In this photo, a low platform holds an assemblage of metal objects, taxidermy animals and artificial plants. A male mannequin dressed in a suit stands on a raised platform. Its head has been replaced by a cast rooster head.

David Altmejd

(b. Montréal 1974)


The Index


Bronze, steel, expanded polystyrene foam, resin, paint, wood, glass, mirror, Plexiglas, lighting system, silicone, taxidermy birds and animals, synthetic plants, synthetic tree branches, pinecones, horsehair, synthetic hair, burlap, leather, fiberglass, chains, wire, feathers, quartz, pyrite, other minerals, glass eyes, clothing, shoes, fishing line, jewelry, glass beads, glitter, etc.

333 x 130 x 923 cm

Gift of George Hartman and Arlene Goldman, 2014
Art Gallery of Ontario, 2014/378
© David Altmejd. Photo: Ellen Page Wilson

The Index is an imposing installation designed specifically to exploit the layout and setting of the Canada Pavilion for the 2007 Venice Biennale. Presented as an architectural space in direct contact with nature, it brings the outside environment into the exhibition site by its resemblance to a complex aviary. The Index offers viewers a rich sensory experience with diverse materials and forms such as mirrors, feathers, crystals, bark, foliage and varied lighting. It reflects the artist’s ongoing practice of monumental sculptures marked by luxuriant textures and infinite multiplication.

David Altmejd is a Quebec sculptor known for large-scale installations that combine science fiction and the grotesque through an array of disparate materials. Altmejd plays on the notion of hybridity in polymorphous half-human, half-animal bodies, which he places in environments at once strange and seductive, like The Index. In 2007, he represented Canada at the 52nd Venice Biennale with the exhibition David Altmejd. The Index, organized by Galerie de l’UQAM. He won the Sobey Art Award in 2009 and in 2015 was named a Compagnon de l’Ordre des arts et des lettres du Québec.


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