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Published on February 13, 2019

Angélica Dass’s International Humanae Project at the MMFA

Montreal shows its true colours On February 12 to 14, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (MMFA) will welcome Brazilian photographer Angélica Dass and her Humanae project to the city. Dass will be photographing more than 100 Montrealers to create a human mosaic of our citizens’ skin tones, mixed with those of citizens of the world. After Vancouver, Montreal is the second Canadian city to take part in the project and the 30th city to join this internationally renowned initiative. This participation heralds the upcoming opening of the MMFA’s new Stéphan Crétier and Stéphany Maillery Wing for World Cultures and Togetherness, which will open on November 2, and which will be an exceptional tool for discovering and understanding cultural diversity past and present, here and elsewhere.

"In search of a driving image for our future world cultures and togetherness wing, I discovered Angélica Dass’s human mosaic project, a concept that is simple but powerful. Simultaneously action, performance and artwork, her humanist palette speaks to us viscerally of our global society, of coexistence and of Montreal,” notes Nathalie Bondil, Executive Director and Chief Curator of the MMFA.

The Humanae project
Since 2012, photographer Angélica Dass has been creating a giant mosaic comprising thousands of human portraits whose skin tones are identified using the Pantone® chart, a universal colour coding system. From an 11-by-11-pixel sample taken from each subject’s face, the artist extracts the precise shade of the skin and matches it to a numbered Pantone® colour, which also becomes the background for the image.

This monumental project reveals the diversity and chromatic range of human skin on a planetary scale. It confronts the simplistic notion of a black, white, red or yellow skin colour. With Humanae, Dass attempts to abolish discrimination and to encourage dialogue on the stereotypes and prejudices that condition our perceptions.

To date, thousands of volunteer participants from 18 countries and 6 continents, selected without regard to nationality, gender, age, race, social class or religion, have taken part in this universalist project. Her work can be found online, in the world’s major museums, and in the public space.

PANTONE® and other Pantone trademarks are the property of, and are used with the written permission of, Pantone LLC. PANTONE Color identification is solely for artistic purposes and not intended to be used for specification. All rights reserved.

Angélica Dass | Humanae - Work in Progress

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