In search of Expo 67

How will tomorrow's artists respond to today's exhibitions? That's a question I've asked myself while reading about an exhibition that's currently on at the Musée d'Art Contemperain in Montreal. In Search of Expo 67 brings together works by nineteen Quebec and Canadian artists who've been inspired by the innovative, experimental and provocative dimensions of the original event and its social and political contexts. 

The exhibition has provided these artists with the opportunity to delve into the archives and histories of the original event in order to create new works that offer a glimpse into the myriad ways Expo 67 continues to resonate in the contemporary imagination. For example, Althea Thauberger was inspired to create a video installation by what she learnt about 'The People Tree' displayed in the original Canada Pavilion, which was intended to promote a vision of Canadian identity through social documentary photography and an architectural model of a family 'tree'. 

Althea Thauberger, L'arbre est dans les feuilles, 2017, photo by Guy L'Heureux.

Althea Thauberger, L'arbre est dans les feuilles, 2017, photo by Guy L'Heureux.

In the video, Althea appears in a loose portrayal of Lorraine Monk, executive producer of the NFB Still Photography Division in the 1960s. She is shown in the midst of photographic images from their archive that date from 1963 to 1966. The words Althea speaks are taken from interviews with Monk and internal correspondence within the Still Photography Division. The work also features poems commissioned from four emerging Montréal writers and reflections written by cultural historians Andrea Kunard and Carol Payne.

To find out more about how other artists have approached this theme, why not visit the exhibition website? Might you consider producing work inspired by earlier exhibitions like the Festival of Britain?