The Biennale de Montréal arts festival begins tomorrow (Wednesday, October 22nd) and this year’s edition is not to be missed. Taking place in various locations around the city—primarily the Musée d’art contemporain—the massive art exhibition will feature some of the most exciting Canadian and international contemporary artists practicing right now.

This year’s theme is L’avenir (looking forward), with artists considering “what is to come,” potential social responses to future challenges, and recent social and technological developments. You will be seeing a lot of aesthetics influenced by science fiction, cyberspace and technology, and artists addressing compelling and thought-provoking topics.

The art world can sometimes seem intimidating, with the amplitude of theoretical conversation and impression of exclusivity. In light of this, we’ve chosen a few must-see Biennale events that should definitely be checked out if you’re wondering where to begin! BNLMTL is an awesome opportunity to explore Montréal’s rich arts community and discover some brilliant creations — and this year, you’ve got our guide to help you make sense of it all.


Kelly Richardson, Orion Tide, 2013-2014, HD video installation with audio.

Kelly Richardson, Orion Tide, 2013-2014.
Location: Quartier de l’Innovation
October 22 — December 10

Ontario-born artist Kelly Richardson’s immersive projection works consist of digitally altered visuals picturing devoid landscapes of the future. Experiencing these works is really something else; the eerie sound effects and pitch dark room makes you feel like you’ve actually been placed in this apocalyptic sci-fi environment. She leaves the interpretation of what is going on in the scene open, allowing you to decide whether you’re seeing an alien invasion, environmental disaster, or whatever your imagination can devise.

Nicolas Baier, Eternity, 2014, mirror finish stainless steel.

Nicolas Baier, Eternity, 2014, mirror finish stainless steel.

Nicolas Baier, Eternity, 2014.
Location: Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal
October 22 — February 5

This spectacular sculpture by Nicolas Baier will blow you away; the artist creates a ten-foot high ripple of mirrored steel which appears to be held together effortlessly. This gargantuan reflective wall spells out “Eternity” in cursive if looked at from above. A visitor to the museum is unable to see it from this point of view, stressing the mystery and uncertainty of the world and its future.

Krzysztof Wodiczko, Homeless Projection: Place des Arts, 2014, video projection with sound on Théâtre Maisonneuve.

Krzysztof Wodiczko, Homeless Projection: Place des Arts, 2014, video projection with sound on Théâtre Maisonneuve.

Krzysztof Wodiczko, Homeless Projection: Place des Arts, 2014.
Location: Projection on the façade of Théâtre Maisonneuve
October 8 — November 22

One of Krzystof Wodiczko’s renowned public projections takes over Théâtre Maisonneuve on Wednesday to Sunday nights. Together with St. Michael’s Mission and other community organizations, this piece will combine the images and voices of the homeless in Montréal’s downtown core, giving life to the building and a space for marginalized citizens to have their stories heard. This large-scale piece will have a powerful impact, especially because of its location in the heart of downtown and accessibility to everyone.

Skawennati production stills from TimeTraveller™, 2008-2013, machinima.

Skawennati, TimeTraveller™, 2008-2013.
Location: Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal
October 22 — January 4

Skawennati is known for her pioneering New Media projects. TimeTraveller™, a nine-episode science fiction series, follows Hunter, a Montréal Mohawk who uses his “edutainment system” to visit different places during significant historical occurrences, including the Minnesota Massacre of 1875 and the occupation of Alcatraz in 1969. This machinima series, a style of animation created inside a video game, has been shown across Canada in various exhibitions, and is a must-see while here in Montréal.


 

For more information, visit the Biennale de Montreal website.