Nov 24 → Apr 1
The PHI Centre building comes to life with an interactive multimedia installation of a motion-activated river on its four-story windows on Saint-Pierre Street
451 Saint-Jean Street
Montréal, Québec H2Y 2R5
Wednesday to Sunday:
11 AM to 6 PM
Sonny Assu, Phil Collins, Dora Garcia, Simryn Gill, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Emily Jacir, Sergej Jensen, Mike Kelley, Lee Mingwei
As part of its 10th anniversary celebration, DHC/ART Foundation for Contemporary Art is pleased to present L’OFFRE.
How loaded is a gift? Through this age old practice of exchange, we are confronted by a range of emotions and questions that are further complicated by a dominant system of market economy. Is it really just the thought that counts? As the giver of a gift, a deluge of concerns come into play, such as what is appropriate, what is ‘too much/not enough,’ or what is actually useful to the recipient. For the receiver there is also a sense of discomfort linked with indebtedness or the urgency of a reciprocal gesture. But there can also exist a sense of selflessness and joy in giving, as well as a gracious and loving acceptance of the gift that is part of the interaction. Gift exchange creates a bond between people, where gifts or, more precisely, the spirit of the gift might continue to circulate.
This exhibition features works that engage with the complex concept of ‘gift’ and its attendant links with notions of exchange, reciprocity, value, labour, trace, ritual, gratitude, altruism, obligation, generosity, and connection. Painting, photo, video, sculpture, and even song are all part of L’OFFRE.
Silenced: The Burning (2011) by Sonny Assu speaks to the potlatch ceremonies central to the Kwakwaka’wakw cultural identity and practices that were banned by the Canadian government from 1884-1951. The potlatch ceremony has been cited by renowned sociologists such as Marcel Mauss as an important example of gift-giving through the re-distribution of wealth. For his installation, Free Fotolab (2009), Phil Collins invited people to send him their unprocessed 35mm rolls of film. He offered to develop them for free in return for the universal image rights for the photos of his choice which he then employed for this work. Dora Garcia’s Steal this book (2009) consists of hundreds of copies of a book that documents eleven of her recent performative projects. While Steal this Book is presented in exhibitions as a sculpture meant to be stolen, it can also be found in selected bookstores worldwide. In Pearls (1999-ongoing), Simryn Gill asks her close friends to give her their favorite book. She then removes the pages and fashions a bead from each one to make a necklace which she then gives back to her friend. This exhibition presents the most recent work produced in this series, made for Montreal artist and professor, Erin Manning. ENTRY DENIED (a concert in Jerusalem) (2003) is an installation by Emily Jacir that features the re-staging of a full-length concert by musicians Marwan Abado, Peter Rosmanith, and Franz Hautzinger that was meant to be performed at a festival in Jerusalem, but was cancelled when Abado was refused entry in Tel Aviv. Jacir’s work becomes at once, a gift and a reminder of loss and exile for those who were deprived of its scheduled performance. Sergej Jensen works with old money bags as his painting surface, including the markings that are on these bags. The four paintings on display at DHC/ART underscore the concept of the artists’ gift and its confounding with the art market. Mike Kelley’s little seen work, Love, Theft, Gifting and more Love (2009) is an installation of items that chronicle the appropriation of a drawing he created for a friend’s book of poetry. What started off as a gift to a friend became appropriated without his permission, but returned to him as a true gesture of love. Deeply engaged with human interaction and connection, Lee Mingwei has two works in the exhibition, Money for Art (1994-2010) and Sonic Blossom (2013). Money for Art is a photo series that documents the objects that were the basis of a special exchange between the artist and the strangers he met in a café. In Sonic Blossom Mingwei puts forth music, in particular, the Schubert lieder, as a transformative gift. On Saturdays and Sundays at DHC/ART, a singer will meander the galleries to find a visitor who, if they accept, will receive the gift of music. Placed throughout the exhibition are “Untitled” (Ischia) (1993), “Untitled” (NRA), (1991) and “Untitled” (Blue Placebo) by Felix Gonzalez-Torres. Featuring stacks of paper, candies wrapped in blue cellophane, and light bulbs, these works evoke the body and its slow disintegration, but also put forth a set of tenuous conditions of exchange for the visitor.
