Booster Clevellini, dans Banana, Anna et Scott, Michael et Kelly, Bernard et al. A Book About VILE : Mail Art, News & Photos from the Eternal Network. Vancouver, BC: Banana Productions, 1983, p. 36.

L’underground à la loupe

An exhibition by Michael Blum

March 21 to May 19, 2018


Opening reception: Wednesday, March 21 from 6 PM to 8 PM

Join us for the opening reception of L’underground à la loupe, the conclusion of Michael Blum’s research residency at Artexte. Working with periodicals from the 1960s to the end of the 1980s in the collection, the exhibition explores the space between ‘zine, art magazine, activist and niche publications, that are hand-made or almost, independent and with a ‘can-do’ attitude. Photographically reframing and cropping the visual content of these documents, Michael Blum amplifies their scale by projecting them onto the walls of the gallery. The images are thus re-situated in two important ways: a shift from the intimate space of a page to the exhibition space, and a leap in time from the past of their print beginnings to the present in the large-scale rendering in the gallery. These material and temporal alterations are revelatory of how the appearance and purpose of underground image-making has both changed and remained the same.


Michael Blum is an artist born in Jerusalem, educated in Paris, based, among others, in Amsterdam and Vienna, before moving to Montreal in 2010, where he is a Professor at École des arts visuels et médiatiques (UQAM). His projects include Exodus 2048, which staged a possible future in the Middle East (Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, 2008, New Museum, New York, 2009), Our History || Notre histoire, a pair of mock national museums dedicated to the preservation and presentation of respectively Canadian and Québécois history and culture  (Galerie de l’UQAM, Montreal, 2014), and Palazzo Chupi, an investigation of the relation between art and real estate around painter and filmmaker Julian Schnabel’s architectural landmark in New York’s West Village (Optica, Montréal, 2015). In 2016, he produced Remorial Arnhem (Sonsbeek’16, Arnhem, NL), a series of 12 commemorative sites throughout Arnhem challenging the overwhelmingly single memory of 1944 and opening a multiplicity of narratives rooted in the city fabric, as well as The Swap, the latest episode of the PolEc Trilogy, which was shot in Shanghai. In 2017, he produced the book Great and Less Great Fires in Glasgow during a residency at the Center for Contemporary Arts, Glasgow. After a Research Fellowship at the Canadian Photography Institute, Ottawa, where he revisited the iconic National Film Board Still Photography Division collection, he’s now working on a publication with this material, Canadiana Remix.