Aqua11: Miami 2011

1 - 3 December 2011

Wednesday, November 30th from 8-11 pm:  Preview Party sponsored by Modern Painters

December 1 - 3, 2011 (open daily from 11 am - 8 pm)
December 4, 2011 (open from 11 am - 4pm) 

The Aqua Hotel
1530 Collins Avenue 
Miami Beach, FL 33139

ROOM #224


Pierre-François Ouellette art contemporain is pleased to present Safari, a collaboration between Oscar-winning director Denys Arcand and artist Adad Hannah commissioned for the exhibition Big Bang (November 2011), celebrating the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts’ 150th Anniversary.

Arcand and Hannah developed a 7 minute scene that takes place in the back of a nightclub in the middle of the 1980’s. The scene is inspired by and revolves around the Safari Seating Environment, designed by the Florence based Archizoom Associati in 1968, its sleek white sides and leopard-print covered seats providing the stage for the set of actions performed on it. The actors featured in Safari are all employees of the museum with no formal acting training. After casting and workshopping the scene the artists shot the same 7 minute sequence from six different angles. Each actor had a set trajectory, performing certain actions at a set place in the timeline and remaining as still as possible the rest of the time. The result is a staccato and haunting recording of a single scene performed over and over for the camera. 

The photographs from Safari are yet another angle onto the same enigmatic scene, allowing a closer reading of the characters and actions which make up the work. Details from the scene take on a life of their own as the camera focuses on small sections of the overall tableau. In contrast to the slowly moving action in the videos, the photographs freeze the action, revealing the lush fibres of an unraveling story.

This will be the first time this work has been exhibited outside of Canada.  

The artists wish to thank The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts for their support and the employees for their performances. They also wish to thank the entire production crew who made this project possible.

The gallery would like to thank the Canada Council and the Société de développement des entreprises culturelles for their support.



Leah Sandals. "Canada in Miami: Not-So-Cold Comforts" Canadian Art online December 8, 2011.
Sur la frange
 (blog - in French)
Nathalie Petrowski. "Denys Arcand et Adad Hannah: un safari nocture" La Presse November 5, 2011 (in French).
Éric Clement. "Denys Arcand et Adad Hannah feront Big Bang au MBAM" La Presse July 23, 2011 (in French)
For more information on the exhibition Big Bang at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts click here.
For more information on Adad Hannah please visit his website: