca Belmore and Algonquin artist Nadia Myre.
  • Members of the band The National, Bryce and Aaron Dessner, will join a discussion at the MAC with John Zeppetelli, as part of the presentation of the work A Lot of Sorrow (2013). Friday, June 21, 5:30 p.m., BWR Room, free. Limited seating: 200 tickets only. Available at the MAC ticket counter starting June 20, noon. First come, first served.
  • Rebecca Belmore will offer a guided tour of her exhibition with Wanda Nanibush. Thursday, June 20, 5 p.m., at the MAC, in English.
  • A series of performances related to the exhibition by Chloë Lum & Yannick Desranleau is planned, the first of which will take place on Saturday, June 22, at 2 p.m. at the MAC. Full schedule and dates.
  • The artists Chloë Lum & Yannick Desranleau, and the curator of the collection, Marie-Eve Beaupré, will offer two guided tours. Thursday, July 4 and 11, at 6 pm., at the MAC, in English and French.


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 like to thank Terres en vues, as part of its partnership with festival Présence autochtone (August 4 – 16, 2019). The Museum also thanks its media partners: La Presse and The Gazette.

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]