In Lewis Hyde’s much beloved 1983 book The Gift, which serves as a central text for this exhibition, he discusses at length, the idea of the artist’s gift, which when manifested in a work of art can act “as an agent of transformation”. This is the moment when the artist’s gift comes into being and it is with this in mind that L’OFFRE is presented.
2013 – ongoing
Performance every Saturday and Sunday between 11 AM and 6 PM
Presented in collaboration with Concordia University Department of Music
Performers: Samantha Borgal, Camille Brault, Sophie De Cruz, Irene Feher, Alice Newsman-Gougeon, Brittany Rae, Feng Xiong
Thanks: Irene Feher, part-time faculty at Concordia’s Departement of Music, and Mark Corwin, Chair, Concordia Department of Music, and Geneviève Jalbert, Accompanist
Sonny Assu (Ligwilda’xw of the Kwakwaka’wakw Nations) was raised in North Delta, BC, over 250 km away from his ancestral home on Vancouver Island. Having been raised as your everyday average suburbanite, it wasn’t until he was eight years old that he discovered his Ligwilda’xw/Kwakwaka’wakw heritage. Later in life, this discovery would be the conceptual focal point that helped launch his unique art practice. Assu’s artistic practice is diverse: spanning painting, sculpture, photography, digital art, and printmaking. Sonny negotiates Western and Kwakwaka’wakw principles of art making as a means of exploring his family history and the experiences of being an Indigenous person in the colonial state of Canada. Assu received his BFA from the Emily Carr University in 2002 and was the recipient of its distinguished alumni award in 2006. He received the BC Creative Achievement Award in First Nations art in 2011 and was thrice long-listed for the Sobey Art Award. He received his MFA from Concordia University in 2017 and was one of the Laureates for the 2017 REVEAL - Indigenous Art Awards. His work has been accepted into the National Gallery of Canada, Seattle Art Museum, Vancouver Art Gallery, Museum of Anthropology at UBC, Burke Museum at the University of Washington, Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, Hydro-Québec, Loto-Québec and various other public and private collections across Canada, the United States and the UK.
Since the late 1990s, Phil Collins’s diverse practice has addressed the act of image- making, examining how we participate in and understand culture through the camera’s lens. Characteristic of the artist’s approach is a close engagement with place and communities, which over the years have included disco-dancing Palestinians, fans of The Smiths across three continents, Kosovan-Albanian refugees, the youth of Baghdad, anti-fascist skinheads in Malaysia, and teachers of Marxism-Leninism from the former German Democratic Republic. Solo exhibitions of Collins’s work have been presented in venues around the world, including Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (2016); Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, IL (2016); Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts, Cambridge, MA (2016); Gallery of Modern Art, Glasgow (2015); Hebbel am Ufer, Berlin (2014); Museum Ludwig, Cologne (2013); British Film Institute, London (2011); Tramway, Glasgow (2009); Aspen Art Museum, Colorado (2008); Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas; Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh and National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa (both in 2007); San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco and Tate Britain, London (both in 2006); and Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus, OH (2005). Collins currently lives in Berlin and Cologne, where he is Professor of Video Art at the Academy of Media Arts.
Dora García (Valladolid, 1965) studied fine arts at the University of Salamanca, Spain, and the Rijksakademie in Amsterdam, Holland. She lives and works in Barcelona. Dora García uses the exhibition space as a platform to investigate the relationship between the visitor, the artwork, and place. To this end the artist often draws on interactivity and performance. Through minimal changes, not encroaching on the space, the room is converted into a sensory experience, with each visitor leaving it again with his or her perceptions altered, or at the very least perhaps with a degree of skepticism. She represented Spain at the 54th Venice Biennale in 2011. Selected exhibitions include: Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery, Toronto, Canada, 2015 / Punkt Ø, Moss, Norway, 2015 / Centre d’Arts Visuels, Montréal, Canada, 2014 / dOCUMENTA (13), Kassel, Germany, 2012 / FRAC Ile-de-France, Paris, France, 2011 / Gwangju Biennial, Korea, 2010, 2016 / Lyon Biennial, France, 2009 / TATE Modern, London, UK, 2008 / Centre Pompidou, Paris, France, 2008 / MUDAM, Luxembourg, 2008 / SMAK, Gent, Belgium, 2006 / MUSAC, Leon, Spain, 2004 / MACBA, Barcelona, Spain, 2002.
