The MAC Nocturne’s don’t happen as often as they used to, but they’re still one of the hippest things to do in the city. Once a season, Le Musée d’Art Contemporain de Montréal (MAC) opens its doors until 2 a.m. DJs play music. Cocktails are served. There are lite bites as well. Visitors can make art, walk through the galleries, or just hang out.
The DJs were playing and there were plenty gathered about the main hub to listen and sip cocktails. The requisite number of chin strokers were present. Of the three I saw, Seychelle seemed to be having the most fun and was totally in her own zone as she played.
Near the DJs we had a chance to make our own art by sticking colorful bits of vinyl to a white background, inspired by Ryan Gander’s Bad Language.
Then on into the galleries, where we could appreciate the exhibitions. Jean-Pierre Gauthier and Ryoji Ikeda had a multi-roomed musical instrument that was entirely digitized.
Quebec born Edmund Alleyn’s “In my studio, I am many” had rooms full of colorful paintings and multimedia works.
Ryan Gander’s interactive “Make every show like it’s your last” was a conceptual fun house of artwork. A pair of eyes responded to (or seemed to respond to) the viewer by opening, closing, and lifting and lowering its eyebrows.
Finally, the artist everyone seemed to be in love with was Ragnar Kjartansson. Several rooms of video installations were packed with people who sat on the floors to watch. The Visitors is the one that seemed to attract the millennial crowd most of all. Nine screens feature lifesize projections of a group of musicians (Kristin Anna and Gyoa Valtysdottir of Mum and Kjartan Sveinsson of Sigur Ros) who repeat the phrase “Once again I fall into my feminine ways” over and over and over again. Each screen features a musician on a different instrument in a separate room of a large mansion house. They are wired together by headphones and more or less play together, though each time the phrase is done slightly differently. It is hypnotic, strange, and extremely engaging.
Also on display are World Light The Life and Death of an Artist, based on a rather long Icelandic epic shown on four screens as well as a six hour video of the band The National performing A Lot of Sorrow over and over again.
The party raged on at the MAC long after I left. If you missed this one, come back September 2 or November 4 for the next Nocturne to take advantage of Montreal’s “other” museum.
The MAC is located at 185 St. Catherine W. Information about exhibitions and hours can be found HERE.