With 8,000 art works collected over 50 years, this museum promotes a culture of diversity and reflection

Montreal’s Museum of Contemporary Art is regarded as a trailblazer that has its pulse on emerging cultural trends while also raising important questions about social change and human rights. This photo essay features some visual highlights of the current exhibitions that blend vision with vibrancy.

13th Jul 2019
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Launched in 2014, PhotoSparks is a weekly feature from YourStory, with photographs that celebrate the spirit of creativity and innovation. In the earlier 360 posts, we featured an art festival, cartoon gallery. world music festivaltelecom expomillets fair, climate change expo, wildlife conference, startup festival, Diwali rangoli, and jazz festival.


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Creativity is not just about envisioning the future but re-interpreting the past. Creative acts lie not only in producing the new but in preserving histories and promoting diverse narratives. In that regard, museums and galleries play a key role in revealing important insights on social justice while also focusing on emerging issues.


Montreal’s Museum of Contemporary Art (or MAC, the acronym in French) is right at the heart of the city’s cultural district, which also hosts the legendary Montreal International Jazz Festival, now in its 40th year. For over 50 years, MAC has featured local and international art via exhibitions, performances, workshops and live events.


Founded in 1964, MAC is Canada’s largest museum dedicated exclusively to contemporary art. It has a collection of over 8,000 diverse works that help spur an attitude of radical questioning and change for the better.


The current exhibition titled ‘Facing the Monumental’ features a 30-year retrospective of Canadian artist Rebecca Belmore. The sculptures, installations, photographs and videos explore the problematic relationships between territory, water, symbolism, and the rights of indigenous peoples. Rebecca has also created site-specific sculptures for three Canadian National Parks, and has won a range of awards and honorary degrees.


Other featured artists at MAC include Nadia Myre, with photographs of beadwork that examine the connections between racism and perceptions of the colour of skin and blood. Québec artists Chloë Lum and Yannick Desranleau have a joint installation of sculpture and video.


Another remarkable video installation is the recording of A Lot of Sorrow featuring Icelandic musician Ragnar Kjartansson and US band The National. In the video, the band repeatedly plays the same song (three minutes and 35 seconds long) for six hours.


Moving across the three floors of the museum is like making multiple creative journeys along with critical reflection.


“We plan to diversify our revenue sources, continue our educational mission, make the transition to the digital age, and further build our collection, the symbol of our identity and our excellence,” according to John Zeppetelli, MAC Director and Chief Curator.


Now, what have you done today to pause in your busy schedule, and do your bit to promote diversity and harmony during these turbulent times?


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Got a creative photograph to share? Email us at PhotoSparks@YourStory.com!


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