La Biennale de Montréal /

Added on by Babak Golkar.

Looking forward to be working on a new installation for the 9th edition of the Montreal Biennale...


BNLMTL 2014: L’avenir (looking forward)

22 Oct 20144 Jan 2015 at La Biennale de Montréal, Montreal

  Time to Let Go…  , 2014. Site-specific installation at the Vancouver Art Gallery's Offsite. Photo: Rachel Topham, Vancouver Art Gallery.

Time to Let Go…, 2014. Site-specific installation at the Vancouver Art Gallery's Offsite. Photo: Rachel Topham, Vancouver Art Gallery.


La Biennale de Montréal is pleased to announce the list of participating artists for its next edition, BNLMTL 2014: L’avenir (looking forward), on view from October 22, 2014 through January 4, 2015. BNLMTL 2014 combines a multi-sited exhibition, a dynamic series of performances, film screenings, talks, tours, publications, conferences and other special events at the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal and at other cultural institutions and public spaces throughout the city. The 2014 edition of BNLMTL has been completely reimagined with new executive and curatorial leadership and vision. L’avenir (looking forward) was conceptualized by co-curators Gregory Burke and Peggy Gale, and developed in tandem with co-curators Lesley Johnstone and Mark Lanctôt of the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal. All four curators worked in close collaboration with Sylvie Fortin, Executive and Artistic Director of La Biennale de Montréal.

This fall, Montréal residents and visitors will have the opportunity to encounter works by 50 artists working in 22 countries, including Australia, Brazil, Palestine, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and the United States, among others, as part of L’avenir (looking forward). 25 Canadian artists will be represented in the biennial, 16 of whom hail from Québec. 23 new works and productions will be unveiled, many of which are supported and funded by BNLMTL 2014. The Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal, the event’s main venue, will feature 35 works and countless experiences.

L’avenir (looking forward) examines how contemporary artists give form to the question of “what is to come?” Shifting between assessment and anticipation, clearly grounded in the “now,” and informed by echoes of the past, the exhibition looks towards the future and strives to unveil a range of possibilities and rekindle some that may have been prematurely extinguished. Through a broad range of works and media, including film and video, sculpture, photography, painting, installation, performance and new media, L’avenir (looking forward) promises viewers powerful experiences: moments for contemplation, invitations to wonderment and occasions for exchange. Some works issue a call to action while others grant us the opportunity to glimpse the extent of our own power, to imagine new worlds and new ways of being in the world.

Exhibition highlights include the North American premiere of Shirin Neshat’s latest film and a recent installation by Thomas Hirschhorn. New projects by Krzysztof Wodiczko, who received the Hiroshima Prize in 1998 for his contribution as an artist to world peace, and Isabelle Hayeur, a digital image artist recognized for her large-sized photographic montages, videos and site-specific installations, are being co-produced for BNLMTL 2014 with Quartier des Spectacles Partnership. Environmental topics such as global warming, the Arctic, biodiversity and water rights figure prominently in the exhibition and connect the work of a number of artists in BNLMTL 2014, including Ursula Biemann and Klara Hobza. BNLMTL 2014 will also provide the opportunity to discover the works of Montréal artists, such as the Arctic Perspective Initiative collective, the Second Life sci-fi aboriginal narratives of Skawennati, and the playful economic speculations of Richard Ibghy and Marilou Lemmens.

“Biennales are gateways to international contemporary art networks. However, in order to create real opportunities for artists, they have to develop a sophisticated, strategic approach. This involves thoughtful curatorship, editorial input, production support, lively exchanges with other artists and the attention of curators and critics,” says Fortin. “As Executive and Artistic Director of BNLMTL 2014, I am very proud of the exhibition that Gregory, Peggy, Lesley and Mark have put together. It’s a truly compelling group of artists. This is an exhibition I’d want to see because it defies expectations, and that means that these curators have done their research and created something truly unique for Montréal.”

“Working from different histories, artistic traditions, cultural contexts and mobility, the artists of BNLMTL 2014 inevitably propose vastly different futures,” says co-curator Gregory Burke. “Many works address geopolitical concerns, insinuate ethical questions and hint at economic alternatives. Others point to the ‘what is to come’ of art, that is, how effective is it and what will it become?”

