ABC : MTL – A Self-Portrait of Montreal

An atlas. A bricolage. A compendium of different elements and strategies for understanding the city. Running from November 13, 2012 to March 31, 2013 in the Main Galleries of the Canadian Centre for Architecture, the exhibition entitled ABC : MTL is an urban abecedary and open-source initiative that maps contemporary Montreal 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 an ongoing 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 Hyperbâtiment, the collective SYN have explored the subterranean city of downtown Montreal and filmed it as a megastructure in the heroic manner, worthy of mass investigation. Under the rubric Arrivals, photographers Arjuna Neuman and Ramak Fazel present a photographic record of their discoveries while incessantly scanning Montreal during their first encounter with the city. The Montreal-based collective Audiotopie have imagined Montreal as a musical composition. Their work will appear under the title Partition. Other contributors include FABG Architectes, Saucier + Perrotte Architectes, Atelier Big City and ATSA.

ABC : MTL is the third in a series of exhibitions at the CCA investigating the development of Montreal. Montréal Métropole, 1880-1930 (1998) examined the city’s emergence as a behemoth of trade and industry at the turn of the century. Montreal 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 opening reception takes place at 6:30pm on November 13, 2012.

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