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Found 13 results

  1. THE WHIPPET: QUEBECKERS' CLASSIC COOKIE Montreal's industrial foundations - built on chocolatey marshmallow goodness PETER RAKOBOWCHUK The Canadian Press October 31, 2007 MONTREAL -- Apopular cookie that's still being gobbled up by Quebeckers today is being given some of the credit for helping to launch the industrial growth of Montreal. The decadent Whippet cookie, a chocolate-coated, marshmallow-topped treat, is more than a century old. Housed in its familiar gold- and chocolate-coloured box, the Whippet made its debut in 1901 and the rest, as they say, is cookie history. The Whippet and Viau Biscuits Corp., the company that made it, are featured in an exhibition at the Écomusée du fier monde, a small museum in the city's east end. Print Edition - Section Front Museum director René Binette says the Whippet was launched when the founder of the company tested it at a hockey game. "People at the game liked it so much that it confirmed to Charles-Théodore Viau that he was on to a good thing," Mr. Binette said in an interview. The cookie, first introduced as the Empire, was considered a luxury item and its sales helped Mr. Viau to expand the company's operations. But Mr. Binette said the cost of vanilla and chocolate also put the Empire out of reach of the average Quebecker. So in 1927, Mr. Viau decided to change the recipe and the name and created the more affordable Whippet. Mr. Viau started the enterprise in a small bakery in Montreal's east end in 1867 and created the Village cookie - a plain, but hugely popular shortbread that Quebeckers loved to dunk in their tea. He continued to expand the business until his cookie and candy factory became one of the area's major employers. Part of Montreal even became known as Viauville, and a church in the neighbourhood was named St-Clément de Viauville. One cookie lover tells the story of his parents buying several boxes and being warned by them not to touch the treats because they were destined for "Whippet-starved" relatives in Ontario. Viau became history in March, 2004, when the company was sold to Kitchener, Ont.-based Dare Foods Inc., another family-owned business, and the factory was closed. But Whippets are still being produced under the Dare banner at the company's plant in St-Lambert, south of Montreal. A Dare spokeswoman says the company markets the Viva Puff, a similar cookie, in Ontario. The Quebec Whippet has "real" chocolate while its counterpart is made with a "compound" chocolate. Contrary to what many Quebec cookie lovers may think, the popular Oreo sandwich cookie has not been around as long as the Whippet. A spokeswoman for Kraft Foods Inc. says it was only introduced in Canada in 1949, although the Oreo was launched in the United States in 1912. The Viau factory has now been converted into a condominium complex that has been appropriately named La Biscuiterie, the cookie factory. Aficionados can visit the Viau: Cookie History exhibition at the Écomusée du fier monde until March 23, 2008.
  2. Canada's Most Awaited International Food Exhibition Opens Today Note to Editors: Please publish the dates and location of this exhibition in your listing of upcoming events. MONTREAL, April 23 /CNW Telbec/ - The 5th edition of the SIAL Montréal International Food Exhibition opens today at the Palais des congrès de Montréal convention center. Throughout April 23, 24 and 25, the show will welcome 14,000 agri-food professionals from all over the globe. Some 550 companies from Canada, the U.S. and 30 other countries will be converging on the 200,000+ sq. ft. (18,600 sq. m.) exhibition floor. SIAL Montréal is a multi-flavored exhibition showcasing local and international products. You can visit Canadian exhibitors at these booths: << - Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada - Ministère de l'Agriculture, des Pêcheries et de l'Alimentation du Québec - Aliments du Québec - Agri-Food Export Group Quebec-Canada More than 30 countries and 9 international pavilions will be there: - Austria - Poland - United States of America - Spain - France - Sri Lanka - Italy - Syria - Pakistan >> A Delicious Show! SIAL Montréal will be presenting several activities over the three days, tailor-made to the North- Americain industry's needs. For the second time, SIAL Montréal organizes Agora Nutrition. A space designed to meet with other professionals and share experiences in the guise of conferences that will allow visitors to become aware and better understand the increasingly close connection between the nutrition and health sectors. SIAL Montréal is also the proud organizer of the biggest olive oil competition - "OLIVE D'OR". More than 105 olive oil producers from all over the world are participating in this second edition, one of the industry's foremost international competitions. Innovation is front and center at this 5th SIAL Montréal, with the "Trends & Innovations" event, which will recognize the manufacturers with the most groundbreaking products. This area will also showcase the North-American & International trends presented by our exhibitors. Food Services Circuit : SIAL Montréal & SET Canada designed a special circuit to help Food Services professionals recognize exhibitors that offer specific products especially designed to their needs. Welcome to SIAL Montréal 2008. Bon appétit! About SIAL Montréal SIAL Montréal was created in 2001, in association with the A.D.A.Q - Quebec food retailers association - and the Québec-Canada Agri-Food Export Group. The exhibition enjoys the support of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and the Quebec Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food. Now in its fifth edition, SIAL Montréal has become the authority in North America for this international event. The SIAL network also includes Paris, Shanghai and Buenos Aires. To learn more about the exhibition, visit us online at: www.sialmontreal.com.
