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MONTREAL 1967 — SHANGHAI 2007: REFUGE FROM MODERNITY
蒙特利尔 1967 — 上海 2007 : 现代化的价值
2007

Invited by the Third Edition of Artefact Montreal 2007 - Urban Sculptures, the artist looks at the dark side of generating an international exposition (such as a World's Fair) asking the question: What is the price of this mad dash towards progress?

In the context of World's Fairs and other major international events like the Olympics, it is clear that the people who live on the land developed pay the price for gentrification gone wild through land expropriation and forced evacuations.

POINTS OF CONNECTION.  First instance: Montreal and Shanghai have been sister cities for more than 25 years.  Second instance:  the photographer's artist residency and production of an art piece in Shanghai in 2006.

In Artefact Montreal 2007 - Urban Sculptures, the artist offers a fresh perspective on and visual critique of urban development through a face-off between Montreal in 1967 and Shanghai in 2007 using photographic banners and an architectural structure positioned in counterpoint (what she calls the "refuge").

 


Vue d'ensemble de l'installation, Île Sainte-Hélène, 2007 © Caroline Hayeur

 

Shanghai 2006-2007 :
In 2006, Caroline Hayeur and Myléna Bergeron received an artists' residency at The Duolun MoMA (Shanghai Duolun Museum of Modern Art) which culminated in a music and video performance -  MAPPING TERRITORIES: A SHANGHAI STORY.

The work focused on the changes in the city in general and the speed of change in the context of the 2010 World Expo in Shanghai.  The photographer collected a large image bank of this urban revolution.

Montreal 1967-2007:
By searching archives of Montreal in the 1960s, she has woven a connection between the two cities.  A number of major urban Montreal projects were identified as symbolic of extreme urban change, including Place Ville Marie, Tunnel Louis-Hippolyte-La Fontaine, the subway system and especially the "Bulldozer Renovation" operation in the Little Burgundy neighborhood adjacent to the site of Expo 67.  Various iconographic sources, newspaper articles of the time and other data were collected and edited.

Refuge from modernity:
Upon exiting the Jean-Drapeau Metro station, visitors are welcomed by “ambassadors” or “delegates” and guided to the Artefact Montreal outdoor site.  Being surrounded by Hayeur's "corridor" suggests, for example, the narrow streets and alleys of China (maze / labyrinth).  The form of the display of banners echos dazibaos – large print wall-mounted official newspapers displayed on signs in the street.

The banners are attached to the outdoor fences of the Île Sainte-Hélène pool. The installation takes the form of a corridor where photomontages face each other showing changes experienced by two World Expo host cities more than forty years apart.  It depicts the collateral damage included in the price of the quest for modernity and speedy progress.

 


 Pavillon « folie » REFUGE DE LA MODERNITÉ,  Île Sainte-Hélène, 2007 © Nancy Bergeron et Caroline Hayeur

 

At the far end of this "information panel" banner corridor is a "folly"* structure, designed with architect Stéphane Pratte.  This "folly" echoes the national pavilions associated with World's Fairs or some art and architecture biennales, but also contrasts with them by its small scale.  This small architectural construction is offered by the artist as a shelter or a kiosk open to the forces of nature.  At first glance one sees a pagoda  – suggesting the open places of worship found in Asia - and linking with "dazibaos".

The construction materials - like banners and streamers - refer, with some irony, to traditional Chinese and Asian architectural forms.  Open to all, the Pagoda offers shelter for a contemplative or meditative break.  As rough construction materials, the red canvas above tubular metal scaffolding both contrast with and reference traditional structures such as silk and bamboo.

* "For this 3rd edition, Artefact Montréal 2007– Urban Sculptures is celebrating the great adventure that was the 1967 Montreal World Exhibition, one of the founding elements of modern Quebec. Forty years later, twenty artists from five continents have been invited to create ephemeral site-specific installations using the notion of a “pavilion,” recalling the national and theme pavilions of Expo 67.

Because visual artists are producing the works, the term “pavilion” here does not indicate a “true” architectural construction, but instead suggests the “follies” that were built in bygone days in a park or garden. Generally sheltered under foliage, they were called “follies,” from folia in Latin, meaning “leaves.”

A folly is a state of mind, not an architectural style — Gwyn HEADLY, Architectural Follies in America
Follies are 'monuments to a mood'  — Kenneth CLARK

– Centre d’art public - CAP


MONTREAL 1967 — SHANGHAI 2007 : REFUGE FROM MODERNITY
蒙特利尔 1967 — 上海 2007 : 现代化的价值

Technical Description:
– 5 banners, digital prints on Tyvek, 91 x 500 cm (36 x 197 in.) each
– 1 folly “pavilion” , scaffolding materials, canvas fabric construction, variable dimensions.

Venue: 
2007– Triennial Artefact Montreal 2007 – Urban Sculptures, L'Île Sainte-Hélène pool fence, theme: "Small Pavilions and Other Follies", 40th anniversary of Expo 67

Credit:
Research, photographs, design and implementation of the project: Caroline Hayeur
Design and production: Stéphane Pratte (folly “pavilion”)
Design and production: Nancy Bergeron (non-retractable roof)
Design and printing of banners: Caroline Hayeur with Mathilde Martel-Coutu in Centre Sagamie (Alma) 

 

Triennial Artefact Montreal 2007 - Sculptures Urban / Urban Sculptures
Group exhibition outdoors on Île Sainte-Hélène (Montreal)
From June 27 to September 30, 2007
Curated by Gilles Daigneault and Nicolas Mavrikakis
Theme: "Small pavilions and other follies"
Produced by le Centre d’art public - CAP

 

Centre d’art public – CAP