MAC introduces contemporary art to the next generation

Montreal’s Museum of Contemporary Art (MAC) is gearing up for Les Printemps du Mac happening this Friday at the museum.

“The museum is going to be completely transformed,” said Stefanie Stergiotisit, co-chair of the event.

“It’s an immersive experience. We really develop a crazy theme every year.”

This year’s theme is “Jangala,” which Stergiotisit described as a techno jungle, “where technology and nature collide.”

WATCH: Les Printemps du MAC

The event is meant to introduce the MAC to a new generation of young professionals, and to create an interest in contemporary art.

On Global News Morning Thursday, Kim Sullivan had the pleasure of meeting MAC director and chief curator John Zeppetelli, who explained what contemporary art is all about.

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    According to Zeppetelli, there is no great mystery.

    “Contemporary art is about what artists have always been doing,” he said. “Artists have been using materials to depict the world, to depict issues and problems or to represent certain things.”

    It’s also difficult to compartmentalize contemporary art.

    “It’s photography, it’s painting, it’s any number of things,” he said.

    “It’s very difficult to encapsulate.”

    Sullivan mentioned that it’s often the story behind the works of art that can capture the viewer’s imagination. Zeppetelli agreed, pointing to a crumbling 16-metre sculptural block as an example.

    A sculptural block by Mexican artist Teresa Margolles is on display at the MAC in Montreal. Thursday, April 20, 2017.

    Yannick Gadbois/Global News

    “It was extremely clean and precise when we first opened the exhibition,” Zeppettelli said, explaining that it was also part of a performance piece.

    “A volunteer will come in and scratch the surface of the sculpture on a daily basis for one hour,” he said.

    The block, by artist Teresa Margolles, is actually the remains of a house in Juarez, Mexico just across the border from El Paso, Tx.

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    For Zeppetelli , it’s important that people take in both the performance elements and the conceptual aspects of the artwork.

    “I mean this is a metaphor for all the walls {that] will be broken down,” he said of Margolles’ work.

    “It is a Mexican woman, who is building a wall in a museum in Canada, and it’s Quebec who pays for it,” he added, tongue-in-cheek.

    For more information about the different activities and exhibits, visit the MAC website.