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Nothing is Lost, Nothing is Created, Everything is Transformed: The Quebec Triennial

MONTREAL.- The Musée d’art contemporain is pulling off a major coup this summer with the inaugural edition of The Québec Triennial: Nothing is lost, nothing is created, everything is transformed, scheduled to run from May 24 to September 7, 2008. This is one of the most ambitious exhibitions ever of contemporary Québec art, and one of the largest exhibitions in the museum’s history.

Resembling a vast research project, The Québec Triennial is the product of extensive fieldwork and deliberation by the museum’s team of curators, who combed countless exhibitions and artists’ studios to provide us with a group portrait of the current artistic scene in Québec. And for the first time in our history, all of the museum’s galleries will be devoted to a single show.

This inaugural edition presents some 135 works in various media—drawing, installation, painting, performance, photography, sculpture and video—by 38 artists and collectives, including a program of video spot artworks created and screened in collaboration with Télé-Québec that was launched this past May 14. Most of the artists are showing at the Musée for the first time. Featured in the exhibition are:

David Altmejd, David Armstrong Six, Nicolas Baier, Gwenaël Bélanger, Patrick Bernatchez, Valérie Blass, Anthony Burnham, Cooke-Sasseville, Patrick Coutu, Michel de Broin, Raphaëlle de Groot, Manon De Pauw, Julie Doucet, Doyon-Rivest, Louis-Philippe Eno, Stéphane Gilot, Cynthia Girard, Romeo Gongora, Charles Guilbert et Serge Murphy, Adad Hannah, Isabelle Hayeur, Bettina Hoffmann, Jon Knowles, Manon Labrecque, Emanuel Licha, Lynne Marsh, Michael Merrill, Tricia Middleton, Adrian Norvid, Jonathan Plante, Yannick Pouliot, Jocelyn Robert, David Ross, Carlos et Jason Sanchez, Karen Tam, Chih-Chien Wang, WWKA (Women with Kitchen Appliances) and Etienne Zack.

Nothing is lost, nothing is created, everything is transformed

Putting the exhibition together was quite a marathon. After an initial, exploratory phase, the curators drew up an exhaustive list of artists, covering all disciplines and generations. Then, over the summer and fall of 2007, they followed up with visits to studios and exhibitions, and numerous meetings as they refined their search for formally and thematically innovative practices that showed a high degree of mastery. Out of this process, 38 artists and artists collectives were selected. The showcased works all reflect an openness to the present in their approach to fundamental issues. They also attest to the vibrancy of Québec art, as well as its diversity and relevance.

Only when it came down to the final selection was the title chosen, inspired by the nature of the works included and Lavoisier’s famous maxim: “Nothing is lost, nothing is created, everything is transformed,” which was in turn borrowed from Greek philosopher Anaxagoras of Clazomenae.

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