Montréal, October 6, 2011 — The Québec Triennial 2011. The Work Ahead of Us, one of the most important and highly anticipated art events of the season, will be presented at the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal from October 7, 2011 to January 3, 2012. For this second edition of the Triennial, the museum has put together a show on an unprecedented scale that will fill all eight of its exhibition galleries and spill over into its indoor public spaces, as well as Place des Festivals in the Quartier des Spectacles and the Espace culturel Georges-Émile-Lapalme at Place des Arts. The exhibition will feature works by more than fifty artists and collectives, a majority of them young, who are contributing to a renewed Québec art. A series of live performances and Friday Nocturnes will round out this edition of the Triennial.

Lengthy preparations: research, discussions, travels

Resembling an extensive research project, The Québec Triennial 2011 is the result of painstaking field work and deliberation by the Musée’s team of curators. To follow up their theoretical discussions, the curators travelled to different parts of the province, combing countless artists’ studios and arriving at a comprehensive sense of Québec artistic practice in these early years of the twenty-first century. This fundamental research effort has revealed, among other things, a shift toward the performative gesture in art that speaks of a new artistic sensibility, observable in the work of a number of artists in the Triennial. Also evident is the increasing presence of sound in contemporary art, as well as the renewed interest shown by many artists in the history of the art and ideas of the twentieth century. Finally, the findings of this research underscore the creative endeavour that is central to a vision of the art being produced here and how.

Chief Curator Marie Fraser and curators Lesley Johnstone, Mark Lanctôt, François LeTourneux and Louise Simard organized the exhibition; Marjolaine Labelle was in charge of coordination.

The artists of The Québec Triennial 2011

Everything in The Work Ahead of Us provides food for thought and an opportunity to step off the beaten path. Here are the artists taking part in the Triennial 2011¾most of them from Québec’s young generation¾whose works promise to offer visitors brand-new experiences.

In the galleries: Numa Amun, Jean-Pierre Aubé, Magali Babin, Dean Baldwin, Steve Bates, Lorna Bauer, Sylvain Baumann and Florine Leoni, Mathieu Beauséjour, Sophie Bélair Clément, Matthew Biederman, Olivia Boudreau, Jacynthe Carrier, Marie-Andrée Cormier, Alexandre David, Jessica Eaton, Grier Edmundson, Julie Favreau, Claudie Gagnon, Massimo Guerrera, Nelson Henricks, Jim Holyoak and Matt Shane, Mark Igloliorte, Chris Kline, Thomas Kneubühler, Valérie Kolakis, Stéphane La Rue, Fabienne Lasserre, Mathieu Latulippe, Frédéric Lavoie, François Lemieux, Emmanuelle Léonard, Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, Lynne Marsh, Thérèse Mastroiacovo, jake moore, François Morelli, Séripop, Charles Stankievech, Justin Stephens, [The User], Ève K. Tremblay and Myriam Yates.

Live program:, Sylvie Cotton, Tim Hecker, Karl Lemieux, L’orchestre d’hommes-orchestres, PME-ART, Dominique Pétrin and Georges Rebboh, and Martin Tétreault.

The Work Ahead of Us

The title “The Work Ahead of Us” is borrowed from an exhibition of work by Grier Edmundson, one of the artists in this Triennial. He himself took it from an essay by the Russian Constructivist artist Vladimir Tatlin. As the curators were discussing Edmundson’s singular, eclectic manner of juxtaposing disparate aspects of art and history, it came to them that this title was a natural choice for The Québec Triennial 2011. Indeed, The Work Ahead of Us aptly conveys the image of the vast range of artists, approaches, media and ideas that make up such an event. More concretely, the notion of work in the broad sense occurs in a number of pieces, whether in terms of research, information or data gathering, archiving, construction of pictorial, architectural or sound spaces, transformation, translation or transition from one state to another.

A novel collaboration with the Quartier des Spectacles

October 7 to November 6, 2011

As part of The Québec Triennial 2011, the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal, in collaboration with the Quartier des Spectacles Partnership, is presenting Intersection articulée. Architecture relationnelle 18, a major work by Rafael Lozano-Hemmer conceived especially for Place des Festivals. This is the first time the artist, known worldwide for this type of intervention, has produced such a large-scale public work in Montréal. He is introducing an interactive system that the public can activate physically within the space, in real time. Through the public’s participation, the projectors set up in the square, equipped with powerful light beams that can be seen over a radius of fifteen kilometres, interact and produce sculptures in the Montréal sky. The work will be unveiled on Thursday, October 6 at 8 p.m. on Place des Festivals in the Quartier des Spectacles. The public can view and interact with it from October 7 to November 6, 2011: Sunday to Wednesday from 6:30 to 11 p.m., and Thursday to Saturday from 6:30 p.m. to midnight.

In the Espace culturel Georges-Émile-Lapalme at Place des Arts

October 7, 2011 to January 3, 2012

Lynne Marsh is showing a video installation titled The Philharmonie Project (Bruckner: Symphony No. 5, movements 1 & 4) in the Espace culturel Georges-Émile-Lapalme.

Marsh’s practice lies at the crossroads of performance, film and a reworking of the image. Her art explores the latent spaces implied by the spectacle by looking behind the scenes of a production, without an audience. For The Philharmonie Project, the artist turned her camera on the crews shooting a concert by the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra as it plays a piece by Anton Bruckner.


To illustrate the vitality and diversity of contemporary artistic practices, the second edition of The Québec Triennial is offering a series of performances in Beverley Webster Rolph Hall, every Wednesday evening from October 12 to November 30, 2011. Over the past ten years, performative action has become a pervasive element in artistic processes. This program of live events attests to the renewed interest in performance and the many interconnections between music and the visual arts, film and experimentation with sound.

