Thursday, January 12, 2012

En Masse Big Bang MMFA

I took a trip to the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts to check out the free art exhibition entitled "Big Bang" at the end of December. I had been meaning to check it out for a bit as End Masse had been selected to be a part of the exhibit and had supposedly pulled out a monster collaboration involving over a dozen artists including Bfor, Bruce, Rage, Five8, Peru, Astro, and Nixon. It kinda looked like some stuff by Vesk and Chris Dyer too, but I can't be too sure and I can't remember all the names mentioned on the main panel when I walked in. In any case there are a bunch of them. The exhibit as a whole was a massive collaboration celebrating variety in a sense as each artist or collection was as varied in medium and form as they were in background and expertise. Photography, sculpting, painting, drawing, light based set ups and projections, film, stencil work, installation pieces -this exhibition has a bit of everything so I guarantee whatever your taste in art is there is something to pique your interest.  

Each room had a very unique feel and the manner in which lighting or positioning was used accented the work displayed quite nicely. A couple of the rooms really stood out in my opinion, especially the room En Masse worked on, while others I just plain didn't get. There was this installation set up in one room that consisted of a circular couch that you might find in a lounge or at an after party surrounded by large flat scenes suspended from the ceiling facing outwards. The couch looked used with empty drinks, wrappers, and overflowing ashtrays full of spent cigarettes strewn about and around it. The screens were playing a continuous loop of video depicting a group partying in the area on display who would occasionally pause in their movements as a group. Each screen displayed a side or angle of the party event giving the whole thing a virtual, off the page ghosting effect. 

Another room was pitch dark with a painting under light at one end of the room. Installed in the rest of the room were these thin screens running up through the high ceiling with projected images and film of various individuals performing acrobatic feats and such. If you stood at certain angles you could view several overlapping screens to get a sort of 3D effect. Pretty neat.

There was a big wall of teddy bears and a hide and go seek room of contemporary paintings taht had a light illuminating one painting at a time. It would have taken a little while to see them all so i didn't stay long in that one. There was a room of chairs too. Stacks of them walling in a single green plastic chair made of pieces of the other chairs surrounding it I suppose. Didn't get that one either. Nice chair though. One room had a big square couch with a little sculpture of something in a box lit up in the middle of it, so small that you had to lay on the couch and get up close. Each of the walls had a single, large photography depicting several naked, adult bodies with the heads of babies seated in crouched positions. Kind of weird. But neat. In a sort of Tim Burtonish kind of way.
There are a bunch of rooms and stuff to check out but what I came for was the En Masse room and I was definitely blown away. Stepping into this cavernous space you immediately feel engulfed by the characters and scenes swarming about you. From end to end, top to bottom, every square inch of this room has been drawn on, markered, painted, stenciled, or pasted to create one of the largest collective cartoon and character map I've ever seen in one space. I mean, En Masse has busted out a bunch of these sort of things at Under Pressure, commercial walls, events and other festivals, but this is pretty major.

I spent the longest time in this room pouring over the images on the walls, going back over in some places and finding little things I had not seen the first, or second time over. Characters within characters within scenes within even larger characters. The room is something to see that's for sure. Here are the rest of my pics of the En Masse Room. And yeah it's a bunch of shots, but it in no way conveys the experience of the room or captures all the action on those walls. Do yourself a favor and check it out before the 22nd of January. It's FREE and something you don't want to miss.

You can find all the details of the show and hours of operation for the MMFA here. Again, do yourself a favor and and go see this exhibition. The En Masse room is an ephemeral installation as far as I know which means when its over, it's gone. But if you want to check them out or get in contact with them to purchase work or for a job you can find them here at their website. So check it!

More soon, stay posted.

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