When the street be­comes an art gallery

Montreal Times - - News -

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

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