  3. BMW Welt by Coop Himmelb(l)au wins best of Production at WAFl Awards 2008 BMW Welt, literally “the World of BMW”, is a hybrid exhibition and automobile delivery centre designed by Austrian practice Coop Himmelb(l)au. The multi-functional centre is divided in 5 key areas: Premiere, at the center of BMW Welt, where the vehicles are handed over to customers on rotating platforms, from where they can drive out of the building via a generously sized ramp; Lounge, integrated into the roof and virtually suspended over the delivery area, supported only by the utility service shafts and a column; Forum, located in the north wing of the building, a state of the art Auditorium for up to 1200 people; Tower, in the southwest, a multifunctional area with restaurants, exhibition, sales floors and administrative offices; Double Cone, resting on eleven columns, a full-service event realm extending over several levels, including a stage with its own catering infrastructure, rotating platforms and infrastructure connections for events. Wolf D. Prix, co-founder and design principal of Coop Himmelb(l)au described the project: "The concept behind the design envisions a hybrid building representing a mixture of urban elements. Not an exhibition hall, not an information and communication centre, not a museum, but instead all of these things, along a passage organized under one roof and horizontally and vertically layered. A conjoining of urban marketplace and stage for presentations”. The WAF judges chose it as the winner amongst 12 shortlisted entries in the Produciton category and defined the scheme as “deeply indebted to Le Corbusier´s enquiring mind and dedication to experimental culture” adding that “Wolf D. Prix pursues new meanings and forms in architecture.” Incidentally BMW Welt represents the zenith of Wolf D. Prix’s fascination with turning clouds into architecture, as his words testify: "From the very start we’ve wanted to build cloud architectures and cities that change like banks of clouds.” The centre was also one of the 10 RIBA European Awards winners in 2008. Laura Sal http://www.worldarchitecturenews.com/index.php?fuseaction=wanappln.projectview&upload_id=10552
  4. (Courtesy of the National Post) I thought there was a topic on this already I searched and I didn't see anything pop up.
