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Until February 13, 2022

“How long does it take for one voice to reach another?”

Free for Members
This fall’s main attraction at the MMFA will highlight major works in the Museum’s permanent collection that touch on subjects that have affected us all over the past year: love and loss, separation and reconciliation, listening and the desire to be heard.

Spanning multiple centuries and cultures, the exhibition will juxtapose rarely seen Pre-columbian objects and Persian manuscripts, as well as Old Master paintings and works by Modern and Contemporary artists of diverse backgrounds. It will feature new acquisitions yet to be displayed at the Museum as well as several important loans from Canadian collections, both institutional and private.

The exhibition’s inspiration and themes

“How long does it take for one voice to reach another?” explores the concept of the voice in both its physical and metaphorical registers, asking through art what it is to find meaningful connection after the long period of isolation we have just come through. Drawn from a line of poetry by Carolyn Forché, its title bears a special history. Inscribed in stainless steel into the floor of the Promenade, on Level S1 of the Jean-Noël Desmarais Pavilion, it is part of a work that Betty Goodwin created in 1991 for the pavilion’s inauguration. Beyond its local resonance, the poetic question has broader reach in our current historical moment, when too many voices go unheard and those that are listened to, more often than not, are mediated by the television, computer or smartphone screen.

The exhibition will unfold thematically, delving into the notion of voice not only as a sonic phenomenon but also as a culturally elaborated metaphor: a site where discourses and ideas, communities and connections are made manifest and challenged through embodied practice. Rebecca Belmore, Geneviève Cadieux, Janet Cardiff, Hannah Claus, Stanley Février, Betty Goodwin, Shilpa Gupta, Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, Nadia Myre and Niap (Nancy Saunders) will be among the artists presented. Important works from the Museum’s modern and Old Master collections by such artists as Charles Gagnon, Yves Gaucher, Rembrandt, Ribera and Rodin will also be included.


Credits and curatorial team

An exhibition organized by the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts.
It is curated by Mary-Dailey Desmarais, Chief Curator, MMFA, in collaboration with the Museum’s team of curators.

Presented by:
Hydro Québec
In collaboration with:
Hatch Logo
RBC logo
Official Sponsor:
With support from:
Angel Circle
Médias partners
La Presse
Montreal Gazette
Public partners
Conseil des arts de Montréal
Canada Council for the Arts
Gouvernement du Québec

Nick Cave (born in 1959), Soundsuit, 2014. Majudia Collection. © Nick Cave. Courtesy of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York

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