Announcement: Theme 25 – Memory
It’s often full of holes. It can be living or emotional, like an elephant’s or like a sieve. It can be worked on, it makes us who we are, often it’s all we have left. Its loss—whether our own or that of a loved one—is tragic. Memory is precious, perhaps because, as we all know, it is irretrievably fragmented, selective.
This month on Quarantined Museum, we propose a reflection on memory as an active process. The museum is a locus for preserving objects of the past and for creating tomorrow’s memories. With the return of nice weather and the coming launch of the summer exhibitions, the Musée d’art de Joliette (MAJ) is bustling with activity. The theme for the season’s program is collections; more precisely, the MAJ is engaging in an exercise of self-reflection on the act of collecting—an important part of its mission. Three contemporary artists have been invited to revisit our collections, each in his or her own way, while two projects directed by the Collections department showcase an array of works the Museum recently acquired or is about to acquire.
Adrien Hébert, Mignonne de Laplante, 1924, Vue de l’exposition Les îles réunies.
In particular, during a residency at the MAJ last year, Martin Désilets documented our works in storage following a strict, self-imposed protocol. The resulting photographs, along with the series Matière noire, raise a question in my mind: can a single photograph preserve the memory of an entire segment of a collection of art works, or even of all of art history? In his Lieux-Monuments series, also to be exhibited this season, Désilets captured iconic locations with a lensless digital camera. The outcome is something like the trace of the passage of light in a particular space-time, rather than the distinct memory of the location-monument facing the artist. For greater depth on this topic, I invite you to read the article by Anne-Marie St-Jean Aubre on the subject of Désilets’s practice.
👉 As part of the current call for entries, we invite you to rummage through your mind and explore your memories. How would you like to be remembered? By whom, for whom, and according to what factors and under what authority is collective memory fashioned? Do institutions have a right to forget? What is your oldest memory? Which one makes you laugh the most? Which would you most like to erase from memory? Do you keep physical memories of your travels? Of significant others? What smell reminds you of your grandmother? What music takes you back to your teenage years? Why not try to paint a landscape or a portrait from memory? Or create a memory game?
Chloé Desjardins, Tête (1984.080), 2020. Photo : Clément Dietz
Vue de la façade du Musée d'art de Joliette, 2019. Photo : Romain Guilbault.
Coming up this month:
➔ Nathalie Galego, assistant curator of collections, will speak about works from our collection that testify to the history of the MAJ.
➔ Charlotte Lalou Rousseau, assistant curator of contemporary art, will speak of Hydro, a multimedia installation by Caroline Monnet and Ludovic Boney, produced by the National Film Board of Canada and presented at the MAJ in 2019.
➔ Artist Martin Désilets will present his exhibition at the MAJ live on Facebook while setting up in the gallery.
➔ As always, the education department is preparing a “Family Special” activity for you.
➔ A special collaboration with the Phi Centre will be revealed during the month.
This article was written by Charlotte Lalou Rousseau, assistant curator of contemporary art, Musée d’art de Joliette.
TO PARTICIPATE IN QUARANTINED MUSEUM
You have until noon, Wednesday, June 30, to send us your artistic creations inspired by the theme of the month. The exhibition will be online Thursday, July 8, 2021.