An Atlas. A Bricolage. A Compendium of different elements and strategies for understanding the city. ABC : MTL is an urban abecedary and open-source initiative that maps contemporary Montréal in a diversity of ways and media. Over 90 contributions including photography, music videos, sculptures and installations, drawings, models, workshops, lectures and performances have been selected from a call for submissions. These now form a lexicon of the CCA’s home city and a platform for its creative talent.
For example, under the headline Sprawl, the photographer Isabelle Hayeur makes dramatic panoramas of urban sprawl. Her videos mix images of the suburbs of Montréal and other cities in North America. Under the rubric Garden, Vikram Bhatt, the McGill Minimum Cost Housing Group and Santropol Roulant present infographics and artifacts to illustrate their ongoing urban agricultural initiative in downtown Montréal. Sound artist Magali Babin captures the sound of the St. Laurent and other rivers around the city. Her work appears under the title Rives. Other contributors include Atelier TAG, Vincent Chevalier, Rafael Lozano-Hemmer and the National Film Board of Canada.
ABC : MTL is the third in a series of exhibitions at the CCA investigating the development of Montréal. Montréal Métropole, 1880-1930 (1998) examined the city’s emergence as a behemoth of trade and industry at the turn of the century. Montréal Thinks Big (2004) explored its infrastructural transformation during the 1960s to meet the demands of a new era. ABC : MTL addresses the city as it is today: not a historical artifact or a series of monumental structures, but a daily experience of almost limitless variety. Material from the CCA Collection will also be included.
The CCA gratefully acknowledges the generous support of The ministère de la Culture et des Communications, The Canada Council for the Arts and the Conseil des arts de Montréal and thanks its Friends and financial partners for their contribution to the exhibition: Greg Newsome, Safdie & Co., Luc Vandal, Greg Newsome, Luc Vandal, Bruce E. Allan, David M. Culver, Joan F. Ivory, Pierre Renaud and Monique Renaud.