  5. C'est encore payant d'aller sur SSP... http://skyscraperpage.com/montreal/en/ Dates: March 25 to 31, 2008 Where: The Grande Place in complexe Desjardins (located in downtown Montreal), in a neighbourhood that is home to several future urban development projects. Description: We are proud to present the 2nd official edition of a unique public event that highlights real estate development and infrastructure projects (commercial, residential, institutional and governmental) that will change the landscape of Montreal over the next quarter-century. This special event will feature a record number of architectural models, designs and plans loaned by various promoters and organizations and presented at the Grande Place in complexe Desjardins. The first edition in March 2006, presented at the CDP Capital Centre, was a huge success. This time we are planning for an even greater number of exhibitors and participants, and will be adding two new important elements - major TRANSPORTATION infrastructures and ENVIRONMENTAL PROJECTS (sustainable development). Members of the business community and government officials will be on hand for the official opening event at the exhibition site on March 25, 2008 hosted by honorary president Benoit Labonté, Mayor of the Borough of Ville Marie. This event will be attended by over 500 guests, all of whom are involved in and concerned about the urban and economic development of Montreal. The exhibition will be open to visitors free of charge. Thousands of visitors are expected over the course of the event, given that the complexe Desjardins attracts traffic of some 36,000 people every day. For more info on the exhibition: Robert J. Vézina, organiser 514-875-1353 ext. 205 [email protected] http://www.boma-quebec.org
  6. ¡Cuba! Art and History from 1868 to Today in Montreal, Canada Thanks to the involvement of the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes and the Fototeca de Cuba, and the collaboration of many collectors and museums in the United States, including the MoMA, this exhibition will draw a broad panorama of Cuban art and history. ¡Cuba! Art and History from 1868 to Today, which brings together some 400 works of art, will be the first exhibition to showcase the art of this Caribbean island, which Christopher Columbus described as “the most beautiful land eyes have ever seen.” This lively and well-conceived multidisciplinary exhibition will bring together about one hundred paintings, including a huge collective mural produced in 1967 by many artists, two hundred photographs and documents, approximately one hundred works on paper (in particular two collections of pre- and post-1959-Revolution posters), some two hundred photographs and documents, installations and videos, in addition to music and film excerpts. Exhibition Summary - This ambitious exhibition will feature the art of Cuba, an island that has witnessed the twentieth-century’s principal historical events (decolonization, the search for a national identity, wars of independence and the Revolution, the building of political utopias and ideological clashes). Located at the crossroads of Old Europe and the New World, Cuba is a rich cultural terrain: its music and literature are well known outside of the country, but the same cannot be said of its visual arts. The exhibition is divided into five sections: Depicting Cuba: Finding Ways to Express a Nation (1868-1927); Arte Nuevo: The Avant-garde and the Re-creation of Identity (1927-1938); Cubanness: Affirming a Cuban Style (1938-1959); Within the Revolution, Everything, Against the Revolution, Nothing (1959-1979); The Revolution and Me: The Individual Within History (1980-2007). The exhibition’s historical narrative will be told through a selection of significant photographs: from those that have never been shown to the iconic, these pictures will illustrate the chronology of events as recorded by remarkable photographers. Within this account will be images illustrating the major chapters in the history of Cuban art, from the nineteenth-century’s wars of independence through to the uncertainties of the future. Throughout the twentieth century, artists engaged in international discourses sought to define a national identity, Cubanidad. Intermingling a re-examination of its colonialist past and openness to the avant-garde, Cuban artists created a profoundly original art of synthesis (Baroque and academic legacies, Spanish and African roots, Catholic and traditional spirituality). Central to the century and the exhibition, with the presentation of twenty paintings, the landmark work of Wifredo Lam will embody this synthesis. At times a vehicle for collective political action and at times a personal expression vis-à-vis history, Cuban art deals with matters pertaining to a sense of place and the role of the artist in society, issues that outstanding contemporary artists continue to explore in relevant ways. The Curators - The exhibition is organized by the Montreal Museum of Fine Art (MMFA) in collaboration with the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes (MNBA) and the Fototeca de Cuba, Havana. Nathalie Bondil, director of the MMFA, is the general curator of the exhibition, in collaboration with Moraima Clavijo Colom, director of the MNBA, and Lourdes Socarrás, director of the Fototeca de Cuba. The curatorial committee also includes Hortensia Montero Méndez, curator of Cuban art, MNBA; Luz Merino Acosta, technical director, MNBA; Rufino del Valle, curator, Fototeca de Cuba; Iliana Cepero, associate curator, MNBA; Stéphane Aquin, curator of contemporary art, MMFA; and the team of curators of the MNBA. The Catalogue - Under the general editorship of Nathalie Bondil, a 370-page catalogue will be produced by the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts’ Publishing Department. This book, which will include some 450 colour illustrations, is the first publication covering the whole history of Cuban art. It will provide essays by Cuban and international specialists on various aspects of the subject and some 140 biographical notes. It will be published in separate French, English and Spanish editions. Sponsors - In Montreal, the exhibition is presented by Sun Life Financial, in collaboration with METRO. The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts wishes to thank Cubana and media partners La Presse and The Gazette. Its gratitude also extends to Quebec’s Ministère de la Culture et des Communications for its ongoing support. The Museum would like to thank the Volunteer Association of the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts for its invaluable support. It would also like to thank all its Friends and the many corporations, foundations and people who support its mission. The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts’ International Exhibition Programme receives financial support from the Exhibition Fund of the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts Foundation and the Paul G. Desmarais Fund.