Simryn Gill was born in 1959 in Singapore, raised in Malaysia, and educated in India and the United Kingdom. She works in sculpture, photography, drawing, and writing. She is a systematic collector, especially of books as objects of reverence and dispute. Several of her projects involve erasing or excising the printed word in a microcosmic struggle with authority as embodied by canonical texts. Gill has had numerous solo exhibitions, including shows at Galeri Petronas, Kuala Lumpur (2001); Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney (2002); Berkeley Art Museum, California (2004); Tate Modern, London (2006); Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian, Washington, D.C. (2006); Tracy Williams, New York (2006, 2009, 2010, and 2012); Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney (2008); Jhaveri Contemporary, Mumbai (2009); Centre for Contemporary Photography, Melbourne (2009); Breenspace, Sydney (2009 and 2012); Heide Museum of Modern Art, Melbourne (2010); and AnnaElle Gallery, Stockholm (2012). Notable group exhibitions include the Singapore Biennial (2006), dOCUMENTA (12) and (13) (2007 and 2012), and 12th Istanbul Biennial (2011). She represented Australia at the 2013 Venice Biennale.
Emily Jacir is an artist and filmmaker who is primarily concerned with transformation, questions of translation, resistance, and silenced historical narratives. Her work investigates personal and collective movement through public space and its implications on the physical and social experience of trans-Mediterranean space and time. She lives and works around the Mediterranean. Jacir is the recipient of several awards, including a Golden Lion at the 52nd Venice Biennale (2007), a Prince Claus Award (2007), the Hugo Boss Prize (2008), and the Herb Alpert Award (2011). Jacir’s works have been in important group exhibitions internationally, including the Museum of Modern Art, New York; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA); Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Turin; dOCUMENTA (13) (2012); Venice Biennale (2005, 2007, 2009, 2011 and 2013); 29th Bienal de São Paulo, Brazil (2010); 15th Biennale of Sydney (2006); Sharjah Biennial 7 (2005); Whitney Biennial (2004); and the 8th Istanbul Biennial (2003). Jacir’s recent solo exhibitions include Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin (2016); Whitechapel Gallery, London (2015); Darat il Funun, Amman (2014-2015); Beirut Art Center (2010); Guggenheim Museum, New York (2009).
Felix Gonzalez-Torres (American, b. Guáimaro, Cuba 1957, d. Miami, Florida 1996) studied at the University of Puerto Rico before moving to New York City in 1979, where he attended the Whitney Independent Study Program, first in 1981 and again in 1983. He received his BFA from Pratt Institute, New York, in 1983 and his MFA from the International Center of Photography and New York University in 1987. In 1997, the Sprengel Museum Hannover, Germany, organized a traveling posthumous solo exhibition and published a catalogue raisonné of the artist’s work. Further solo exhibitions of his work were held at such institutions as The Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide (1998); The Douglas Hyde Gallery, Dublin (1999-2000); El Museo Nacional de Artes Visuales, Montevideo, Uruguay (2000-2001); Serpentine Gallery, London (2000); Le Consortium, Dijon (2002); and Hamburger Bahnhof, Museum für Gegenwart, Berlin (2006). In 2007, Gonzalez-Torres was selected to represent the United States at the 52nd Venice Biennale. More recently, in 2010-2011, WIELS Contemporary Art Center, Brussels, organized a six- part traveling retrospective, Felix Gonzalez-Torres: Specific Objects without Specific Form, which was also presented at the Fondation Beyeler, Basel, and Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt. At each institution, Elena Filipovic curated a retrospective version of the exhibition which was reconsidered midway through its run by a collaborating artist- curator: Danh Vo, Carol Bove, and Tino Sehgal, respectively. Further exhibitions devoted to the artist’s work have been held at PLATEAU and Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art, Seoul, South Korea (2012); Metropolitan Arts Centre, Belfast, Northern Ireland (2015); and Rockbund Art Museum, Shanghai, China (2016).
