press release

La Biennale de Montréal is pleased to announce the preliminary list of artists participating in BNLMTL 2016, Le Grand Balcon (The Grand Balcony), curated by Philippe Pirotte with the support of curatorial advisors Corey McCorkle, Aseman Sabet and Kitty Scott. Le Grand Balcon is presented by La Biennale de Montréal and co-produced with the Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal (MAC).

In fiction, the balcony is a topos of amorous flirtation: a privileged but ambiguous space that brings lovers closer while keeping them apart. It is a desiring apparatus and a theatrical space that articulates the complex relationship between inside and outside, up and down. The balcony is also subjected to a particular regime of visibility, a space where a person can dramatically stage herself, with power and vulnerability on display.

The exhibition Le Grand Balcon loosely draws on Jean Genet's Le Balcon, in which the play's high porch is a space of contestation between revolution and counter-revolution, reality and illusion. A recurring motif in Genet's writing, his balcony is a place of perverse acts where representation itself can be perversely troubled.

Le Grand Balcon configures an unruly and recalcitrant space whose "objects" call for a materialist and sensualist approach while upstaging the need to reveal themselves as truths. The exhibition also betrays a preference for "images" of deep historical resonance that materially bind us to the here and now.

Le Grand Balcon invites us to rethink both the (im)possibility of an emancipation through pleasure—and its urgency. It summons us to affirm the pleasure we must take—a hedonistic politics—in mobilizing the brain's and body's capacities to their fullest, against the indifference of (mere) knowledge.

Le Grand Balcon will feature new and/or recent works by about 60 artists at the Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal, La Biennale de Montréal's main venue, and across a number of downtown spaces. This multi-site exhibition operates in parallel to a dynamic programme of talks, performances, concerts, screenings and publications.

Preliminary list of artists and collectives: Haig Aivazian (Lebanon); Njideka Akunyili Crosby (Nigeria/USA); Knut Åsdam (Norway); Eric Baudelaire (France); Thomas Bayrle (Germany); Nadia Belerique (Canada); Valérie Blass (Canada); Michael Blum (Israel/Germany/France/Canada); Shannon Bool (Canada/Germany); Dineo Seshee Bopape (South Africa); Elaine Cameron-Weir (Canada/USA); Chris Curreri (Canada); Moyra Davey (Canada/USA); Nicole Eisenman (USA); Em'kal Eyongakpa (Cameroon/The Netherlands); Liao Guohe (China); Judith Hopf (Germany); Anne Imhof (Germany); Luis Jacob (Peru/Canada); Myriam Jacob-Allard (Canada); Brian Jungen (Canada); Hassan Khan (Egypt); Meiro Koizumi (Japan); Zac Langdon-Pole (New Zealand/Germany); Tanya Lukin Linklater (USA/Canada); Kerry James Marshall (USA); Corey McCorkle (USA); Nathalie Melikian (Canada/Sweden); Joe Namy (USA/Lebanon); Shahryar Nashat (Switzerland/Germany); Camille Norment (USA/Norway); Celia Perrin Sidarous (Canada); PURE FICTION (Germany); Lucy Raven (USA); Marina Rosenfeld (USA); Ben Schumacher (Canada/USA); Walter Scott (Canada); Benjamin Seror (France/Belgium); Frances Stark (USA); Luke Willis Thompson (New Zealand/UK); David Gheron Tretiakoff (France/Belgium); Luc Tuymans (Belgium); Jacob Wren (Canada); Haegue Yang (South Korea/Germany); Xu Zhen (China)
The complete list will be announced in September 2016.

About La Biennale de Montréal The mission of La Biennale de Montréal is to foster, present, interpret and disseminate the most current visual arts practices by producing the biennial event BNLMTL. All of the initiatives of La Biennale de Montréal are premised on risk and experimentation. Its goal is to support daring, thought-provoking artistic and curatorial projects while offering the public a diversity of experiences.

About the Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal Located in the heart of the Quartier des Spectacles, the Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal makes today's art a vital part of Montréal and Québec life. For more than 50 years, this vibrant museum has brought together local and international artists, their works and an ever growing public. It is a place of discovery, offering visitors experiences that are continually changing and new, and often unexpected and stirring. The Musée presents temporary exhibitions devoted to outstanding and relevant current artists who provide their own, particular insight into our society, as well as exhibitions of works drawn from the museum's extensive Permanent Collection.