TORONTO, Ont., September 1, 2011 - The Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art is pleased to launch our fall exhibition season with three globally engaged and timely exhibitions; ¡Patria o Libertad! On Patriotism, Immigration and Populism, and Artur Zmijewski |Them from September 9 to October 31, 2011; and the North American Premiere of Duane Hopkins | Sunday from September 9-18, 2011. The opening celebration takes place September 9, from 8-11 pm.

The all-video exhibition (including two sound pieces) ¡Patria o Libertad! On Patriotism, Immigration and Populism, features 22 artists from diverse backgrounds, experiences and places of residence, and takes on crucial issues and questions related to notions of nationalism in our era of fluid migrations and shifting understandings of identity. Included are works by Adel Abidin (Iraq/Finland)/ ANTUAN (Cuba/USA)/ Maja Bajevic (Bosnia)/ Marc Bijl (The Netherlands)/ Alexander Apóstol (Venezuela)/ Iván Candeo (Venezuela)/ Emilio Chapela (Mexico)/ DEMOCRACIA (Spain)/ Jen DeNike (USA)/ Nezaket Ekici (Turkey/Germany)/ Karlo Ibarra (Puerto Rico)/ Kaoru Katayama (Japan/Spain)/ Elena Kovylina (Russia)/ Carlos Motta (Colombia)/ Benny Nemerofsky Ramsay & Pascal Lièvre (Canada/France)/ Johanna Reich (Germany)/ Krisdy Shindler (Canada)/ Shahzia Sikander (Pakistan)/ Santiago Sierra (Spain)/ Jose Angel Toirac (Cuba)/ and Katri Walker (Scotland).

¡Patria o Libertad! invites viewers to consider the current state and implications for the future of patriotism and nationalism in a rapidly and increasingly globalized world.  The exhibition is curated by Paco Barragán (Spain) and organized by the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art, Toronto and the Cobra Museum, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

In relationship with ¡Patria o Libertad!, the National Gallery of Canada at the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art program presents Polish artist Artur Zmijewski’s powerful video Them (2007) in the MOCCA media lounge. A highlight of Documenta 12 in Kassel, Germany, in 2007, Them documents the results of a social experiment bringing together four different groups within Polish society. As with many of Zmijewski’s projects, Them engages directly with dogma and prejudice to reveal profound insights into human behaviour and relationships. Artur Zmijewski | Them is organized by the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art and the National Gallery of Canada.

Presented in the MOCCA project space is UK director Duane Hopkins’ full-scale installation project, Sunday. An extension of his previous films and a haunting, elegiac projection-based work in its own right, Sunday consists of a series of subtly looped diptychs and triptychs focusing on the rural youth of his much-celebrated feature-film debut Better Things (2008) and his early shorts Field and Love Me or Leave Me Alone. Hopkins captures the ennui, sadness and beauty of isolated adolescence in painterly tones and colors that recall the British Romantics, while twinning and reconceptualizing his landscapes to evoke the brooding, twitchy surrealism of the ever-encroaching contemporary world. Sunday builds to a climax of poignant helplessness, a politics of alienation that presages the violence and turmoil engulfing England this summer. Duane Hopkins | Sunday is curated by Noah Cowan, Artistic Director, TIFF Bell Lightbox, and presented in collaboration with the Future Projections programme of the Toronto International Film Festival.


Links / URLs



  • Paco Barragán Curator, ¡Patria o Libertad!

“ Is it wrong to be a patriot, to love your country or your roots? Patriotism manifests itself in multiple forms: some are benign and tranquilizing, others horrifying. The problem now is that “nationalism” or “bad patriotism” goes beyond a mere or positive appreciation of your homeland by stressing negative elements of identity and presupposing an iron loyalty that creates artificial divisions and makes it difficult to understand other singularities. We should not forget that throughout history “nation”, “nationality” and “identity” have become negative, marking a clear line between a native and a non-native.”

Tags / Keywords

Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art, MOCCA, ¡Patria o Libertad!, Paco Barragán, Duane Hopkins, Sunday, TIFF, Future Projections, Artur Zmijewski, Them, National Gallery of Canada, NGC, NGC@MOCCA, Documenta 12.

About the National Gallery of Canada at the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art

The National Gallery of Canada at the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art is a three-year program that will see the two institutions co-organize and co-present a series of exclusive exhibitions in MOCCA’s newly-renovated project space, drawn from the NGC’s exceptional contemporary art collection. These will include the presentation of single works, new acquisitions or full-scale exhibitions designed to complement MOCCA’s existing programming. Learn more about the NGC@MOCCA program.

About the NGC 


The Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art was founded from the former Art Gallery of North York in 1999, with the mandate to exhibit, research, collect, and promote innovative art by Canadian and non-Canadian artists whose works engage and reflect the relevant stories of our times. In 2005, MOCCA relocated to the West Queen West Art + Design District in downtown Toronto, in the heart of one of North America’s most dynamic arts communities and functions effectively as a nucleus of energies for cultural production and exchange. Since 2006, MOCCA draws 40,000 visitors annually.

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The National Gallery of Canada at the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art is generously supported by Cineplex Media, Porter Airlines, and The Ouellette Family Foundation. Additional support is provided by AXA Art Canada. The Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art is also grateful for the patronage of THE ART DEPT., a leadership circle of MOCCA patrons.

All programs and activities of the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art are supported by Toronto Culture, the Ontario Arts Council, the Canada Council for the Arts, BMO Financial Group, individual memberships and private donations.

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