Lili Reynaud-Dewar: I Want All of the Above to Be the Sun

MAC at Place Ville Marie, Montreal

Lili Reynaud-Dewar, Untitled (Winter 2022) (detail), 2022. Aluminum, 134 x 49 x 78 cm. Collection of the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal. Purchased with the support of the Collectors Symposium 2022, National Bank Private Banking 1859. ©Lili Reynaud-Dewar. Photo: Courtesy the artist and Layr, Vienna.

Lili Reynaud-Dewar: I Want All of the Above to Be the Sun at the MAC, Place Ville Marie as of May 18

May 18 – September 17, 2023
MAC at Place Ville Marie

The MAC is devoting an exhibition to acclaimed French artist Lili Reynaud-Dewar. Open to the public from May 18 at the MAC at Place Ville Marie (PVM), this exhibition entitled Lili Reynaud-Dewar: I Want All of the Above to Be the Sun, was specifically designed for the MAC space at PVM. Curated by Mark Lanctôt, the exhibition brings together emblematic works by the multidisciplinary artist and offers insight into her recent practice. This is her first solo exhibition in Quebec.

Recipient of the Marcel Duchamp Prize in 2021, Lili Reynaud-Dewar has developed a highly unique practice. Hailed for “the universality of her approach, her effective institutional and social critique, and above all her risk-taking with her own body,” the artist creates performances, installations and films that embrace social issues. Grounded in a fervent interest in the history of militant and alternative cultures, often inspired by figures of resistance such as Josephine Baker, Jean Genet and Guillaume Dustan, Reynaud-Dewar uses the body to evoke vulnerability and the sense of empowerment associated with taking a public stand.

Born in 1975 in La Rochelle, France, Lili Reynaud-Dewar made a name for herself with video works in which she dances nude, in full body make-up, in the museum spaces, exhibition centres and artists’ residencies that have hosted her or shown her work. This exhibition brings together for the very first time, a selection of over thirty of these videos produced since 2013. In fact, the title of the exhibition is taken from her most recent dance video series. “I Want All of the Above to Be the Sun”, is a phrase from the book New York in 1979 by American poet, novelist, essayist and feminist activist Kathy Acker.

Lili Reynaud-Dewar, I Want All of the Above to Be the Sun (Dancing with Myself, Venice) (still), 2018, single-channel video, colour, 15 min 39 s. – Artwork produced at the Punta della Dogana, Venice, during the exhibition Dancing with Myself – Works from the Pinault Collection, 2018. ©Lili Reynaud-Dewar. Artworks in the background: Untitled (Blood), 1992, and Untitled (7 Days of Bloodworks), 1991, by Felix Gonzales-Torres.

These videos are accompanied by a series of sculptural self-portraits recently begun by the artist. Each season (or so), new 1:1 scale casts of her body are made, depicting the artist sitting on the floor, absorbed in everyday gestures such as consulting her cell phone. Counterparts to the dance videos, these human-scale sculptures are static, but also function as recurrences of the same body in different exhibition contexts.

The video installation Rome, November 1st and 2nd, 1975 completes the exhibition. In it, Lili Reynaud-Dewar examines, reconstructs, and interprets the infamous Italian poet and filmmaker Pier Paolo Pasolini’s final hours, but also the role of art in society. The four screens that surround the viewer retrace Pasolini’s last evening and his violent death on November 2nd, 1975. Twenty-four people from Reynaud-Dewar’s entourage take turns playing the various protagonists, as does the artist, who also stages herself. Booklets scattered on the floor give insight into the actors’ careers through the transcriptions of their interviews with Reynaud-Dewar. This play of echoes, which brings together two eras, Pasolini’s and the actors’, contributes to the richness and depth of the work. Reserve your ticket now.

Artist’s Bio

Trained in dance and law, Lili Reynaud-Dewar is a graduate of the Glasgow School of Art, co-founder of the feminist magazine Pétunia, and teaches at the Haute école d’art et de design in Geneva. Her work has been exhibited around the world, including at the 2015 Venice Biennale, and is currently part of “Exposé-es” at the Palais de Tokyo, a major exhibition inspired by Elisabeth Lebovici’s book, Ce que le sida m’a fait. Since 2005, her work has been the subject of solo exhibitions in Europe, North America and Australia, and has been presented in countless group exhibitions. Her work has been included in numerous collections, including those of the Centre Pompidou, MoMA, the Pinault Collection, the Centre national des arts plastiques, the Capc Musée d’art contemporain de Bordeaux, as well as several Fonds régionaux d’art contemporain. She is the recipient of the Marcel Duchamp Prize 2021. Following her visit to Montreal, the Palais de Tokyo will devote an important exhibition to her. The MAC exhibition is her first solo exhibition in Quebec.

Lili Reynaud-Dewar, Rome, November 1st and 2nd 1975 (video still), 2019-2021, four-channel video installation, color, sound, 35 min 1 s. Courtesy the artist and C L E A R I N G, New York/Brussels/Los Angeles & Layr, Vienna. ©Lili Reynaud-Dewar

Exhibition-Related Activities:

Curator’s Tours: Mark Lanctôt, curator of the exhibition Lili Reynaud-Dewar: I Want All of the Above to Be the Sun, will offer a guided tour of the exhibition on May 24 (in French) and May 31 (in English), at 5:30 pm. Included in the general admission fee to the MAC.

Viewpoint visits: A series walk throughs of the exhibition with special guests who will give their perspective on the artist’s practice.

Meet dancer and choreographer Marie Claire Forté, Wednesday, June 21, at 5:30 p.m. (in French)

Meet Luca Caminati, Professor of Film and Moving Image Studies at Concordia University in Montréal, and artist Frédéric Moffet, who will give a personal interpretation of Lili Reynaud-Dewar’s work in the exhibition. Wednesday, June 28, 5:30 p.m. (In English)

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Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal (MAC)
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