The participating artists and artist collectives are: Abbas Akhavan (Toronto); Adaptive Actions (Jean-Maxime Dufresne and Jean-François Prost) (Montréal); Edgar Arceneaux (Los Angeles); Arctic Perspective Initiative (Matthew Biederman and Marko Peljhan) (Montréal and Nove Gorica, Slovenia); Nicolas Baier (Montréal); Taysir Batniji (Paris); Amanda Beech (Los Angeles); Ursula Biemann (Zurich); Raymond Boisjoly (Vancouver); Andrea Bowers (Los Angeles); Matthew Buckingham (New York); Mikko Canini (Toronto); Simon Denny (Berlin); Dave Dyment (Toronto); Charles Gaines (Los Angeles); Ryan Gander (London); Goldin+Senneby (Stockholm); Babak Golkar (Vancouver); Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster (Paris and Rio de Janeiro); Nicolas Grenier (Montréal and Los Angeles); Isabelle Hayeur (Rawdon, QC); Thomas Hirschhorn (Paris); Klara Hobza (Berlin); Richard Ibghy and Marilou Lemmens (Montréal and Durham-Sud, QC); Simone Jones and Lance Winn (Toronto and Wilmington, DE); Emmanuelle Léonard (Montréal); Ann Lislegaard (Copenhagen and New York); Basim Magdy (Cairo and Basel, Switzerland); Lynne Marsh (Berlin, London and Montréal); John Massey (Toronto); Jillian Mayer (South Florida); Shirin Neshat (New York); Jacqueline Hoang Nguyen (Stockholm and Montréal); Susan Norrie (Sydney); Melik Ohanian (Paris and New York); Li Ran (Beijing); Kelly Richardson (Whitley Bay, England); Kevin Schmidt (Berlin and Vancouver); Skawennati (Montréal); Steele & Tomczak (Lisa Steele and Kim Tomczak) (Toronto); Hito Steyerl (Berlin); Oleg Tcherny (Paris and Venice); Althea Thauberger (Vancouver); David Tomas (Montréal); Suzanne Treister (London); Étienne Tremblay-Tardif (Montréal); Susan Turcot (Whitstable, England and Kamouraska, QC); Anton Vidokle and Pelin Tan (New York, Berlin, Istanbul and Mardin, Turkey); Hajra Waheed (Montréal); Lawrence Weiner (New York and Amsterdam); and Krzysztof Wodiczko (New York and Cambridge, MA).

New Vision, New Direction

BNLMTL 2014 marks a radical shift in a bold direction for La Biennale de Montréal. It is the first step in the vigorous repositioning of BNLMTL as a landmark event on the international cultural calendar. BNLMTL 2014 is presented by La Biennale de Montréal and co-produced with the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal. Building on this strategic multi-year, co-production partnership with the Musée d’art contemporain, and engaged in innovative collaborations with over 15 local, national and international institutions, BNLMTL 2014 is an event of unprecedented artistic ambition and scale in Canada. It is expected that its 2016 edition will further confirm BNLMTL’s value and position it as North America’s foremost international biennale, and by 2018, BNLMTL will play an influential role in the international network of biennales. BNLMTL 2014 is presented by La Biennale de Montréal and co-produced with the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal.

La Biennale de Montréal

304-460 Sainte-Catherine O.
Montréal QC H3B 1A7
Tel. +1 (514) 5217340
Tel. +1 (888) 6177331


Offsite: TIME TO LET GO... /

Added on by Babak Golkar.

Babak Golkar, Time to Let Go…, 2014. Site-specific installation at Vancouver Art Gallery Offsite, April 25–September 28, 2014. Photo: Rachel Topham, Vancouver Art Gallery.

Babak Golkar:Time to Let Go…

April 25–September 28, 2014

Vancouver Art Gallery
750 Hornby Street
Vancouver BC V6Z 2H7


Offsite: Babak Golkar 
The Vancouver Art Gallery is pleased to present the latest Offsite project Time to Let Go…, a site-specific public installation by Vancouver artist Babak Golkar that encourages viewers to liberate their frustrations by screaming into large terracotta vessels.

Screaming is believed to have a therapeutic effect because it immediately releases tension. Uncontrolled bursts of emotion, however, are inappropriate in most public situations—until now. Golkar’s installation presents a socially acceptable opportunity for viewers to literally let go and formulate more effective ways of dealing with raw and natural emotions.

The project emerges from Golkar’s interest in spatial analysis and its relationship to communal space. Responding to the difficulty of viewing art from a distance, he initiates audience engagement by creating practical vehicles for visual and physical interactions. As participants handle the rough-textured pots they are also asked to consider the materiality of ceramic sculpture, an ancient art medium that is characterized by its slow, hand-crafted production—which stands in opposition to the fast-paced, digitally driven world we inhabit today. The scale, form and positioning of the sculptures on top of burlap sandbags evoke references to cannons and trenches used in warfare. Rather than offering destructive means to manage stress and anger, Time to Let Go… presents a constructive alternative to negotiate tensions.

Babak Golkar was born in the United States in 1977, but spent most of his formative years in Iran. He moved to Canada in 1996, where he obtained a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Visual Arts from Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design in 2003 and a Masters of Fine Arts from the University of British Columbia in 2006. Golkar has developed an active career exhibiting his works nationally and internationally. In his practice Golkar juxtaposes dichotomies of tradition and modernity, craft and fine art to find an underlying common ground and an opportunity for multi-layered readings. Such strategies are implemented by exploring how ideas and forms transform in different contexts and how new meanings emerge from recontextualization. Golkar lives and works in Vancouver.

Offsite, the Vancouver Art Gallery’s outdoor exhibition space, is dedicated to newly commissioned public art projects and brings innovative contemporary art to a broad audience. Offsite: Babak Golkar is organized by the Vancouver Art Gallery and curated by Diana Freundl, Assistant Curator.

Media information
Debra Zhou: T +604 662 4722 / M +604 671 2358 /

About the Vancouver Art Gallery
The Vancouver Art Gallery is a not-for-profit organization supported by its members, individual donors, corporate funders, foundations, the City of Vancouver, the Province of British Columbia through the BC Arts Council, and the Canada Council for the Arts. We thank everyone for their continuing generosity.




Pots in progress... /

Added on by Babak Golkar.

For the past three months we have been working with BC Ceramicist Kevin Ross on five large terracotta vessels. These scream-vessels are now being installed at the Vancouver Art Gallery's Offsite for the solo exhibition: TIME TO LET GO...