  7. All in the balance Prix' Art Museum creates art from the landscape with panoramic views Coop Himmelb(l)au has been commissioned for the Art Museum Strongoli in Calabria, the firm's third project in Italy. The museum is not only a cultural center but also understood as a generator for a future development of Calabria, a place for cultural entertainment and recreation. Situated on the top of the “Motta Grande” hill in front of the city, the Art Museum is visible from far away, it's steely form contrasting with the lush green hillside. The new museum houses not only flexible exhibition spaces, but also a small “multi-hall” and a panorama restaurant. The project is a composition of three main elements: the emblematic, coneshaped construction with the entrance is orientated towards the city,Its spiralling ramp which gives access to the exhibition zone makes it is also a spectacular event space, while the cantilevering restaurant at the opposite end of the building offers a panoramic terrace facing the sea in the east. Both public attractors are linked by a two storey exhibition volume. The exhibition areas are determined to be as flexible as possible, supported by underground service facilities accessed via two elevators. The multi-hall can be used as temporary exhibition space, lecture hall, auditorium and cinema or simply as an extension space of the foyer for public events. http://www.worldarchitecturenews.com/index.php?fuseaction=wanappln.projectview&upload_id=11366
  8. http://www.architectmagazine.com/Architecture/the-best-and-worst-architectural-events-of-2014_o.aspx Voir le lien pour les images BEYOND BUILDINGS The Best and Worst Architectural Events of 2014 Aaron Betsky presents 10 lamentable moments and 10 reasons for hope in architecture. By Aaron Betsky New National Stadium, by Zaha Hadid Architects New National Stadium Tokyo, Japan Zaha Hadid Architects Everywhere this last year, we heard the call for a return to order, normalcy, the bland, and the fearful. Herewith are ten examples, in no particular order, of such disheartening events from 2014—and ten things that give me hope. Reasons to Despair 1. The demolition of the American Folk Art Museum in New York, by Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects. Idiosyncratic both in layout and façade—and absolutely breathtaking. The MoMA monolith keeps inflating its mediocre spaces; I despair and wonder if Diller Scofidio + Renfro (DS+R) will be able to rescue it from almost a century of bad and too-big boxes 2. The defeat of Bjarke Ingels Group’s proposals for the Kimball Art Museum in Park City, Utah. The second proposal was already less exciting than the first, an award-winning, spiraling log cabin, but even the lifted-skirt box caused too many heart palpitations for the NIMBYists 3. The protests against Zaha Hadid’s Tokyo Olympic Stadium design, which left the building lumpen and unlovely. At this point, Arata Isozki is right: they should start over 4. The Guggenheim Helsinki Design Competition, leading to the selection of banal finalists 5. President Xi’s call for an end to “weird” architecture. What is truly weird is the amount of mass-produced boxes in which China is imprisoning its inhabitants and workers 6. Prince Charles’ recitation of the kind of architecture that makes him feel good. The ideas are very sensible, actually, but a beginning, not an end [Ed. note: The linked article may appear behind a paywall. Another reporting of Prince Charles' 10 design principles may be found here.] 7. Ground Zero. Actually, almost a farce since it was a tragedy that now has turned into just a dumb and numbing reality 8. The New York Times’ abandonment of serious criticism of architecture 9. The reduction of architecture to a catalog of building parts in the Venice Biennale’s Elements exhibition 10. A proposal from Peter Zumthor, Hon. FAIA, for a new LACMA building that looks as weird as all the other buildings proposed and built there, but is just a curved version of a pompous museum isolated from its site. It is a mark of our refusal to realize that sometimes reuse—of which LACMA’s recent history is an excellent example—is better than making monuments Credit: © Atelier Peter Zumthor & Partner Reasons for Hope 1. The addition to the Stedelijk Museum of Art in Amsterdam: a strangely beautiful and effective bathtub Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, by Benthem Crouwel Architekten. Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, by Benthem Crouwel Architekten. Credit: © Jannes Linders 2. The renovation of the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam—though not its Louvre-wannabe entrance The ribbed, tiled vaults of the Museum Passageway beneath the Gallery of Honor were restored; arched windows overlook the renovated courtyards on either side. The ribbed, tiled vaults of the Museum Passageway beneath the Gallery of Honor were restored; arched windows overlook the renovated courtyards on either side. Credit: Pedro Pegenaute 3. The Philadelphia Museum of Art’s plan to go gloriously underground 4. The Smithsonian’s plan to do the same Aerial view of the South Mall Campus with proposed renovations. Aerial view of the South Mall Campus with proposed renovations. Credit: BIG/Smithsonian 5. The Belgian Pavilion exhibition at the Venice Biennale: looking reality in the eyes and making beauty out of it 6. Cliff Richards rollerskating through Milton Keynes in the same; ah, the joys of modernism 7. Ma Yansong’s proposal for the Lucas Museum in Chicago—especially after the horrible neo-classical proposal the same institution tried to foist on San Francisco; though this oozing octopus sure looks like it could use some refinement, or maybe a rock to hide part of it South view. South view. Credit: Lucas Museum of Narrative Art 8. The spread of bicycling sharing in cities like Barcelona and around the world, if for no other reason than that this way of movement gives us a completely different perspective on our urban environment 9. The spread of drones, ditto the above, plus they finally make real those helicopter fly-through videos architects have been devising for years 10. The emergence of tactical urbanism into the mainstream, as heralded by the MoMA exhibition Uneven Growth: Tactical Urbanisms for Expanding Megacities. I hope that shows the way for the next year Aaron Betsky is a regularly featured columnist whose stories appear on this website each week. His views and conclusions are not necessarily those of ARCHITECT magazine nor of the American Institute of Architects. sent via Tapatalk
  9. BBC NEWS Sentient cities may answer back By Laura Sheeter It may look like an ordinary rubbish bin, but don't let that fool you. Throw an aluminium can in here and you'd be none the wiser, but try chucking a plastic bottle away, and with an angry buzz it will throw it back out at you, fans whirring to rid itself of the wrong kind of rubbish. This is the 'smart trash can', part of the 'Toward the Sentient City' exhibition in New York, which explores how our lives might change when we can embed computers in anything and everything. This fussy recycling bin is the invention of David Jimison and JooYoun Paek, who also created a street sign that points at passersby, and a park bench which tips people off if they've been sitting on it for too long. David and JooYoun say they want to explore what might happen if technology went wrong in the city of the future, and make us think about our attitudes today. "It raised concerns about safety - people mentioned 'my grandmother would be hurt if she was dumped off a bench', and it also raised concerns about the homeless", says David. "Those are precisely the issues we were hoping to bring up, we were interested in talking about public policy in the future, but also where it inhabits our current life - for example, benches today are designed so they can't be slept on." River quality That vision of the future is one of five projects commissioned for the exhibition by the Architectural League of New York. The others include 'Trash Track' by a team from The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Boston, who attached smart tags to hundreds of items of New Yorkers' rubbish, so they could track each one from the moment it was thrown away. 'Amphibious Architecture' is the brainchild of a team at New York and Columbia universities who floated sensors and lights in two of the city's rivers, so that just by sending a text message, people can find out what's living down there and what the water quality is like. 'Natural Fuse' by Usman Haque, a London-based architect, who created a network of houseplants attached to the electrical system, which monitor energy use - if the system's members use too much power, some of the plants are killed, but if they collectively reduce their energy use the plants thrive, increasing their ability to capture carbon, and the energy available to all. The potential for technology to change our behaviour, for example by helping us engage with previously unseen places like rubbish dumps or rivers, or by holding our houseplants hostage, is a common theme, and one which the exhibition's curator, Mark Shepard, says he hopes will encourage debate about how we want our cities, and our lives, to change. "It's not about a fascination with the novelty of technology - the intention was to look at the social, cultural and political implications of these new technologies", he says. "We're probably not worried if 'smart' traffic