In 2015, ACDF created the scenography for the temporary exhibit “Marvels and Mirages of Orientalism” at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. On show from January 31 to May 31, 2015, "Marvels and Mirages” was the first major exhibition of Orientalism presented in Canada.
The exhibit unveiled the universe of Jean-Joseph Benjamin-Constant, a master French painter of the Orientalism movement from the late 1800s, alongside work of three young Moroccan contemporary artists: Yasmina Bouziane, Lalla Essaydi and Majida Khattari.
Dramatic contrasts and rich textures by ACDF are an ideal setting for showcasing Benjamin-Constant’s large-scale paintings, which were some of the first to present Morocco to the Western world. Powerful effects of light and shadow enhance the warm and vibrant shades of his work, as well as contemporary pieces.
Through light effects, textures and contrasts, the rooms of the exhibit reflect six iconic spaces of the movement: the intimacy of the artist’s studio, the salons, the Alhambra, the White City of Tangier, and the mysterious harems. Dark-coloured rooms reinforce intimate atmospheres while bright spaces evoke Tangier’s whitewashed terraces. Delicate openwork screens, placed carefully in the gallery, recall the secrecy of the harems.