Chantal Akerman

February 14—April 14, 2019

Floor 2

These two works by renowned filmmaker Chantal Akerman – In the Mirror (2007) and NOW (2015) – speak to the issues that Akerman has explored throughout her career: trauma, gender, belonging and identity.

This is the first Canadian presentation of NOW, which was originally produced for the Venice Biennale in 2015. It creates a sense of being immersed in an arid landscape. The content and controlled point of view make us very aware of the passage of time and the many-layered stories and histories of human occupation.

NOW, is set in stark contrast to the slow and gentle sense of exploration of In the Mirror. Yet both are reflections of and mediations on how we, as individuals, confront and experience our position in society and the world at large.

This exhibition is the first time that Akerman’s work is being shown in a museum in Toronto. The project was instigated by film curator Andréa Picard who invited Akerman to exhibit in Toronto before she passed away in 2015. The opening of MOCA created an opportunity to give space and attention to this important artist. As a companion piece to this exhibition, Picard is curating a retrospective survey of Akerman’s films at TIFF Cinematheque in fall 2019.


Born in 1950 in Brussels, Chantal Akerman lived and worked in Paris until her death in 2015. Akerman has exhibited in important group and solo exhibitions, and biennales globally, and her works are held in many museum collections.

MOCA Toronto would like to thank the Chantal Akerman Foundation for giving permission to show Akerman’s work; to Andréa Picard for helping to create this opportunity; to Claire Atherton, Christophe Leunis and Pascal Willekens for working on the installation, and Marian Goodman Gallery, New York, Paris, London.

Friday evenings in March 2019
Artist and writer Lisa Steele is organizing a series of talks and screenings that intersect, interact, or just plain act up with the lively resonances that exist between the iconic contemplations of Chantal Akerman and the deeply, contemporary investigations of Basma Alsharif.


Public Programs featured during the exhibitions of Chantal Akerman and Basma Alsharif are co-presented by Images Festival.

Chantal Akerman, NOW, 2015 (installation view). Courtesy Chantal Akerman Foundation and Marian Goodman Gallery, New York, Paris, London. Photo Rebecca Fanuele.