Black and Light | Noir éclair

Looking through doorways and glass displays, with multiple reflections raising questions about the perceived artworks’ materiality. In the distance, George Segal’s installation of a black man sitting on a black bed in a black walled room. Photo: Kathleen Vaughan

Black and Light / Noir éclair examines the transformative possibilities of participatory practices as linked to cultural institutions, whose permanent and temporary exhibitions can prompt collaborative art-making, engaged discussion and – possibly – support longer term personal change.

This project will work with cultural institutions including DHC/Art and the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. At the MMFA, researchers will explore the impact of the “Peace Trail” audio guides on the visitor, exploring the transformative potential of the museum audio guide. Another site of interest may  be  the “black room” on the first floor of the Pavilion for Peace. This extraordinary collection features contemporary works positioned in relation to the pivotal installation  by George Segal, in which a man sits on a bed, looking at a wall in which appears a small window.

The installation was described by MMFA director Natalie Bondil in the Montreal Gazette as “an escape from art history with artists who relate to trauma. It evokes the power of art, a catharsis for some, a comfort for others.”

Re-Imagine’s project will invite participants to consider the social and environmental justice meanings of art in museums.

Partial view of the black installation, including a sculpture by Alberto Giacometti in front of a black acrylic painting by Ron Martin. Photo: Kathleen Vaughan, 2017.