Luis Jacob

BNLMTL 2016 – The Grand Balcony

Curator: Philippe Pirotte

Artist: Luis Jacob

October 21, 2016 - December 10, 2016

Opening: October 20, 2016, 5:30 pm

La Biennale de Montréal and the Galerie de l’UQAM are presenting the work of Toronto artist Luis Jacob, as part of BNLMTL 2016 – The Grand Balcony. Jacob will deploy in the Galerie one of his Albums, in which he connects hundreds of images taken from the history of art, popular culture and news feeds.

The 2016 edition of La Biennale de Montréal calls for a materialist and sensualist approach. It recasts the pursuit of sensual pleasures, making a case for its decisive role in everyday life and political decision-making. The Grand Balcony bets on the liberating potential of art and invites us to rethink both the (im)possibility of an emancipation through pleasure – and its urgency.

The exhibition

Luis Jacob’s historical and urbanistic considerations are coupled with a philosophical and anthropological approach that characterizes his artistic, literary and curatorial practice. The bank of images found and then assembled by Jacob in Album XII (2013-14) highlights the subjective framework of the aesthetic experience, which is projected from the work of art into a broader perception, toward the gaze we cast on what we are made up of individually and collectively. Grouped together according to a principle of free correspondence, the images suggest analogies that are to be constructed, developed or completed by the viewer. Analogy is offered as form and content, both in the dialogue between the images and in the meeting of the perceiving subject and the perceived object.

The philosophical extensions of Jacob’s research also come through in the silkscreen print The Demonstration (2013), whose central subject, a white monochrome held by a pair of anonymous hands, frames the personal, complex experience of the viewer, who is responsible for a large part of the content. These pieces reflect the conceptual basis of Jacob’s art, whose many different, unpredictable forms work to neutralize artistic nomenclatures at the same time as they interrogate them.

BNLMTL 2016 – The Grand Balcony

This edition of La Biennale de Montréal draws loosely on Jean Genet’s Le Balcon, in which the play’s high porch is a space of contestation between revolution and counter-revolution, reality and illusion. As stated by curator Philippe Pirotte, “The Grand Balcony is simultaneously playful and fatalistic in its presentation of rooms, corridors and balconies. Deflecting every attempt to fit in or create an overarching narrative, to be introduced into a system of classification or to be pinned down, the exhibition becomes a place of fallacy, where things can go astray”. The Grand Balcony was conceptualized and curated by Philippe Pirotte in consultation with curatorial advisors Corey McCorkle, Aseman Sabet and Kitty Scott, and in close collaboration with Sylvie Fortin, Executive and Artistic Director of La Biennale de Montréal.

The artist

Born in Lima, Peru, in 1971, Luis Jacob lives and works in Toronto. Solo exhibitions of his work have been held at Kunsthalle Lingen, Lingen, Germany (2012); Musée McCord, Montréal (2011); Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art, Toronto (2011); Art in General, New York (2010); Fonderie Darling, Montréal (2010); Städtisches Museum Abteiberg, Mönchengladbach, Germany (2009); September, Berlin (2008); Kunstverein in Hamburg, Hamburg (2008); and the Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery, Vancouver (2007). He has also participated in group exhibitions at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York (2010); Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, Bilbao, Spain (2010); Generali Foundation, Salzburg, Austria (2011); Kunsthalle Bern, Bern, Switzerland (2010); Extra City Kunsthal Antwerpen, Antwerp, Belgium (2010); Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, Houston, TX (2012); Institute of Contemporary Art at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia (2009); and dOCUMENTA 12, Kassel, Germany (2007).

The curator

Philippe Pirotte (born in Belgium in 1972) is an art historian, curator, critic, and Director of the Staatliche Hochschule für Bildende Künste Städelschule and of Portikus, leading centres for contemporary art in Germany and beyond. Pirotte was one of the co-founders of the contemporary art centre objectif_exhibitions in Antwerp, Belgium. From 2005 to 2011, he was Director of the internationally renowned Kunsthalle Bern in Switzerland where he organized solo exhibitions by artists such as Anne-Mie Van Kerckhoven, Owen Land, Oscar Tuazon, Jutta Koether, Allan Kaprow, and Corey McCorkle. From 2004 to 2013, Pirotte held the position of Senior Advisor at the Rijksakademie for Visual Arts in Amsterdam. In 2012, he became Adjunct Senior Curator at the UC Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive. He also served as Advising Program Director for the Sifang Art Museum in Nanjing and is an advisor for the Kadist Art Foundation (Paris/San Francisco).

Public activities

Artist’s Talk –  Luis Jacob (in English)
Panel with Lena Henke, Shannon Bool and Celia Perrin Sidarous
October 20, 2016, 1:00 – 2:30 pm
Canadian Center for Architecture, 1920 Baile Street, Montréal
$10 / Free for BNLMTL 2016 Passport holders
Organized by La Biennale de Montréal

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