Landscape of Hope: Remixing the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts Collection

Concordia University graduate students in drama therapy, visual arts and sound studies gathered Tuesday November 19 through Friday November 22, 2019 at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts to experience and reinterpret the museum collection through sense mapping, response art, sound collecting and remixing workshops.

From left to right: Owen Chapman, Julien Younes, Ehsan Akbari, Whitney Slipp, Olivia Morson, Vivek Venkatesh, Dezy Nair, Annabelle Brault, Sandra Chang-Kredl. Photo Credit: Kathryn Urbaniak

The event included three distinct workshops run on three consecutive days. Attendees were guided in collecting their impressions – via the Plural app developed by Project Someone – of the Museum collections and transforming their media into ephemeral installations addressing themes of hope, despair and resilience. Attendees at these workshops included graduate and undergraduate students from Concordia University. On the fourth and final day everyone gathered for a combined reflection and improvisation.

Senses Remixed
Workshop 1 with Ehsan Akbari (Art Education, Concordia University)
Participants revisited the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (MMFA) collection with sensory walks, sense mapping and mobile photography. These activities invited participants to observe, notice and interpret the spaces of the museum and to learn from and about each other by sharing images, maps and observations.

Embodying Resilience
Workshop 2 with Olivia Morson and Whitney Slipp (Creative Arts Therapies, Concordia University)
This workshop explored hope, despair, and resilience as it intersects with the museum’s collection. Participants were asked to embody and observe resilience in response to the collections at the MMFA by producing their own form of ‘response art’. The group moved their bodies and created masks (physical and virtual) as they tried to gain a deeper understanding of what these themes meant as a collective and as individuals.

Re-imagining MMFA
Workshop 3 with Julien Younes and Dezy Nair (Communications Studies, Concordia University)
This interactive workshop aimed to recreate the MMFA space through a collaborative remix. Participants were invited to explore the exhibits around the museum with a conscious ear, and collect sounds using iPhones or recorders with the intent of manipulating them afterwards with various pieces of gear.