Archive for December, 2011

BIG BANG! MAdM and her Weapon of Choice

The exceptional Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, has once again invited MAdM to participate in one of their innovating art exhibits. As you may remember OUT OF OUR MINDS (OOOM) Film was programmed along side Pre-Raphealite master painter JW Waterhouse retrospective just over a year ago. This time, MAdM is honored to be part of BIG BANG! a groundbreaking show of contemporary Montreal Artists, all of whom were invited to roam freely the archives of the landmark museum. Here were the ground rules they gave us….

“As part of this fall’s celebrations, the Museum wished to pay tribute to contemporary creativity by organizing a multidisciplinary exhibition, an innovative and unifying event, free of charge and accessible to everyone. Some twenty renowned artists from several disciplines have been given carte blanche to create an installation, the only condition being that it be based on a work of their choice from the Museum’s collection, to renew and reinvent it. Art inspires artists for all time: “With this original project, the Museum’s collection becomes an open work, justifying the essential mission of this institution: to conserve the works of yesterday that inspire the artists of today,” states Nathalie Bondil, Museum Director.”

so off I went… through the vaults. first looking for swiss art, as i continue my hunt of my heritage and blood lineage. i discovered Hodler and his romantic portrait of an ancient Swiss National Guard aka Hallebardier (yes the ones that guard the pope and Vatican til this very day and the most sought after and deadly fighters of the middle ages). this brought me back to my reoccurring hunt and theme of my weapon of choice….. my photographic project began. i went deeper into their collection of weapons, and found a diverse collection, such as this ceremonial dagger  from the congo below….

…. then i brought in some of my own; favorite vintage russian panoramic camera, viking axe etc…..

as during my photographic studies in university, i turned the camera on myself, at which time i was 6 months pregnant. sneak peek below, but to see the whole image and whole piece, you must be in Montreal between now and january 22 ….

“Inviting Ferdinand Hodler’s 10-foot tall “Hallebardier” painting as the central muse for my piece initiated my exploration of the hunt for one’s own Weapon of Choice. L’homme d’armes depicted in this portrait, circa 1895, reflects aspects of my favorite painting traditions happening around that time in Europe. There are echoes of the mysticism of the Pre-Raphaelites that came just before, and the fantasy and nature worship of the blossoming Art Nouveau movement, but here the subject is a Man and his weapon. My Swiss ancestral roots only add to my need  to explore the history of Swiss Mercenaries…. Whose battle would you fight?”