Urban Occupations Urbaines

Performance Art In Griffintown This Weekend
Urban Occupations Urbaines
a series of in situ public art installations
and performance interventions
In collaboration with the Cultural Corridor Griffintown, Urban Occupations Urbaines
(UOU), a creative platform, will be presenting in situ public art installations and
performance interventions that will be programmed monthly between September 2010
and August 2011. UOU is a mobile organization with future plans to identify and occupy
a variety of urban sites and spaces in order to stage artistic projects that critically and
creatively explore the spatial dimensions of historic sites and architecture as they relate to
urban sites in transition.
UOU’s current project site is Montreal’s historic industrial district – Griffintown.
Griffintown holds an especially privileged place in Montreal’s history – once the crucible
of Montreal’s urban development and resonant within Canada’s pre/industrial history.
Since the 1970s, however, Griffintown has seen deep and enduring tensions between the
interests of urban renewal, local residents, and heritage preservationists. UOU’s mandate
is to bring the spatial and political histories of certain sites in the built environment into
public consciousness. UOU brings together a diverse group of local and international
independent artists to creatively and critically examine the cultural fertility and
performative agency of specific sites in Griffintown.
As part of the city-wide event, Journées de la culture, UOU kicks off the series
with two in situ projects at Le Dalhousie, one of Griffintown’s beloved interstitial
The Quotidian Project – Andrew De Freitas
The quotidian is the daily, the ordinary existence, the “what happens anyway”. This
project involves taking a second look at everyday experience – an attempt to recognize
the elements of strangeness that are present even in the most familiar of environments
and situations. Artist, Andrew de Freitas, will be employing techniques of narrative
filmmaking to present an audience with scenes and images drawn (or seemingly drawn)
from everyday life in Griffintown. This urban neighborhood will serve as both the subject
and presentation context for the work – a space that is, historical, contested, commercial,
residential, unique, generic, degrading, redeveloping, uncertain, in-between, strange and
familiar. The resulting film will depict this environment whilst also emulating it – actual
events in a fictional form – urban space that is at once a background for human events and
a featured character, enacting.
Fenêtre Murées/ Daylight Robbery – Théâtre Nulle Part
Le Dalhousie
, a cul de sac situated between the CN railway viaduct and the New City
Gas buildings. The cul de sac is framed on one side with windows that have been walled
up, and on the other side by the CN viaduct, a large concrete structure offering a blank
wall. The past and present are facing each other, yet without really looking at each other.
Taking a closer look, one will notice how all these surfaces are cracked. The patina of
this urban space lends language to these walls. If the walls had ears, what would they
hear? What if they could talk?
Théâtre Nulle Part presents their latest site specific performance project: Fenêtres
Murées/ Daylight Robbery: Phase One of Shadows at your Window/Window over
Shadows. TNP explores the forms and functions of windows as being an integral
element of theatricality, taking their initial inspiration from the image of condemned and
boarded up windows. Walling up a window fractures the dialogue between a building’s
interior space and exterior environment. On the few structures that remain from
Griffintown’s industrial history, a number of them display boarded up windows, muting
the ghosts from the past and ensuring their presence will not obstruct the future.
Friday September 24th to Sunday 26th (Rain or Shine!)
Le Dalhousie, 956 Ottawa Street
The event is free. Donations are welcome.
For directions to Le Dalhousie – 956 Ottawa Street – and more information about UOU
and the artists, please visit the website: http://www.urbanoccupationsurbaines.org
Contact: info@urbanoccupationsurbaines.org
Community Partners:
Le Corridor Culturel de Griffintown
Harvey Lev and Esther Hageman, New City Gas
MAI (Montréal arts intercultural) Espace ALTER
Centre d’art visuels


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