lights can better control the flow of cars on our city streets, but some of us might be annoyed if, as we walk past Starbucks, a discount coupon for our favourite drink is beamed to our mobile phone. "And many of us would protest if we were stopped trying to get on the subway, because the turnstile had 'sensed' that our purchasing history, patterns of travel and current galvanic skin response happened to match the profile of a terrorist. We have to ask now what happens when the system fails, not after the fact." Outdoor meetings While the other exhibits show how invention and cutting edge technology could be used in the future, perhaps the simplest of the projects 'Breakout!' concentrates on changing how we use them. Anthony Townsend and Dana Spiegel have spent years installing free wifi in New York's parks, enabling people to get online almost wherever they want. Now they are trying to encourage people to use that freedom to escape their offices, even holding meetings outdoors. They are leading by example, working on the street almost every day while the exhibition is running, to show people that it's easier than they think. On the day I meet them they're in Philadelphia looking for a suitable spot, but icy winds are making things rather difficult. Internet access, comfortable seats and tables and nearby toilets are the essentials you need to find, they tell me. Finding shelter is high on my list, but Dana and Anthony say that's not a problem, as there are plenty of public atria which you can work in without returning to the confines of the office. They've brought with them a rucksack filled with supplies - a laptop, a wireless router and a battery-powered printer are the most hi-tech, the rest of the bag contains post-it notes, chalk, paper weights and a mini white board, not at all futuristic. But why bother leaving the office, where you have everything you need already? "It's about reclaiming public space and working better", says Anthony. "Offices are good for clerical work, and that's about it. Texting wildlife I work in about four different places on a regular basis, and now, for example, walking around Philadelphia, I'm completely stimulated. I can go back to an office to write, sure, but I can't get inspiration there. I want to help other people get the benefit of that." It's a message, says Dana, that's been positively received: "At first people think it's a spectacle. When do you ever see a group of people holding a conference meeting in a public park? But then they just get it. After all, it's not a strange activity, it's just happening out of place." But how real are these visions of the future? Could we find ourselves texting the wildlife, following our litter online and using houseplants to control our energy use, all from our office in the public park? It may seem outlandish, but Gregory Wessner from the Architectural League of New York says it's closer than you think. He tells me that as part of the exhibition they invited the architects Kohn Pedersen Fox and experts from Cisco Systems to give a lecture. The two companies are working together on two new cities, one in China, the other in South Korea, in which all the information systems, including residential, medical and business, will be linked. "How it will work, and whether it's good or bad, I don't know", he says. "But the first buildings have already opened, so it's happening, at least in some parts of the world, right now." It seems the sentient city is here, whether we're ready, or not. Story from BBC NEWS: http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/technology/8310627.stm Published: 2009/10/16 11:10:56 GMT © BBC MMIX http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/8310627.stm
  10. (Courtesy of Pointe-à-Callière, the Montréal Museum of History and Archaeology) :goodvibes:
  11. Group launches bid for another expo in Montreal VANCOUVER, May 15 /CNW/ - On the 28th of April - the 40th anniversary ofthe opening of Expo 67 - an independent group submitted a proposal to the cityof Montreal for an exhibition in 2017 to mark Canada's 150th birthday, orSesquicentennial, as it's referred to officially. "We considered a number ofoptions," says executive director Richard Barham, and came to the conclusionthat Montreal is hands down the best city to hold another expo."Considerations included availability of land and attractiveness of location,social, economic and environmental benefit, and presence of both officiallanguages. The proposed exhibition would involve a revival of the Habitatconcept, immensely popular at Expo 67, as well as the cleanup of the SaintLawrence River. More info and the proposal can be viewed at www.expo17.ca. :eek: :eek: :D
