VOX — Centre de l’image contemporaine

View of the exhibition of Jacqueline Hoang Nguyen au Château Ramezay, 2019.

Period rooms
Jacqueline Hoàng Nguyễn
Château Ramezay. Historic Site and Museum in Montréal

2019.06.12 - 07.26


Urban itinerary: circuit des châteaux

As part of Period rooms. 8 art experimentations, VOX organizes a series of urban itineraries in chartered buses. With le circuit des châteaux (in French), on June 19, participants will visit the Château Ramezay, the Château Dufresne and VOX, along with artists and special guests.

Jacqueline Hoàng Nguyễn’s installation is presented in the Salle de Nantes at the Château Ramezay. Conservation and showcasing of the decorative arts in Montreal, notably the reconstruction of period rooms, were made possible thanks to the substantial support of Canadian art patrons and philanthropists David M. Stewart and Liliane Stewart. The artist’s intervention traces this little-known historical aspect as well as the origins of the heritage wood panelling in the Salle de Nantes, which was exhibited in the French pavilion at Expo 67 before being donated to the Château Ramezay. It originally came from the Hôtel O’Riordan, constructed in Nantes between 1742 and 1746 for the shipowner Étienne O’Riordan. The installation is based around a soundtrack that takes a critical, postcolonial perspective in relating various historical, economic and political narratives relating to the past of this decorative-arts ensemble.

View the interpretation notebook of the event.

The period room offers a fascinating experience of space and time: it locates visitors in an interior reconstituting a past that seems remote, and frozen for eternity. This dizzying anachronistic effect is accentuated when such rooms are reconfigured from the point of view of the present day, through artists’ interventions. The latter can elicit new narratives, whether historical or fictional, or foster associations with a time that is long gone. In so doing, each intervention creates a temporary opening into the past represented by the period room in question, encouraging visitors to engage in new and unfamiliar experiences there.

Curated by Marie J. Jean, this event presents experimentations by seven contemporary artists—Steve Bates, Thomas Bégin, Pierre Dorion, Frédérick Gravel, Jacqueline Hoàng Nguyễn, Jocelyn Robert, and Claire Savoie—in the period interiors of the Château Dufresne, the Château Ramezay, Saint Joseph’s Oratory of Mount Royal, the Sir George-Étienne Cartier residence, and the Guido Molinari Foundation. Concurrently, at VOX, centre de l’image contemporaine, Klaus Scherübel has produced an art intervention that employs the period room format to reconstitute two exhibitions organized in 1947 by the Automatist artists.

This is one of the 200 exceptional projects funded through the Canada Council for the Arts’ New Chapter program. With this $35M investment, the Council supports the creation and sharing of the arts in communities across Canada. This event was also made possible with financial support under the Agreement on the Cultural Development of Montréal between the City of Montréal and Québec government.