Contemporary art museum launches first exhibition at temporary location

The Montreal Museum of Contemporary Art has kicked off its first exhibition at its temporary location on the ground floor of Place Ville Marie. (Global News/Phil Carpenter).

The Montreal Museum of Contemporary Art has kicked off its first exhibition on the ground floor of Place Ville Marie.

It’s the museum’s temporary venue while renovations are being carried out at the home location on Ste. Catherine Street next to Place des Arts.

“It’s very curious because we began here in 1964,” explained John Zeppetelli, director and chief curator at the museum. “Our first temporary exhibitions were in this building.”

The exhibition is a collaboration between the research group Forensic Architecture and filmmaker Laura Poitras, and explores human rights violations through surveillance by governments and companies across the globe.

Installations will include a series of immersive video presentations showing the consequences of what the producers call “digital violence.”

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Part of the exhibit also includes personal accounts of journalists, activists, etc., who say they have been victims of illegal surveillance.

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Poitras’ contribution to the exhibition is a documentary that follows Forensic Architecture’s investigation into an Israeli cyber firm’s alleged surveillance and targeting of people with its software.

“So we interviewed people who’d been [allegedly] infected and what the emotional consequences from that (were),” she explained.

Poitras said this project is personal for her because she’s also been the target of surveillance by a government.

“We know what it feels like when your most private information is not safe and is being listened to by states and companies,” she said during the opening of the show.

Eyal Weizman, founder and director of Forensic Architecture, believes the exhibition will be an eye-opener for visitors into the reality of surveillance.

“When they come to this exhibition they will see the scale of the problem,” he told Global News. “They will see it’s a global problem, they will see that civil society defenders in countries worldwide are being targeted in the very same way.”

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Renovations at the museum’s home location are expected to be completed by 2025.

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