  12. http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/03/arts/design/03darc.html?_r=3&oref=slogin&ref=arts&pagewanted=print February 3, 2008 Art It’s Not Politics. It’s Just Cuba. By DAVID D’ARCY IMAGES of boats and the horizon are a relative constant in Cuban art. For Cubans they’re often an expression of longing for life beyond a geographically and politically enclosed space. For the rare Americans who ever see Cuban art, the images can be a reminder of a place they are forbidden to visit. For the next five months, witnessing at least one aspect of Cuba will in theory be a bit easier for Americans. “¡Cuba! Art and History from 1868 to Today,” an exhibition that just opened at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, offers more than 400 images and objects from the island that Christopher Columbus is said to have called “the most beautiful land that eyes have ever seen.” Many of the paintings were lent by the National Museum of Fine Arts in Havana with encouragement from Cuban officials who want to promote the notion of Cuban culture, said Moraima Clavijo Colom, the museum director. “That Cuba was not just a place of sun, beaches, rum and dancing,” she said in a telephone interview. It may seem provocative to dangle this forbidden fruit near the border of the United States, whose citizens can face fines for traveling to Cuba under the latest version of a 46-year-old trade embargo. But Nathalie Bondil, the director of the Montreal museum and the curator of the exhibition, said: “It’s not a political show. It’s just a show.” She declined to speculate on whether any museum in the United States could cooperate legally on such a scale with a comparable Cuban institution. “It’s not a question,” she said. “Canada is a different country.” Canada is one of Cuba’s most important trading partners, and Canadians make up the largest group of tourists who visit Cuba, she said, “so Cuba is an obvious partner for us.” Still, given Cuba’s history, any exhibition of work produced there seems to become a show about Cuba and Cuban identity. The date of 1868 was anything but arbitrary, Ms. Bondil noted: it was the year in which Cubans in the town of Bayamo first declared independence from Spain. And by including “art and history” in the exhibition title, the curators also signal that the subject of much Cuban art is Cuba and Cubans. “Cuban art cannot escape the necessary negotiation with the historical situation in which it occurs — that seems to be the defining element,” said Stéphane Aquin, the Montreal curator who selected the works made after 1959. “The best that I’ve seen of Cuban art is always negotiating its space or reacting to its historical condition.” Like any survey of art and history in a Western country, this one rolls through landscape painting, portraiture and genre scenes, beginning with folkloric images of Afro-Cuban rural life. (Slavery was not banned in Cuba until 1888.) Yet two mediums help to set Cuba and this exhibition apart from other marches through history. Photographers have documented Cuban life since the middle of the 19th century, and some 200 photographs lent by the Fototeca de Cuba in Havana guide visitors from the 1860s to the present. Among them are Walker Evans’s grim images of Havana street life, included in Carleton Beals’s 1933 book, “The Crime of Cuba,” a lament for ordinary people living under the dictatorship of Gerardo Machado y Morales (1925-1933). There are also abundant images from an inventive graphic arts industry that advertised to a growing consumer population in the 1920s and 1930s, deploying the new vocabularies of Modernism and Surrealism. Cuba’s vibrant poster culture was so strong that it survived the transition to one-party Communism after Fidel Castro’s takeover in 1959. Yet if there is a star to be celebrated in this show, it is not Mr. Castro but Wifredo Lam, born in 1902 of Chinese and Afro-Cuban parents. He traveled to Europe to study art in 1923, joined André Breton’s Surrealist circle, fought in the Spanish Civil War and painted in a Surrealist style that caught Picasso’s eye with its use of African imagery, which resembled forms that Picasso borrowed earlier in the century. Picasso was much quoted as saying: “He’s got the right. He’s a Negro.” Back in Cuba in 1942 as a refugee from the Nazis, Lam caught the eye of Alfred H. Barr Jr., director of the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Although Lam steered clear of Barr’s 1944 exhibition “Modern Painters of Cuba” for fear of being labeled a “Cuban painter” — he showed at the Pierre Matisse Gallery in New York instead — MoMA acquired Lam’s large 1943 canvas “The Jungle,” a thicket of vegetal fronds and human-animal figures in dark greens, now considered his masterpiece. MoMA is not lending “The Jungle” for