The Manif d’art 10 central exhibition returns for its 10th year

Manif d’art 10 – The Quebec City Biennial, produced in collaboration with the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec (MNBAQ), is presenting the central exhibition of Manif d’art.

Now in its 10th year, the event focuses on the theme Illusions Are Real until April 24. This year, the exhibition extends across a multitude of venues, spaces and environments across Québec City – each one animating the core thesis, while also extending its questions and musings.

Nicolas Baier, Data, 2016. Inkjet print, acrylic, steel, 106.7 x 172.7 cm. Courtesy of the artist and Blouin Division Gallery, Montreal // Maskull Lasserre, Conscience (detail), 2018. Steel, magnet, cable, 30 x 46 x 610 cm (variable dimensions). Courtesy of the artist and Blouin Division Gallery, Montreal (CNW Group/Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec)

The central exhibition of the Québec City Biennial proposed by the MNBAQ assembles the work of 21 artists. The MNBAQ has assembled 100 works by 20-odd international, Canadian, and Québec artists grouped together by Steven Matijcio under a topical theme. Among the noteworthy artists exhibited in the Pierre Lassonde Pavilion, mention should be made of Pierre Huyghe (France), Gillian Wearing (England), Titus Kaphar (United States), Gabriel Lester (Netherlands), Tauba Auerbach (United States), Tony Tasset (United States), Nicolas Baier (Canada), Michel de Broin (Canada), Brian Jungen (Canada), Karine Payette (Canada), Annie Baillargeon (Canada) and Karen Tam (Canada).

Data by Québec artist Nicolas Baier at first glance might pass for a big photograph of a lush spruce forest crossed by a stream. In fact, the landscape is entirely virtual, an optical illusion of disconcerting verisimilitude. The exhibition also includes the Montréal artist’s first video.

In the three glass aquariums filled with translucent turquoise liquid in the work by Montréal artist Karine Payette, the constant toing and froing of a mysterious creature arouses a certain anxiety. Payette’s installation À perpétuité clouds perceptions and brings visitors into contact with an unknown species that is an object of curiosity.

Salon chinois – White Gold, a new installation by Montréal artist Karen Tam, comments on the passing fad among Westerners for Chinese porcelain, also called white gold, and evokes the private living rooms formerly found in the homes of European nobility. However, the installation comprises, by way of an example, genuine artefacts and facsimiles from the MNBAQ’s collection and fake decorative objects created by the artist, revealing in passing the violence to which can lead simplistic, caricatural, dehumanizing representations of the Other.

Artist Karine Fréchette, a native of Montréal, paints to fold the surface of her paintings, embedding in them an energy in which a spatial experience plays out between a psychedelic aesthetic and allusions to the screen and to the waves that surround us. Sillages 6 (Le tableau de Leipzig) is one of these outstanding paintings.

Lastly, Montrealer Maskull Lasserre infuses ordinary objects with a certain vitality by creating an illusion of mutability. In the sculpture Conscience, palpable tension emanates from a suspended steel skull subject, to our great surprise, to the invisible forces of magnetism.

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