Sonny Assu
Phil Collins
Dora Garcia
Simryn Gill
Felix Gonzales-Torres
Emily Jacir
Sergej Jensen
Mike Kelley
Lee Mingwei

451 St-Jean Street

October 5, 2017 - March 11, 2018


Opening reception: Wednesday, October 4, 2017, 5:30 PM – 10 PM

As part of its 10th anniversary celebration, DHC/ART Foundation for Contemporary Art is pleased to present L’OFFRE.

How loaded is a gift? Through this age-old practice of exchange, we are confronted by a range of emotions and questions that have become even more complicated in modern life, which is heavily shaped by the marketplace. Is it really just the thought that counts? As the giver of a gift, a deluge of concerns comes into play, such as what is appropriate, what is ‘too much,’ or what is actually useful to the recipient. For the receiver there is also a sense of discomfort linked with indebtedness or the urgency of a reciprocal gesture. But there can also exist a sense of selflessness and joy in giving, as well as a gracious and loving acceptance that is part of the transaction. Gift exchange creates a bond between people, where gifts or, more precisely, the spirit of the gift continues to circulate.

In his much beloved 1979 book The Gift, Lewis Hyde discusses, at length, the idea of the artist’s gift, which when manifested in a work of art can act “as an agent of transformation.” It is at this moment that the artist’s gift comes into being, and it is with this in mind that L’OFFRE is presented.

This exhibition features the work of artists who are deeply engaged with the concept of the ‘gift’ and its attendant links with notions of exchange, reciprocity, value, labour, trace, ritual, gratitude, altruism, obligation, generosity, and connection. Painting, photo, video, sculpture, and even song are all part of L’OFFRE.


Lee Mingwei
Money For Art #1-5, 1994
Cibachrome print, 11 x 14 inches
Courtesy of the artist