A new immersive exhibition is opening in Montreal just in time for the end of summer. Montreal-based artist Rafael Lozano-Hemmer is brining his mesmerizing interactive art experience Cercanía to the Arsenal Contemporary Art gallery in St-Henri. This huge exhibition is on display from July 31 to September 27, 2020. 

The internationally-acclaimed Lozano-Hemmer and his collective of 15 artists have put together "ambitious, immersive audiovisual installations" centred around the themes of proximity and shared space. 

"This residency emerges from the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic," explained Lozano-Hemmer in an official statement. 

"We decided to develop an activity designed specifically to respect social distancing and the best health and safety practices against the pandemic. We selected recent or new works that do not need to be touched, that allow at least two metres between visitors at all times and, critically, that can help us interrupt the narrative of the devastating virus by presenting connective artworks that stimulate an embodied and shared experience for both mourning and continuity." 

Throughout the installation, several guest artists including singer-songwriter Patrick Watson will develop new pieces to add to the collection.

The word "Cercanía" implies intimacy in Spanish but the entire exhibition, even the interactive parts, will respect social distancing measures. 

Visitors will be able to see "a 30 m long interactive projection room, a 2,300-channel sound sculpture, a computerized shadow play, as well as a water fountain that 'draws' ephemeral portraits of people with cold water vapour.'" 

The Cercanía exhibition is a project developed out of Lozano-Hemmer's "Atmospheric Memory," an interactive installation that will debut at Arsenal in 2021.

"As always, art will be the greatest reason for our bodies to share space: in concerts with others, in front of a painting that moves us, at an activist performance or immersed in a responsive environment," said Lozano-Hemmer. 

"We have to plan now for this massive re-embodiment as if our life depends on it because it does, politically, aesthetically, psychologically, environmentally, financially."

Cercanía by Rafael Lozano-Hemmer

Price: $20

When: July 31 – September 27, 2020

Address: Arsenal Contemporary Art Gallery, 2020, rue William, Montreal

Why You Need To Go: For an immersive experience designed for the era of social distancing.

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