Juan Ortiz-Apuy. Tropicana

Juan Ortiz-Apuy, Tropicana, still, 2020. Courtesy of the artist.

Juan Ortiz-Apuy, Tropicana, still, 2020. Courtesy of the artist.

Juan Ortiz-Apuy, Tropicana, still, 2020. Courtesy of the artist.


Juan Ortiz-Apuy

This exhibition benefits from the financial support of the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec.

With Tropicana, its all-new children’s exhibition, VOX invites young visitors to cast a critical eye on our consumer society and its environmental impacts. For the occasion, Montreal-based Costa Rican artist Juan Ortiz-Apuy has created a colourful multidisciplinary installation blending exotic animals, unusual objects, mutant creatures, vibrant cumbia rhythms, and an inflatable sculpture. He employs a rich visual and sound environment comprising videos, still images, and often strange-looking consumer items to explore the language of advertising as well as the new marketing strategies that have emerged in the social media era.

Youth and contemporary art

While children’s literature and theatre have been well established for decades, contemporary art exhibitions aimed at youth audiences remain rare.

VOX’s 2013 foray into this new genre, Jonathan Plante’s One-Eyed-Rabbit, was a huge success. Two years later, Clément de Gaulejac’s Siren Songs followed by Skawennati’s Teiakwanahstahsontéhrha’ We Extend the Rafters were other great experiences. That favourable reception speaks to a real need for children, but also to the importance of getting them used to visiting visual-arts presentation venues. Seeking to better serve the next generation of audiences, VOX is back with a fourth youth-oriented project with Juan Ortiz-Apuy.

VOX’s youth exhibitions are designed by well-known artists wishing to try their hands at creating works aimed at a specific age group. They are produced as collaborations between VOX, the artist and an expert mediator. As stand-alone projects, the exhibitions are also meant to be of interest to a broader audience encompassing all ages.

Art education activity

The exhibition Tropicana provides VOX with an opportunity for experimentation and innovation, as we introduce new forms of art education activities aimed at, among others, school groups, families, and recent immigrants.

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