Connections: Our Artistic Diversity Dialogues with Our Collections, a new exhibit at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, connects artwork from the museum’s collections with contemporary work by artists from diverse cultural backgrounds.
The museum invited seven artists to select works that inspired them from its world cultures collections and to link them to their own pieces. Six of those artists, featured in five of the seven projects, are Faculty of Fine Arts alumni.
By opening up the collection to contemporary artists, the exhibition seeks to create space for interventions into the way the museum frames works from different cultures – a gesture, the museum explains, that is informed by postcolonial writer Homi K. Bhabha’s concept of hybridity.
“Normally artistic or cultural institutions build their own narratives of their collections and of their exhibitions. For example, [the MMFA’s] collection of the Americas is their own vision of history,” explains artist and Part-time Professor of Art History Nuria Carton de Grammont (Ph.D Art History 2012).
Carton de Grammont, together with Maria Ezcurra (Ph.D Art Education 2016), created a piece representing Montreal’s Latin American community.
“For us it was important to give a voice to the community and also to have them participate in the construction of those historical narratives,” she adds.
The artworks in Connections will enter the museum’s permanent collection as part of the Stéphan Crétier and Stéphany Maillery Wing for World Cultures and Togetherness, scheduled to open next Summer.