MBAM: 1500 works to gather

Jessica Dostie

Special Collaboration

March 7, 2020

MBAM: 1500 oeuvres pour rassembler

Illustration: Christine Guest
David Garneau Not to confuse Politeness with Agreement, 2013

This text is part of the special Museums

Inaugurated last fall, the wing Stephan Cretier and Stéphany Maillery of the Musée des beaux-arts de Montréal (MBAM) is home to The arts of the Whole World. This new permanent exhibition, which brings together no less than 1500 works of art, divided into ten galleries, entirely refurbished, can very well be alone the object of a stop at the museum and occupy us for hours. Guided tour.

The arts of the All-World offers neither more nor less than a ” trip around the world “, said Nathalie Bondil, director general and chief curator in an interview. Described as “ambitious redeployment” of the permanent exhibition at the MMFA (previously referred to as the ” cultures of the world “), the redevelopment of the galleries located on the fourth floor of the Jean-Noël Desmarais pavilion allows you to (re)discover some 1,500 objects and works of artists from all continents.

It is also a journey in time : there is side-to-side artifacts dating back to the fourth millennium before our era, and contemporary works. “Our goal was to create bridges between objects that are very old and contemporary artists,” explains the curator-in-chief. I’ve always said that it is a force to create a dialogue between different types of objects in order to make and update. “In this sense, the museum distinguishes itself by going beyond the history of art, with an approach that is rather encyclopedic.

This vision is at once intercultural, transhistorique inclusive and resonates even in the title of the exhibition, the All-World, concept of the philosopher and poet martinican Édouard Glissant. “The idea is to bring together the cultures, emphasizing the links that unite us rather than on our differences, sums up Nathalie Bondil. The borders do not separate ; rather, they are places of encounter. “

A course in ten time

Each of the ten galleries is devoted to a geo-cultural area, on a path that allows us to consider some of the challenges of the contemporary society. Thus, the visitors sontamenés to travel from Africa to the Americas, passing through the mediterranean basin, the Middle East, Southeast Asia and Japan.

“In each gallery, there is a strong theme that transcends the differences that we should feel concerned by these worlds that are so far beyond us, argues the director-general of the MMFA. There is nothing equivalent. “

For example, in the area of Africa and the movement of worlds, the key works of ancient art, are revisited in a context of globalization where “the borders that characterized the narratives of modernity mingle” and mix of creations from the art scene african and afrodescendante.

The gallery devoted to Oceania, named The continent of blue, opens a window on environmental issues and the famous continent of plastic, while the collection of chinese art is the bridge with the consumer society, from yesterday to today.

Dozens of treasures to discover

Among the treasures of the most remarkable that has the collection of the MMFA, let us note two sarcophagi in egypt, including the coffin of Hetep-Bastet, a basin, a syrian of the Thirteenth century made for the last sultan ayyubid of Aleppo, a set with close to 3000 boxes of japanese incense and a rare statue of the dogon. The museum also highlights the work of contemporary artists international as Masimbo Hwati, Leila Alaoui, Hiroshi Sugimoto, and Shilpa Gupta, and indigenous creations from here and elsewhere.

The exhibition will, however, evolve over acquisitions and rotations, a first rotation will be performed this spring.

“The arts of the All-World” in figure

• Wing Stephan Cretier and Stéphany Maillery : 11 033 p2

• Number of galleries : 10

• Number of works in the collection : more than 10 000

• The number of exhibited works : more than 1500

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