When the street becomes an art gallery
At first, people were somehow puzzled when a couple of weeks ago some big poles and their supports made of concrete were installed throughout the western part of Sherbrooke St. in the downtown core. This Monday the mystery was finally revealed: the poles are to sustain wires from which the flags of all countries are hanging. Along the street, strolling from the campus of McGill University to the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, one will find a number of sculptures. Most are placed on the sidewalk, others in the park at the entrance of the McGill campus, also around the Fine Arts Museum, and on many other locations easily visible for anyone to appreciate. There are also sixty-seven stations along the route featuring recent works by thirteen contemporary photographers.
This spectacular exhibition is called "La Balade pour la Paix—An openair Museum" and is designed to mark three main important occasions: the 375th anniversary of Montreal, the 50th anniversary of Expo 67, and the sesquicentennial of the Canadian Confederation.
"This exhibition expresses fundamental values of humanism and peace that are so important to me. Expo 67 contributed to opening Montreal and all of Quebec up to the world, and, fifty years later, people from around the world live here, where they share their culture and their hope for peace" said the Honourable Louise Arbour, former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and Ambassador of La Balade pour la Paix, on the occasion of this event’s opening.
Among the sculptures in this public art exhibition, we will find Niki de Saint Phalle's "Dancing Nana" (1995), Robert Indiana's (born Robert Clark), "LOVE Blue Green" (1996), and Magdalena Abakanowicz's "Walking Figures" (2005). The photography exhibit includes Michel Huneault's "Boarding and Departure from Budapest, Hungary, for Germany" (detail), from the series "Occident Express" (2015), and Darren Ell's "Haitian Girls in front of Notre-Dame Cathedral, Cap-Haïtien, Haiti," from the series "Cap-Haïtien and Shada" (2008).
The curators for La Balade pour la Paix are Nathalie Bondil, Director General and Chief Curator, The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Diane Charbonneau, Curator of Modern and Contemporary Decorative Arts and Photography, The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, and Sylvie Lacerte, public art consultant and art historian.
This very special public art exhibition has been organized by the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts with the support of McGill University and will remain open until October 29, 2017. It is certainly an occasion to enjoy some interesting samples of contemporary public art for free.
Balade pour la Paix-An Open-air Museum is part of the celebrations of Montreal 375 and Canada 150. Please see more images online www.mtltimes.ca