Montréal, August 24, 2012 — There are only nine days left to see Zoo, the exhibition organized by the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal this summer. Thousands of visitors from near and far have taken advantage of the MAC’s invitation to visit this urban zoo. They reacted with high praise, their comments underscoring the exhibition’s playful character as well as its more serious side. The media followed suite with enthusiastic reviews. In La Presse, for example, Mario Cloutier wrote, “In human – or animal – memory, the MAC has never … offered an exhibition for the general public culled from such a wide field, with such a representation of first-rate Canadian and international artists.” Or as the blogue put it, “Unusual, ferocious, eccentric, wild and playful, the fauna that parades past our eyes is staggering, disorienting. The exhibition Zoo … is an extraordinary zoological trip.”

Some fifty works that are bound to spark a highly topical discussion of the human-animal relationship are in the spotlight in Zoo, on view at the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal, until Monday, September 3. This group exhibition contains pieces by twenty Québec, Canadian and international artists. Focusing on zoos as a mode of portraying the animal kingdom and living beings, it features works that will prompt an examination of the marked interest in animals seen in the contemporary art of the past few years. It also fits in with recent debates about natural history and our relationship to a world that has undergone unprecedented ecological and geopolitical change.

Works not to be missed

Among the major works —some of them brand-new—showcased in Zoo and not to be missed:

Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads: Gold, 2010, by dissident Chinese artist Ai Weiwei, is a remarkable work being shown here for the first time in Canada. It is a reinterpretation of the twelve bronze animal heads, representing the traditional Chinese zodiac, that used to adorn the famous water clock at the imperial gardens of Yuanming Yuan, in Beijing.

Produced specially for the exhibition Zoo, David Altmejd’s Le Spectre et la Main, 2012, takes up elements typically used by this artist and applies them like a leitmotiv. The work suggests a vivarium of surprising size that interweaves a multitude of threads introducing the idea of movement and perpetual metamorphosis.

Also worthy of mention is a large-scale installation by Trevor Gould, titled God’s Window, created specifically for the Musée Sculpture Garden, where it has been built onto the fountain. The sculpture features the monkey figure that often appears in the artist’s work, and its structure speaks to the surrounding architecture.

Finally, Chair Apollinaire, by Jana Sterbak, is a “club” chair made of meat. Its presentation at the MAC is a Canadian premiere.


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. The museum gratefully acknowledges their support and that of Collection Loto-Québec, the Musée’s principal partner.

Source and Information

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