  • October 12, starting at 6 p.m. – PME-ART
  • October 19, starting at 6 p.m. –
  • October 26, starting at 7:30 p.m. – L’orchestre d’hommes-orchestres
  • November 2, starting at 7:30 p.m. – Karl Lemieux
  • November 9, starting at 7:30 p.m. – Tim Hecker
  • November 16, starting at 7:30 p.m. – Dominique Pétrin and Georges Rebboh
  • November 23, 24 and 25  – Sylvie Cotton
  • November 30, starting at 7:30 p.m. – Martin Tétreault

*Passes are available at the Musée ticket counter as of the Thursday before the performance. Pass holders must arrive at the counter at least 15 minutes before the performance; otherwise their seats cannot be guaranteed.

Triennial Friday Nocturnes*

For fall 2011, the Friday Nocturnes are in tune with the spirit of the Triennial and showcase artists and musicians whose practices encompass two scenes: the visual arts and music. The Nocturnes are unique Montréal happenings that turn up the ambience and feature live musical performances, bar service and entry to all the exhibition galleries. They offer a different way to visit the Musée and connect with today’s art.

  • October 7 – AIDS Wolf
  • November 4 – Jérôme Minière
  • December 2 – Steve Bates

*Open to all. No reservation necessary. First come, first served.

Admission with regular Musée ticket or our $20 Wired card, valid for one year. Tickets can be picked up on the day, starting at 11 a.m.


For the opening of this second Triennial, the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal is launching a lavishly illustrated 500-page catalogue, titled The Québec Triennial 2011. The Work Ahead of Us. Intended as a reference work on contemporary art in Québec, it takes stock of artistic practices that have developed in recent years and demonstrates the contribution made by authors who have studied these practices and are now producing an important critical discourse. The first part of this publication, written by the exhibition curators, is devoted to introducing the Triennial and the artists; the second and third parts are the product of a collaborative undertaking with esse arts + opinions magazine and the efforts of a scholarly committee. To provide an overall picture and contextualize the Triennial, the Musée invited four authors¾Johanne Sloan, Patrice Loubier, Eduardo Ralickas and Bernard Schütze¾to draw on their research in order to reflect on what they consider to be the issues of contemporary art in Québec. The publication concludes with a glossary of some thirty common contemporary art terms, drawn up by Véronique Leblanc, with the collaboration of the exhibition curators and the participation of Marjolaine Labelle. It is accompanied by a thematic bibliography and a list of Québec artists deemed representative of the various approaches and art practices current today. The catalogue may be purchased for $55 at the MAC Boutique and from your local bookseller.

The Musée’s partners

The Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal extends its warmest thanks to its principal partner and presenter of The Québec Triennial 2011, Collection Loto-Québec, for the major funding it provided. We must acknowledge, as well, the generous contribution made by Hydro-Québec, also a presenter of the Triennial. Our gratitude goes to the Quartier des Spectacles Partnership for its financial support for the presentation of the spectacular work by Rafael Lozano-Hemmer. We are also indebted to Place des Arts for the remarkable cooperative effort between our two institutions in connection with this major artistic event. Finally, we would like to thank our media partner, La Presse.

Meet the artists

Every Saturday from October 8 to December 10, the artists will meet with the public, in turn, in the exhibition galleries at 2 p.m. Meetings are scheduled for October 8, 15, 22 and 29, November 5, 12, 19 and 26, and December 3 and 10, and will take place in French and English.

Reading room and videos

The Eaton Lounge, across from the Media Centre on the second floor, will act as a reading room throughout the run of the exhibition. Focusing on the theme of contemporary art events around the world, the publications selected by the Centre will put The Québec Triennial 2011 in context relative to other major triennials in the world of contemporary art. Additional reading rooms will be set up along the exhibition circuit.

Throughout the month of October, visitors will have another chance to see the series of interviews conducted by the Musée with twenty or so artists and collectives in The Québec Triennial 2008. This will be followed in November and December by interviews conducted with artists in The Québec Triennial 2011.

Art workshops and tours

From October 7 to November 27, the art workshops have planned Walls Awash, an activity inspired by Jim Holyoak and Matt Shane’s installation, Quagmire, on view in The Québec Triennial 2011. Participants in this activity will paint a huge mural in India ink and wash. The workshop walls will be filled with a vast array of lines, graphics and forms evoking an immense, phantasmagorical landscape. Once again tying in with a piece in the Triennial 2011, the workshop Folds of Watercolour, scheduled from December 2, 2011 to January 29, 2012, will allow participants to get better acquainted with the group of works by Stéphane La Rue by using watercolour to paint geometric forms. Free with Musée admission. For all, with family (ages four and up) or friends, every Sunday at 1:30 or 2:30 p.m.

The series Triennial Trends offers art workshops for adults who are looking for a creative diversion. October 18 and 25; November 1, 8, 15 and 22; and December 6 and 13, 2011. Cost: $14 per workshop. Registration required: 514 847-6266.

Tours of the exhibition are given every Wednesday evening at 5, 6 and 7:30 p.m. in French and 6:30 p.m. in English, and on Saturdays and Sundays at 1 p.m. in English and 3 p.m. in French.

Musée hours

The Musée is open Tuesday to Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Late opening, till 9 p.m., on Wednesdays as well as Nocturne Fridays: October 7, November 4 and December 2. The Musée will be open on Monday, October 10. It will be closed December 25 and January 1.


The Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal is a provincially owned corporation funded by the Ministère de la Culture, des Communications et de la Condition féminine du Québec. It receives additional funding from the Department of Canadian Heritage and the Canada Council for the Arts.

Source and Information

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