(MONTCLAIR, NJ) -- Montclair Art Museum (MAM) will host the immersive video, sound, and print installation From My Home to Yours: Caroline Monnet and Laura Ortman from May 7, 2022 through January 1, 2023 with an accompanying performance series that reactivates its themes. Presented in the United States for the first time, the installation transforms MAM’s Rand Gallery into a vivid, resonant space to pause and reflect on home, long-distance connection, and the places in between.
From My Home to Yours links two accomplished Indigenous artists who are longtime friends and collaborators: Montreal-based visual artist Caroline Monnet (Anishinaabe/French) and Brooklyn-based musician and composer Laura Ortman (White Mountain Apache). The pair exchanged images and compositions from their respective homes 400 miles apart. The resulting sensory collage layers abstracted natural forms and Super-8 movies from Monnet’s mother’s First Nations community of Kitigan Zibi, Quebec with Ortman’s local field recordings and experimental violin.
The title of the work draws from Ortman’s signature on her notes to Monnet. As the installation ebbs between harmony and tension, stillness and fire, it disrupts distance between people and places with an intimacy that can be heard, seen, and felt.
Ira Wagner, MAM’s Executive Director, says, “From My Home to Yours represents an exciting new direction in our exhibition and programming, offering Museum visitors captivating experiences unlike anything previously offered at MAM.”
From My Home to Yours premiered in 2021 at the McCord Museum in Montreal as part of MOMENTA Biennale de L’Image (lead curator: Stefanie Hessler). At MAM, the artists will be not just metaphorically but physically together for a public talk on opening day, continuing their dialogue close to Ortman’s home. In addition, a performance series inspired by the themes and lands of the work developed exclusively at Montclair Art Museum will feature regional Indigenous artists through the end of 2022. MAM’s installation and summer performance are organized by Curator of Native American Art Laura J. Allen. The fall and winter performances are curated by Betsy Theobald Richards (Cherokee Nation).
“The bond between these two innovative artists and their respective homes in the Northeast feels powerful upon entering the gallery, engaging all the senses,” says Allen. “Bringing the work from Montreal to Montclair is such an appropriate coda to highlight Laura Ortman’s local contributions. We are excited to extend this place-based experience with more music, projection, and performance this year for our community in Lenapehoking.”
Caroline Monnet (Anishinaabe/French; born in Ottawa; lives in Montreal, Canada) is a multidisciplinary artist whose filmic and sculptural works explore Indigenous identity and grapple with colonialism’s impact. Her work has been featured in numerous international exhibitions and collections, including a recent solo exhibition at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts as well as work in the 2019 Whitney Biennial, the 2019 Toronto Biennial, the Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt, and the National Gallery of Canada, as well the Sundance, Palm Springs, Göteborg, and Toronto film festivals. In 2016, she was selected for the Cannes Festival Cinefondation residency in Paris. In 2020, she won Canada’s prestigious Sobey Art Award. Her first feature film, Bootlegger, was released to acclaim in 2021.
Laura Ortman (White Mountain Apache; born in Whiteriver, Arizona; lives in Brooklyn, New York) is a musician and composer who creates recorded albums, live performances, and filmic and artistic soundtracks. Ortman is versed in Apache violin, piano, electric guitar, keyboards, amplified violin, and megaphone, and also produces capacious field recordings. She has performed at The Museum of Modern Art, the Musée d’Art Contemporain de Montréal, The New Museum, the Toronto Biennial, the Centre Pompidou, and other venues across the United States, Canada, and Europe. Ortman is the recipient of the 2022 United States Artists Fellowship; 2022 Foundation for Contemporary Arts Grants to Artists; 2020 Jerome@Camargo Residency in Cassis, France; and numerous other grants and residencies. She was also a participating artist in the 2019 Whitney Museum Biennial.
The Montclair Art Museum (MAM) is located at 3 South Mountain Avenue in Montclair, New Jersey. The museum boasts a renowned collection of American and Native American art that uniquely highlights art-making in the United States over the last 300 years. Works in MAM's Native American art collection span the period of ca. 1200 C.E. to the present day. The Vance Wall Art Education Center encompasses the Museum’s educational efforts, including award-winning Yard School of Art studio classes, lectures and talks, family events, tours, and the mobile MAM Art Truck. MAM exhibitions and programs serve a wide public of all ages, from families and seniors to artists, educators, and scholars.
All MAM programs are made possible in part by funds from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts, Carol and Terry Wall/The Vance Wall Foundation, Partners for Health Foundation, the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, and Museum members.
IMAGES: (TOP) Photo (Caroline Monnet): Ulysse del Drago. Photo (Laura Ortman): Amy Schiappa and Laura Ortman. Design: Sébastien Aubin. Courtesy of the artists. (BOTTOM) Excerpt from From My Home to Yours (2021), two-channel projection (color, sound); 30 minutes, 48 seconds. Director: Caroline Monnet. Music: Laura Ortman.