Art galleries can be pretty confusing places—especially if you don’t go to school at Concordia. Allow this piece to be your cheat-sheet to the current exhibitions of Art Mûr, one of the city’s major contemporary art galleries.
But first, a little context: Art Mûr has been displaying contemporary art at its current location on St. Hubert for 11 years now, and shows no signs of slowing down. The space is surprisingly large, so much so that it’s almost a mini-museum. The gallery’s three floors always lend another corner to turn around, or another hallway to walk through. It has also recently opened four new exhibitions, bringing its total current count up to five.
The first, Jannick Deslaurier’s Chantier, takes heavy masculine objects (the hammer-phallus! The drill-phallus!) and converts them into breezy silk sculptures. Conversely, Zeke Moores’ Useless privileges objects that we think of as just that: discarded Happy Meals, precarious Port-O-Potties, and crumpled cardboard boxes are given an extended life though their solidification into hardier steel forms. These sculptures ask: ‘What does it mean to mess with an object’s density?’ and ‘In what ways do we designate a temporality or duration onto a static object?’
The objects also appear to reference Marcel Duchamp and his famous Readymade series, which notably featured a urinal entitled The Fountain, revolutionizing the world of modern art in 1917.
A walk upstairs leads you to Colleen Wolstenholme’s Shifting Packets, an ink-drawn series where the digital clashes with the analog, blending the practices of science and art together in the process. Her colourful brain-scapes invite recollections of textbook diagrams—a neuron here, a synapse there—just as soon as they turn these recognizable forms into abstractions.
Sharing the second floor of the space is Jennifer Small’s I Found Jesus at the Flea Market, a Quebecois-sourced collection that combined the best parts of thrift shopping and the New York Times Cartoon Caption Contest. Each found representation of Jesus is combined by either a verbal or symbolic twist creating what is effectively a hall of Jesus-themed punch-lines. “Thank God It’s Friday” says one Jesus to another, as the latter pays homage to Superman’s journalist alter ego Clark Kent in a miniature phone-booth.
Up another floor is an ongoing exhibit about the Mise en Scène of photography. The exhibit uses the term ‘photography’ loosely, featuring works that incorporate film and painting in addition to conventional photography.
If you find yourself itching to stare at frustrating objects in a white room for a while, then head on over the Art Mûr. Don’t worry about ‘getting it,’ just pay attention to the questions you’re asking, and think about why you’re asking them. At the very least, just describe something as “Po-Mo” and you’ll probably fit right in.
The current Art Mûr (5826 St-Hubert) exhibition continues until Oct. 26. Admission is free.