Sergej Jensen was born in Denmark in 1973, and lives and works in New York. His work has been exhibited in a number of major international group exhibitions: “Decorum,” Musée d’art moderne de la ville de Paris (2013); “Time Again,” Sculpture Center, New York (2011); “All of this and Nothing,” 6th Hammer Invitational, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2011); Annette Kelm, Sergej Jensen, Wolfgang Breuer – Kunstwerke Berlin (2009); “Of Mice and Men,” Berlin Biennial (2006); “Momentum Nordice Festival of Contemporary Art,” Moss (2006); and the São Paulo Biennial (2004). Solo exhibitions include Fred Thieler Prize; Berlinische Galerie, Berlin (2013); MoMA PS1, New York (2011); Portikus, Frankfurt am Main, and the Aspen Art Museum, Aspen (2010); Malmö Konsthall, Malmö (2008); Pinakothek Der Moderne (with Henrik Olesen), Munich (2008); “Schmoll,” Kunsthalle Bergen, Norway (2008); Malmö Konsthall, Sweden (2008); “Nomadic bags and bag faces,” The Douglas Hyde Gallery, Dublin (2007); Kunstverein Bremerhaven, Germany (2004); and Kunstverein Braunschweig (with Stefan Müller), Germany (2003).
Positing cerebral concepts from psychology, philosophy, and art theory against kitschy craft mediums, awkward adolescent scenarios, and rudimentary renderings, Mike Kelley was born in 1954 in Detroit, Michigan, and died in 2012 in Los Angeles, California. He received his B.A. in 1976 from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and his M.F.A. in 1978 from California Institute of the Arts, Valencia. Recent solo exhibitions include “Categorical Imperative and Morgue,” Van Abbemuseum, Stedelijk, The Netherlands (2000); “Sod and Sodie Sock (w/Paul McCarthy),” Biennale d’art contemporain de Lyon, Institut d’art contemporain, France (2003); “Mike Kelley – The Uncanny,” The Tate Liverpool, England (2004, traveled to MUMOK, Museum of Modern Art, Vienna); “Profounders vertes,” Musée du Louvre, Paris (2006); “Day is Done Judson Church Dance,” Judson Memorial Church, New York (2009); “Themes and Variations from 35 Years,” The Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (2012); “Mobile Homestead,” Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, Michigan (2013); Centre Pompidou, Paris (2013); “An Homage to Mike Kelley,” MoMA PS1, New York (2013); and Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (2014).
Lee Mingwei was born in Taiwan in 1964 and currently lives in Paris and New York. Lee Mingwei creates participatory installations where strangers can explore issues of trust, intimacy, and self-awareness, and one-on-one events where visitors contemplate these issues with the artist through eating, sleeping, walking, and conversation. Lee’s projects are often open-ended scenarios for everyday interaction, and take on different forms with the involvement of participants and change during the course of an exhibition. Lee received an MFA from Yale University in 1997, and has held solo exhibitions internationally, including at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Museum of Modern Art, Whitney Museum of American Art, Museum of Fine Arts Boston, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Taipei Fine Arts Museum, Queensland Gallery of Modern Art, Mori Art Museum, and Auckland Art Gallery, and has been featured in biennials in Venice, Lyon, Liverpool, Taipei, Sydney, and Whitney, and in Asia Pacific triennials. He is currently participating in the 57th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia, “Viva Arte Viva,” curated by Christine Macel, on view from May 13 to November 26, 2017.
The PHI Centre building comes to life with an interactive multimedia installation of a motion-activated river on its four-story windows on Saint-Pierre Street
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