John Zeppetelli joined the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal in 2013, as both its Director and Chief Curator. In this dual role, he develops and oversees a wide-ranging program of exhibitions, public programs, and acquisitions, as well as spearheading a building-transformation project which started this summer.
Under his leadership, the MAC has enjoyed a significant increase in attendance and acclaim, as well as renewed relevance. Sophie Calle, Simon Starling, David Altmejd, Jon Rafman, Dana Schutz, Ragnar Kjartansson, Lizzie Fitch/Ryan Trecartin, Taryn Simon, Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, Julian Rosefeldt, Rebecca Belmore and Francis Alÿs are among some of the exciting artists to have exhibited. In 2017, he curated Mundos, an exhibition by Mexican artist Teresa Margolles and a very successful group show, Leonard Cohen: A crack in Everything, on the legendary Montréal singer, which is currently touring. More recently he presented Terror Contagion from the London-based research collective Forensic Architecture with Laura Poitras. For this project, the research group has used the condition of global lockdown to turn its gaze to the digital violence of cyber-weapons.
Before joining the MAC, he was curator for almost seven years at DHC/ART Foundation (currently known as Phi Foundation for Contemporary Art) in Montréal, where he organized exhibitions with some of the world’s leading artists including Marc Quinn, Haroun Farocki, Stan Douglas, Christian Marclay, Sophie Calle, Michal Rovner, Jenny Holzer, Ceal Floyer, John Currin, Thomas Demand, Ryoji Ikeda, and Cory Arcangel, among others. He also curated an acclaimed thematic exhibition called Chronicles of a Disappearance exploring different registers of personal and political loss, which included major works by Philippe Parreno and Omer Fast.
Before returning to his native Montreal, John worked at the ICA in London and in a commercial gallery in New York while he attended the Whitney Museum’s Independent Study Program. He has lectured in Video Art at NSCAD University and at Concordia University, where he also ran the MFA Visiting Artist Program. John has curated media arts festivals in both Canada and Europe. He was also an award-winning filmmaker whose work has been screened internationally in festivals and galleries.
(Photo courtesy of the scholar)