February 20, 2017 - Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal - Teresa Margolles and Emanuel Licha
February 20, 2017

Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal

Teresa Margolles, Pista de baile del “Nightclub Irma’s” (Dance floor from “Nightclub Irma’s”), 2016. Colour print on cotton paper, 125 x 185 cm (framed). Courtesy the artist and Galerie Peter Kilchmann, Zurich.

Teresa Margolles and Emanuel Licha
February 16–May 14, 2017

Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal
185, rue Sainte-Catherine Ouest
Montréal Québec H2X 3X5
Hours: Tuesday 11am–6pm,
Wednesday–Friday 11am–9pm,
Saturday–Sunday 10am–6pm

T +1 514 847 6226
F +1 514 847 6292

Facebook / Instagram / Twitter

The Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal is proud to present the works of two artists whose insightful, relevant practices attest to highly topical social phenomena: one practice developed in a country where violence is endemic in some cities, and the other revealing little-known aspects of reporting in war zones. For her first major North American museum exhibition, the renowned Mexican artist Teresa Margolles presents Mundos, featuring works that focus particularly on marginal segments of the population. The installation Now Have A Look At This Machine by Montréal artist Emanuel Licha offers an eye-opening introduction to “war hotels” in the Middle East and Europe, examined close-up by the artist from various seldom explored points of view. Until May 14, 2017, the Musée d’art contemporain will become a place of reflection and experimentation in step with the realities of today’s world.

Teresa Margolles: Making Invisible Lives Visible

For more than 20 years, Teresa Margolles, one of Mexico’s pre-eminent artists, has developed a socially engaged practice in response to the violence that ravages her country, and to the lives of voiceless victims. The exhibition at the Musée brings together some 15 works created mainly in the last decade—sculptural, photographic and sound installations, video projections—at the centre of which is La Promesa (The Promise), a striking sculpture in the form of a 16-metre-long wall on which performative actions take place. This site-specific piece, which is in the collection of Mexico City’s Museo Universitario Arte Contemporáneo, is produced from the ground-up remains of a house in the border town of Ciudad Juárez. A potent symbol of an ongoing transmutation and an allusion to the current debates on migration and borders, this wall will be gradually scraped by volunteers who, one at a time and for one hour a day during the exhibition, will spread the remains all over the gallery floor.

Also on view will be 36 Cuerpos (36 Bodies), a string fraught with meaning that runs the length of a gallery; Mundos (Worlds), a humming neon sign salvaged from a former bar, which gives the exhibition its name; three video works; and a recent photographic series, Pistas de Baile (Dance Floors), showing transgender sex workers occupying the remains of what were once the dance floors of now-demolished discotheques and nightclubs, “as if reaffirming their resistance in the midst of violence and destruction,” adds Margolles.

Spare yet disarmingly and powerfully moving, Margolles’s work brings us into the world of people who until now remained invisible.

The exhibition was co-curated by John Zeppetelli, Director and Chief Curator of the MAC, and Emeren García, Head of Travelling Exhibitions at the MAC. Our sincere gratitude goes as well to Lillian Mauer, Sarah McCutcheon Greiche, Phyllis Lambert and Erin Slater Battat for their support in our presentation of the exhibition Teresa Margolles: Mundos.

Emanuel Licha: The Real And The Constructed

The exhibition Now Have A Look At This Machine, a reflection on what Québec artist Emanuel Licha terms the “war hotel,” examines the fabrication, analysis and dissemination of images of war. It includes an hour-long creative documentary titled Hotel Machine, which was filmed in hotels that housed war correspondents covering conflicts in Belgrade, Beirut, Gaza, Kiev and Sarajevo. Surrounding the central projection space of the film, five archival stations—containing texts, images, publications and moving images—provide contextualization for the five functions Licha attributes to the war hotel: proximity, vantage point, security, communication and hub.

Licha’s film also pays homage to the employees who staff the hotels, from chambermaids to managers, to whom he gives voice. It is through their experiences—and those of the “fixers” (the war correspondents’ local translators, interpreters and mediators) and the journalists—that the workings of the “hotel machine” are revealed.

The exhibition Emanuel Licha: Now Have A Look At This Machine will travel to a number of cities in Canada. It is produced and circulated by the MAC, with financial support from the Government of Canada.

The exhibition was curated by Lesley Johnstone, Head of Exhibitions and Education at the MAC.

Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal
Share - Teresa Margolles and Emanuel Licha
  • Share
Click to subscribe to e-flux and be the first to receive the latest news on international exhibitions and all e-flux related announcements
Subscribe to e-flux
Be the first to receive the latest news on international exhibitions and all e-flux related announcements.
Subscribe to architecture
Explore the most recent content from e-flux architecture and urbanism
Subscribe to e-flux programs
Keep up-to-date on all upcoming talks, screenings, and exhibitions at e-flux in New York