the show because of its fragility but contributed “Mother and Child II” (1939), one of 14 paintings by Lam on view. Lam’s family, one of the largest holders of his works, did not lend pictures to the exhibition. Reached by telephone at his home in Paris, Lam’s son Eskil, 46, said that Ms. Bondil sought his advice on the exhibition but no loans. He said that he had not read the exhibition catalog, which includes two essays on his father and another on a collective mural that his father played a role in conceiving and painting. He chuckled at the title of one essay, “Lam: A Visual Arts Manifesto for the Third World.” “It’s always complicated with Cuba,” he said. “With Cuba there’s always an ideological supervision. I wouldn’t say control, but supervision. They want to make sure that what is being said, or the message put forth in a foreign exhibition, doesn’t go against today’s Cuba.” “My father supported the revolution when it took place,” Mr. Lam noted, adding, “I would say that my father was a humanist more than anything else, and that his participation in or his enthusiasm for the Cuban Revolution was definitely one from the 1960s, for a movement of emancipation of liberation more than as an ideological communist venture.” Lam remains the through-line of the Montreal show, even though he left Cuba in 1946 and never lived there full time again. The exhibition’s centerpiece is “Cuba Colectiva,” a gigantic 1967 mural on six panels that was initially conceived by Lam and created by 100 Cuban and European artists for the Salon de Mai, an annual exhibition. Although artists were making “collective works” in the United States and Europe at the time, often in protest of the Vietnam War, this mural was a tribute to a romantic view of Cuban Socialism that inspired many Europeans artists at the time. The huge mural traveled the following year from Cuba to France, where curators said it was taken off display after a few hours to avoid damage in the May 1968 student uprising. Back in Havana, it was eventually placed in storage. When the museum was emptied in 1999 for renovation, the mural and its frame were found to have been invaded by termites. Without money to restore it, the Cubans found a Parisian dealer to underwrite the job, and the mural is being shown for the first time outside Cuba since its conservation. Like the mural, much Cuban art since 1959 has been in the service of the Castro regime, either in Socialist-Realist styles through the 1970s (when Russians taught in art academies there) or in a Pop Art style adapted to official portraiture of figures like Mr. Castro and Che Guevara. “It’s a Pop form of vocabulary — the flashy colors, the bright letters, said Mr. Aquin of the Montreal museum. “They were taking the Pop aesthetic and functionalizing it.” Less functional ideologically are works made by contemporary artists who are beginning to find markets abroad after years during which their only client was the state. In the 1980s and ’90s, as Soviet aid dried up, art materials were particularly scarce, and mixed-media artists like Alexis Leyva (Kcho) and the duo, Los Carpinteros ( all represented in the Montreal show) constructed work from whatever they could scavenge. It was a new Cuban hybridization: a mix of found objects and Arte Povera. “I bought a sculpture, and I asked the artist if he could put it in bubble wrap for me,” said Howard Farber, an American collector. “He didn’t know what I was talking about.” While most Cuban artists struggle, some are thriving, like Carlos Garaicoa, who takes photographs of empty sites where buildings once stood in Havana and then constructs the former structures in delicate thread atop the pictures. Mr. Garaicoa, 40, has had solo exhibitions in the United States that included his large installations of sculptural urban ensembles — he calls them “utopian cities” — but he has not been granted a visa to enter the country. One of his clusters is the final installation in the Montreal museum’s show. Mr. Garaicoa’s dealer, Lea Freid of Lombard-Freid Projects, suggested that this softly illuminated city in miniature could be an image of a place awaiting Cubans one day after the death of Mr. Castro, or after the end of the United States embargo. She said it was no surprise that Mr. Garaicoa’s work is celebrated in Montreal. “I think there is a connection, an affection and an ongoing relationship on all levels that doesn’t occur here,” she said. Copyright 2008 The New York Times Company
  13. August 7 to September 29, Quartier des Spectacles hosts an exhibition by Gabor Szilasi, a major figure in Canadian and Quebec photography. His elegant portrait of Sainte-Catherine Street in the 1970s includes 27 photos. At the corner of Clark and Ste. Catherine W.