Walking tours are a fantastic way to get a sense of the city – and to get crazy good Instagram pics. In addition to the amazing circuits suggested by Art Public Montréal, an organization specialized in Montréal’s public art offerings, we’ve got a suggested tour for you: underground!
Montréal’s Underground City is one of its most famous features: it comprises a network of 32 kilometres filled with shops, cinemas, museums and, lo and behold, public art. It’s a perfect cozy place to be on one of Montréal’s infamous cold winter days, when even your thickest parka feels like it’s made out of paper. So c’mon, let’s head underground and get cultured!
Here are some art works you won’t want to miss.
Une photo publiée par Victoria Knight (@victoriaknight9) le 18 Déc. 2016 à 17h14 PST
These two sculptural installations are some of the most impressive in the downtown core. Arrêt Sur Image (the original) is an abstract creation located right in the entrance hall at 1000 de la Gauchetière that plays on the effects of light on perception, based on the changing shape of the work depending on where the viewer stands. It was made in homage of Étienne-Jules Marey, a pioneer of photography and precursor of cinema. Arrêt Sur Image 2, a little further in the same entry hall, was also designed to play with light; it also defines a space under the skylight that can serve to host special events.
Une photo publiée par Jay Fafard (@el_fafino) le 16 Nov. 2016 à 19h32 PST
This piece of history was donated by the city of Berlin to the Montréal upon its 350th anniversary, in 1992. The chunk of the Berlin Wall, graffitied by artists unknown before the wall was taken down in 1989, serves as a potent reminder of the need for openness and freedom of expression. Located in the World Trade Centre Montréal, at 747 Square Victoria, it honours the building’s spirit of international exchange and tourism while sitting at one of the very spots where the fortifications of Montréal once sat.
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Une photo publiée par Eng C. Lau (@engclau) le 27 Août 2016 à 10h09 PDT
In the hallway separating the Palais des Congrès and the Jacques-Parizeau Building you’ll find this three-part work by Montréal artist Christian Kiopini, who explores the limits of painting in this work by basically sculpting colour. The three parts of this work are linked by one of his favourite blues (you’ll see it again in the work Panorama 23°27’). Chambre secrète incorporates the door of a vault that was part of the bank that formerly stood here, while Contreforts runs along a portion of the wall; Rayons, the third component, stands within a rotunda creates a conical shape that seems to point towards an imaginary spot above ground, linking the underground to open space.
Lipstick Forest – The winter garden in Montreal’s Palais des congrès could have been yet another tropical garden in an oversized greenhouse. But instead of trucking in potted plants and fighting against the local climate to keep them alive, we planted a forest of fifty-two concrete trees, painted lipstick-pink to celebrate the city’s flourishing cosmetic industry and manifest Montreal’s inexhaustible joie de vivre.
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