June 24, 2015 - Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal - David Altmejd and Jon Rafman
June 24, 2015

David Altmejd and Jon Rafman

David Altmejd, The Flux and the Puddle, 2014.*

David Altmejd: Flux
Jon Rafman

June 20–September 13, 2015

Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal
185, rue Sainte-Catherine Ouest
Montréal, Québec H2X 3X5 

info [​at​] macm.org


The Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal (MAC) is all ready “to celebrate two exceptional Montréal artists, both well loved here and admired throughout the world,” says John Zeppetelli, Director and Chief Curator of the MAC. The artists in question are indeed riding high: they are sculptor David Altmejd, whose Montréal exhibition is the first collaborative undertaking between the Musée d’art moderne de la Ville de Paris and the MAC, and Jon Rafman, an explorer of Web culture who turns its phenomena into various unexpected forms. Both exhibitions are presented at the MAC from June 20 to September 13, 2015.

David Altmejd: Flux
Curator: Josée Bélisle

The Musée d’art contemporain is proud to host the brilliant homecoming of David Altmejd, who is already well known from the US to Europe. Flux, a major survey exhibition, features some thirty works produced over the last fifteen years. The show also includes a site-specific mural and another new work, fresh out of the artist’s New York City studio. Considered one of today’s most talented artists on the international scene, Altmejd creates an organic yet phantasmagorical world that combines various forces of decay and regeneration in a fantastical life cycle. 

The Flux and the Puddle, 2014, a key work in the show and the inspiration behind its title, brilliantly sums up⎯in a mini-retrospective and a reflection of his studio/laboratory⎯the main motifs and subjects that fill Altmejd’s unique and powerful imagination. In a gigantic Plexiglass box, we see the organized chaos of mythical creatures (werewolf, birdman), animals, insects and plants that form his world. The artist produced them with incomparable skill and inventiveness, using a host of different synthetic and natural materials (epoxy clay, resin, quartz, sequins, mirror, hair, feathers, coconuts, coffee grounds, etc.). 

Long interested in biology and life’s metamorphoses, Altmejd possesses an endless curiosity that combines with his fascination with the world of dreams and nightmares. For example, his figures (such as bodybuilders) seem to create themselves with their own hands, to transform themselves by themselves. 

Born in Montréal in 1974, David Altmejd lives and works in New York. He represented Canada at the 52nd Venice Biennale in 2007 and won the Sobey Art Award in 2009. His work may be found in numerous collections in Canada, the United States, France and Luxembourg. The Flux exhibition was designed and organized by the Musée d’art contemporain in collaboration with the Musée d’art moderne de la Ville de Paris and Paris Musées. 

Jon Rafman: The attraction of virtual communities
Curator: Mark Lanctôt

The MAC is delighted to present the first major museum exhibition in Canada devoted to Montréal artist Jon Rafman, accompanied with an extensive catalogue. Rafman first made a name for himself with his series “The Nine Eyes of Google Street View,” begun in 2009, and his international reputation has grown ever since. 

Part anthropologist, part archivist, Rafman brilliantly and passionately explores the subcultures that people the Internet, seeking to question the distinction between virtual and real. Among the works on view at the MAC, the video series “Kool-Aid Man in Second Life,” 2008−11, takes the form of tours of Second Life in which Rafman’s avatar, the Kool-Aid Man, guides us through astonishing micro-communities. A narrative work tinged with nostalgia, Codes of Honor, 2011, is a docu-fiction that is an homage to video arcades. The use of images found on various sites and forums is a recurring strategy in Rafman’s work, but it is especially potent in the video trilogy comprising Still Life (Betamale), 2013, Mainsqueeze, 2014 and ERYSICHTHON, 2015, a brand new work.

Born in 1981, Jon Rafman lives and works in Montréal. He has exhibited at the New Museum in New York, Palais de Tokyo in Paris, Saatchi Gallery in London and the Contemporary Art Museum Saint-Louis. This year, Rafman is a finalist for the prestigious Sobey Art Award.

*Image above: David Altmejd, The Flux and the Puddle, 2014. Plexiglas, quartz, polystyrene, polyurethane foam, epoxy clay, epoxy gel, resin, synthetic hair, clothing, leather shoes, thread, mirror, plaster, acrylic paint, latex paint, metal wire, glass eyes, sequin, ceramic, synthetic flowers, synthetic branches, glue, gold, domestic goose feathers (Anser anser domesticus), steel, coconuts, resin, burlap, lighting system including fluorescent lights, felt pen, wood, coffee grounds, 129 x 252 x 281 inches. Image courtesy Andrea Rosen Gallery, New York. Photo: James Ewing. © David Altmejd. 

David Altmejd and Jon Rafman at the MAC (Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal)
Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal
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