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Jacques Des Rochers invites Estelle Zhong Mengual








Type of activity



In Person

Free, reservation required

Wednesday December 6, 2023 at 05:30 pm

To mark the publication of Cahier 08, Ce qui mérite d’être vu, written by Estelle Zhong Mengual toward the completion of a research residency at the Grantham Foundation for the Arts and the Environment, Jacques Des Rochers proposes a discussion with the art historian on the unique capacity of landscape painting to change the way we look at the living world.

Estelle Zhong Mengual, art historian
Jacques Des Rochers, Senior Curator of Quebec and Canadian Art, MMFA

Josianne Poirier, Artistic Director of the Grantham Foundation

Public Partners: Government of Quebec, Canada Council for the Arts, Conseil des arts de Montréal

The Grantham Foundation would like to thank the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec and the Consulat général de France à Québec. 

About Cahier 08
“This deserves to be seen. These are the words murmured by each painting. And in these words lies the enigma that is unique to each work.  One day, somewhere, someone decided that this was worth seeing. But, sometimes we are left confused: we look at the painting and wonder, but what are we  to see?” This is the central question Estelle Zhong Mengual poses in Cahier 8. It is this question that came to her when she discovered the work Primeval Forest (1870) by Quebec painter Allan Edson one morning in December 2021 while visiting the galleries housing the MMFA’s Quebec and Canadian art collection at the invitation of Jacques Des Rochers.

About the Grantham Foundation
The Grantham Foundation for the Arts and the Environment has a dual mission. On the one hand, it supports the creation of visual art and the study of art and architecture as they relate to the environmental challenges of the Anthropocene. On the other hand, it ensures the dissemination and visibility of its activities, particularly among schoolchildren, students and senior citizens.  

While paying particular attention to the Quebec context, the Foundation's mission is to promote the meeting of cultures at the local, national and international levels.

About the speakers
A graduate of the École Normale Supérieure, with a doctoral degree from Sciences Po Paris, Estelle Zhong Mengual holds the chair entitled “Inhabiting the Landscape – Where Art Meets the Living World” at the École des Beaux-Arts de Paris. She also teaches in the master’s program in arts and politics (SPEAP) created by Bruno Latour at Sciences Po Paris. Her current research focuses on the relationship between art, both past and present, and the living world. In particular, she is developing an environmental history of art, which proposes a new way of looking at the representation of the living world in art, using the cutting-edge tools of the environmental humanities and the natural sciences. She is the author of numerous books, including Apprendre à voir. Le point de vue du vivant (Actes Sud, 2021), winner of the EcoloObs award for the best essay in environmental thought in 2021, and Peindre au corps à corps. Les fleurs et Georgia O'Keeffe (Actes Sud, 2022). She co-created the piece Danses non-humaines in collaboration with the choreographer Jérôme Bel, presented at the Louvre in October 2023.

Jacques Des Rochers is the Senior Curator of Quebec and Canadian Art at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. He developed the exhibition concept for these collections in the new Claire and Marc Bourgie Pavilion, inaugurated in 2011. He also edited the first major publication dedicated to these bodies of work. He has curated several exhibitions, including The Artistic Legacy of the Montreal Sulpicians (2007). More recently, he co-curated the exhibition 1920s Modernism in Montreal. The Beaver Hall Group (2015), and was one of the editors of the eponymous catalogue (2015). He also co-curated and co-edited the catalogue for the exhibition Riopelle: The Call of Northern Landscapes and Indigenous Cultures (2020). His projects have garnered numerous prizes.

Josianne Poirier is an art historian, author and independent curator whose work focuses on the intersection between art and the production of space, with an emphasis on public art, the image of the city, the nocturnal landscape and social cohesion. In 2022, she published the essay Montréal fantasmagorique. Ou la part d’ombre des animations lumineuses urbaines (Lux Éditeur). The same year, she became artistic director of the Grantham Foundation for the Arts and the Environment. She is also a lecturer at the Université du Québec à Montréal and the Université de Montréal. She lives and works in Tiohtià:ke/Mooniyang/Montréal.


Access: At the Maxwell Cummings Auditorium, 1379-A, Sherbrooke Street West

Please note that unclaimed reserved seats will be given to those in attendance on a first-come, first-served basis.

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