Mat Chivers | Migrations

17 Sep 2019 – 30 Jan 2020

Regular hours

10:00 – 18:00
10:00 – 18:00
10:00 – 18:00
10:00 – 18:00
10:00 – 18:00
10:00 – 18:00

Arsenal Contemporary Art, Montreal

Quebec City, Canada


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After a presentation at Musée d'art de Joliette in 2018, Migrations will now be exhibited at Arsenal Contemporary Art Montreal. This spring, Mat Chivers has continued working on a series of drawings as part of a residency at Arsenal Contemporary Art Montreal.

Over two years ago, the Musée d’art de Joliette invited English sculptor Mat Chivers for a production residency in Quebec to create a new body of work that engages with the AI scene that is booming in Montreal. As soon as he arrived, Chivers took to the road to explore the province, which he had never visited before. He followed the Saint-Lawrence River all the way to Tadoussac, then headed inland to the Manicouagan reservoir, where people spoke to him of a peculiar mineral: impactite. Collaborations were numerous and essential to preparing the exhibition, which involved the assistance of AI programmers, ceramicists, 3D scanning specialists, and professionals in the use of robotic saws for stone-cutting. And yet, this project is interesting less for the technical prowess that for the larger issues it raises: how will developments in artificial intelligence affect our lives? How do they help us ascertain and identify that which is essentially human?

The Migrations exhibition is composed of three elements: a considerable group of sculptures, a video, and five diptychs of drawings, some of which were produced during a residency the artist completed at Arsenal Contemporary Art Montreal last spring. At its origin is the intuitive understanding that the sense of touch, which allows us to enter in direct contact with our living environment, is a fundamental dimension of human experience that artificial intelligence will never really be able to grasp. The title of the exhibition refers to the migration of information through matter, but also to the processes by which one passes from one level of conscience to another. 

The work of British visual artist Mat Chivers looks at how the fundamental phenomena that exist below the surface of things inform the way we experience the world around us. Mat Chivers participated in residencies in Italy (2016), South Africa (2014) and England (2013 and 2009). In 2014, he was commissioned to do a sculpture project for the new Mathematical Institute building at Oxford University, during which he developed a method of working that is now emblematical of his approach.

Migrations is initiated and circulated by the Musée d’art de Joliette. This project was made possible thanks to the financial and technological support of Element AI, Duchesne Lac-Mégantic, Groupe Omégalpha, USIMM, Concordia University, Halo Creation, C2 Montréal, UNTTLD, Marylise Parent, Jean-Daniel Sylvestre, and Jean-François Bouchard.


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