montreal

Moyra Davey, Hemlock Forest, 2016, video, color, sound, 42 minutes. From the Biennale de Montréal.

Biennale de Montréal

La Biennale de Montréal

Moyra Davey, Hemlock Forest, 2016, video, color, sound, 42 minutes. From the Biennale de Montréal.

The 2016 Biennale de Montréal, titled “Le Grand Balcon” (The Grand Balcony) and organized by Belgian curator Philippe Pirotte (with curatorial advisors Corey McCorkle, Aseman Sabet, and Kitty Scott), was refreshingly ambiguous, intentionally confused, decidedly unruly, convincingly contradictory, and consistently chaotic. The curatorial statement mentioned a gloriously diverse range of touchstones, including Jean Genet’s strongly political absurdist play Le Balcon (The Balcony), 1956—which examines authenticity, representation, truth, and illusion—as well as the Marquis de Sade and an enigmatic portrait by Lucas Cranach the Elder.

Yet these references were overshadowed by the exhibition itself, which had neither an overall plot nor overarching themes. The list of fifty-five international participants offered a cross section of established luminaries, including Kerry James

Sign-in to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.

Not registered for artforum.com? Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW for only $50 a year—65% off the newsstand price—and get the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the PRINT EDITION of the February 2017 issue for $17 or the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.