Now in its fourth year, Passage Insolites (Unusual Passages), invites artists and collectives to create a work of urban intervention, constructing an off beaten trail through downtown Quebec City that offers unusual and surprising encounters. Put on by EXMURO, an organization that works on different artistic and architectural projects throughout Quebec City, the works playfully bring the neighborhood to life while questioning our relation to the world and the urban public space. In addition to eight installations and urban interventions, pictured below, a collective of architects will be paired with two artists to create an ephemeral installation artwork, titled Blitz!.
Impostor—designed by les malcommodes (Quebec City)
"Impostor raises questions about the uses and abuses of historic landmarks with an illusory passage through the Royal Battery. By making two structures meet in a previously impenetrable site, the project evokes and interrogates the theatricality and sleight-of-hand inherent in the often factitious recreations of historic buildings."
Space Cube—designed by Marie-Eve Martel (Blainville)
"With this playful exploration iconography and symbolism, Space Cube offers visitors a glimpse of an imaginary world concealed behind translucent yet reflective walls. Inside, a symbiotic system is somehow at once organic and geometric. Peering through the four peepholes reveals a hybrid city, selectively reflecting the world outside, augmented by emanations from within."
Celestial Rubbish—Collectif Allard-Duchesneau (Montreal)
"A desire to strip objects of their primary meanings and instead take them as raw materials for new and surprising forms resulted in a figurative and literal reimagining: the garbage container has not only ceased to contain anything, but its opaque interior is resplendent with mirrors. A plethora of small golden chains hang from the dumpsters perforated bottom, like cooked noodles stuck to the bottom of a pot. Those walking underneath the work will be gently brushed in the face by the chains, subverting our ideas of our surroundings. Thwarted expectations elicit contemplation, and this bizarre juxtaposition of ugliness and beauty inspires us to question our aesthetic prejudices and the meanings of the objects all around us in the urban environment. "
When Paper Planes Stop Catching Wind—Atelier MAP (Montreal/Vancouver)
"The work evokes the hard passage between childhood and adult life. The plane, symbol of lightness and dreams, experienced a difficult landing. The design of the aircraft (white color with black edges) is a reference to the world of comics, place of escape as fantastic playgrounds of childhood. "
SSSpun—Robert Hengeveld (Toronto)
"A tree rises up through the granite paver stones of a sidewalk in Old Quebec. The sight of small bits of wild vegetation sprouting up between the cracks of the hard urban landscape is not unfamiliar. Left unchecked, weeds and vegetation proliferate. What makes this case different is that this particular weed is in fact a tree, standing four metres tall. It is odd enough to warrant a second glance. It is then that one realizes the tree is spinning."
10 on the Beaufort Scale—Carole Baillargeon (Deschambault)
"The piece evokes the feeling of sailing under heavy winds with a series of mast-like cylinders, a ship-like shape, and rigging. The masts are a wind organ, set vibrating by river breezes. An open volume evokes a listing ship; a lateral incline a vessel buffeted by wind and surf. On the ground, a tangle of hemp and nylon rope stands in for the tumult of waves and the convergence of the materials and know-how of yesterday and today."
Outdoor Ball Games—Sculptosaurus (Quebec City/Montreal)
"Combining two classic symbols of freedom and mobility, the tent-trailer and the dirigible balloon, Outdoor Ball Games is a large-scale sculpture of a truly one-of-a-kind motor home. The classic compact tent trailer, a potent symbol of escape, is truncated and loaded down with a massive zeppelin, a vehicle that brings to mind certain more tragic moments in human history. With a healthy dose of humour, the themes of travel and migration are tackled in this improbable assemblage that plays with notions of proportion, makes fun of our concept of progress, and flings us headlong into a fictional universe."
Migration Pathway #2—Giorgia Volpe (Quebec City)
"Migration Pathway #2 reimagines the original Migration Pathway from Passages Insolites 2016. The piece ties together past and present in notion of migration, a seminal influence shaping our society and evolving territory. Migration Pathways #2 shows the vulnerability and endurance inherent in human and animal migratory and nomadic lives. Woven canoes rise in the air, approaching the banks of the St. Lawrence in a surprising parade-like movement. The work pays tribute to Quebec folk traditions, the beliefs of early sailors, and First Nations traditional knowledge, and occupies a traditional site of meeting and dialogue for all these communities."
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