BGL is an artist collective comprised of Jasmin Bilodeau, Sébastien Giguère, and Nicolas Laverdière. Coming together during their art studies at Laval University in Quebec City in the 1990s, the trio quickly gained prominence both nationally and internationally for a practice composed of equal parts intelligence, irreverence, and adventure. Their work includes a range of objects made using found and repurposed materials; immersive installations; performative, sometimes interactive projects; and monumental public sculptures. BGL represented Canada at the 2015 Venice Biennale, transforming the national pavilion into a combination dépanneur (corner variety store), artist studio, and gigantic plinko game.

BGL is known for revisioning, or going beyond, the traditional “white cube” gallery space. The artists transform the architecture of their surroundings—from galleries to alleyways—to provoke a reflection on the meaning of art, its roles in society, and the cultural and economic forces shaping our lives.

Spectacle + Problems includes works that highlight different points across BGL’s existence. These range from Chapelle Mobile (Mobile Chapel, 1998), a massive wooden skeleton of a neo-Gothic chapel; Goodnight Darthy (2006), a sculptural ode to nostalgia featuring Darth Vader from Star Wars; the Canadassimo L’Atelier (2017), a revisioning of their studio from the 2015 Venice Biennale; and the large artificial bonfire Spectacle + Problèmes (2011-18), for which the exhibition is named. The artists will modify Museum London’s architecture to heighten the visitors’ sense of discovery and to complement their installations, which include all-terrain vehicles, cars, and vertical blinds.

This experiential exhibition includes loans of major works from the National Gallery of Canada, Musée des beaux-arts de Montréal, Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec, the artists, and prominent private collections. A bilingual publication documenting this exhibition is forthcoming this summer.

Image: BGL, Canadassimo, L'Atelier, 2017 (detail), salvaged wood, acrylic, tin cans, found objects. Collection of BGL. Photo: MNBAQ, Idra Labrie

Podcast Audio Tour with BGL and Curator, Cassandra Getty

National Gallery of Canada review