CCA continues its exploration of the contemporary city with a new phase of ABC : MTL

The Canadian Centre for Architecture (CCA) presents a new phase of ABC : MTL, a project that invites citizens and community groups to produce a multifaceted self-portrait of contemporary Montreal. Having opened to great success on November 13, 2012, ABC : MTL entered a new phase on January 31, 2013 with the addition of new projects and installations, as well as a new series of public programs. The last phase of the project will launch on February 27, 2013.

On display until March 31st, ABC : MTL brings together the voices and visions of locals and tourists, individuals and collectives, videographers, musicians, architects, artists, and writers who contribute to a collective portrait of the spatial, social, and architectural character of the city. This initiative continues to fuel discussion about Montreal, using the exhibition as a dynamic platform for different points of view and casting a critical eye on the transformations underway today.

In the new phase of the project that opened last week, the idea of urban mobility is explored using elements of the urban lexicon, conveying new ideas, practices, and experiences around town. As in previous phases of the exhibition, the new contributions are identified by keywords such as #Manifencours, ArchiContre, Bus, River, Universités, Sortir, Griffintown, Condo, Polyuréthane, Orange, Poubelles, Sidewalks, and Tracks.

For example, in River, landscape photographer Jessica Auer examines the convergence of mythology, history, and physical development in the region through photographs of cultural landmarks. Her project Views from Montreal Island bears witness to these transformations by viewing the landscape as a tourist site. In Aveugle, artist and architectural historian Dominic Boulerice takes a look at the urban face of Montreal, dotted with hundreds of buildings ruined by neglect and facing an uncertain future that depends on vagaries of property values and investment.

The Belgian collective Rotor, made up of architects and designers, focuses on the omnipresence of Polyurethane in the city, particularly its use as thermal insulation in residential walls. The result is a series of unusual photographs of a variety of polyurethane foams.

Showing in the Octagonal Gallery through May 5, 2013, Streetview is a new exhibition developed in parallel with ABC: MTL that takes a look at ordinary, everyday representations of Montreal, rather than clichéd or iconic views. Drawn from the CCA’s photographic collection of over 60,000 images and prepared by Martien de Vletter, Associate Director of the CCA Collection, Streetview includes photographs by André Blouin, Phyllis Lambert, Richard Pare, Alain Leloup, David Miller, Sam Tata and George A. Tice, among others. These photos highlight elements that are often considered banal, yet each has its own particular significance. Different photographic perspectives reveal the physical foundations on which Montreal is built.

For more information on the ABC : MTL exhibition, please read the review in the January 2013 issue of Canadian Architect at