Saskatoon got its first taste of the Remai Modern Art Gallery as the multimillion-dollar facility held its grand opening over the weekend.
The Remai Modern’s centerpiece is its world’s largest collection of Pablo Picasso linocuts.
However, there are more than 8,000 other artworks within the gallery walls, with some displays that will be changed from time to time.
Museum program guide David Stonehouse said non-permanent displays are strategically placed around the newly opened art gallery.
One display located on the third floor is meant to make people look up and think.
A few attendees guessed the clear plastic inflatable floating objects were to resemble shark fins.
“They’re inflated cartoon-like speech bubbles that are empty,” Stonehouse said. “They’re kind of a placeholder for possible dialogue that’s going to happen outside of our largest gallery, the Marquee gallery.”
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Stonehouse explained the Marquee gallery holds relevant, political and timely work.
“Work that is definitely going to spur some conversation,” Stonehouse said.
Philippe Parreno is the artist behind the speech bubbles. Stonehouse said Parreno’s collection has been displayed in various forms over the years.
“There’s been many iterations of the speech bubbles. So they’ve been gold, they’ve been silver,” Stonehouse noted.
Stonehouse explained the bubbles were inspired by a labour union protest Parreno attended.
“He handed them out to people protesting and they originally wrote on speech bubbles with marker,” Stonehouse said. “What they were hoping for, for the future and for the protest.”
Stonehouse said the bubbles are clear and empty now and ready for people’s new dialogue.