Gigantic pigeons, dripping plastic buildings, different explosions ... The roads and dead ends of the Old Port of Quebec, Canada are once again invaded this summer by the successful event "Les Passages Insolites" (The Unusual Passageways).
This year, 12 ephemeral works of art have been installed between the Gare de Palais and the ferry. If you stick to the designated path, the walk takes 45 minutes without hurrying, but you can also have fun by randomly visiting the works in between two gallery visits, a restaurant visit or to some district shops. The most motivated can even take the trip by rickshaw through the Ludovica Tours company for $40.
The organization behind the program, Exmuro, is attempting to reinvent the urban landscape by taking advantage of its brownfields and by playing on the unexpected. It made itself known by transforming the electrical boxes of the St-Roch neighborhood into works of art before making gently sloping walls out of real urban picture rails near the coast.
Last year, the first round of the Passages Insolites was a real hit. The tourists were lining up in order to be photographed among the works, and the people of Quebec traveled by the thousands to this tourist district to see them.
Enthusiastic, the City of Quebec increased the financing for the event this year in order to present twice as many works than last year ($325,000). "It really was a great success last year, such that we could not resist to repeat it," explains Julie Lemieux during the launch of the pathway.
Last time, the installation "Delirious Fries" played a great part in the unexpected success of the menu to the point of making us forget the quality of the rest. Sure, you cannot find equally famous fries in this year's path, but the menu also gains in diversity through the addition of works.
Those who liked the montages of plastic toys by Jose Luis Torres will find a better version of what he presented in 2014, and moving the work by Cooke-Sasseville near the Old Port Market makes it even more efficient. Among the surprises is an imposing multicolor installation by the French Elsa Tomkowiak, which seems to drip from a building.
The pathway map is being distributed through most district businesses, but you can also find more information on the following website: www.passagesinsolites.com
Have you ever been on an outdoor ephemeral art walk? Are the arts and culture used to enliven your community? How are the arts incorporated in your community? Please share your thoughts and your city's stories in the comments area below.
Original article, originally published in French on Le Devoir, here.
Credits: Data and images linked to sources.