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Until May 29, a new installation will bring a spectacular transformation to the pedestrian zone on Sainte-Catherine Street in the heart of the Quartier des Spectacles. 560 KM is a work consisting of one thousand logs scattered between De Bleury and Clark streets in a metaphorical representation of river driving, the 19th century method of moving timber down Quebec’s rivers.
Conceived and produced by KANVA and presented by the Quartier des Spectacles Partnership, the art installation is an original way to enhance Sainte-Catherine St. before festival season.
“Our artistic intent was to reinterpret the work of the drivers who moved wood – the workers who transported the material that shaped and defined our cities, including Montreal. In a sense, logs like these are the foundation of the spaces now occupied by 560 KM,” Rami Bebawi explains. “We wanted to present a highly organic work in an urban setting, parallel to the St. Lawrence, in the hope of encouraging people to think about our connections with nature and history. At the same time, we wanted to make the space a gathering place for Montrealers and a place that sparks awareness of nature this spring.”
“The Quartier des Spectacles Partnership is very proud to offer Montrealers and visitors to the city original works that give artists an opportunity to express their vision. This is a territory for exploring new types of artistic statements, designed specifically for public spaces. 560 KM is a bold, very large scale and deeply poetic installation. It radically changes the urban landscape on Sainte-Catherine St. and could also change visitors’ perspective on the city’s public spaces,” said Jacques Primeau, chair of the Quartier des Spectacles Partnership.
560 KM owes its name to the length of the St. Maurice River, the last Quebec river used for floating log booms before the practice ended in 1996. All wood used for the installation (12- to 16-foot logs, each about 1 foot in diameter) comes from the West Brome sawmill. It has FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) environmental certification, indicating that the wood comes from responsibly managed forests. After the work is disassembled, all logs will be returned to the sawmill for processing into useful products.
Sainte-Catherine St., between De Bleury and Clark
May 5 to 29, 2016
Idea and design: KANVA
Log supplier: Scierie West Brome
Transportation: Say Archambault
A production of the Quartier des Spectacles Partnership
KANVA, co-founded by Tudor Radulescu and Rami Bebawi, is among Canada’s most-awarded architectural firms in recent years. The winner of the 2015 Emerging Architectural Practice Award presented by the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada, recipient of an award of excellence presented by the Ordre des architectes du Québec and a Grands Prix du Design winner five years running, KANVA was also a nominee for two awards at the World Architecture Festival 2015 in Singapore, one for the Edison university residence and another for Entre les Rangs (Luminothérapie 2013-2014). In 2016, Entre les rangs also won a medal in the Urban Fragments category at the National Urban Design Awards presented by the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (RAIC), the Canadian Institute of Planners and the Canadian Society of Landscape Architects.
The firm’s projects include museums, conversions, university residences, hotels, a conference centre and large-scale installations, temporary works and exhibitions. It is known for its multidisciplinary collaborations and for approaching each project as an opportunity to tell a story, imagine a place and expand the scope of the dialogue between art and architecture. kanva.ca
About The Quartier des Spectacles
The Quartier des Spectacles is Montreal’s cultural heart, boasting North America’s most concentrated and diverse group of cultural venues. The district is the year-round host to countless festivals and events, many of which include free outdoor shows and activities.
The Quartier hosts innovative urban installations involving cutting-edge lighting design, immersive environments or interactive digital spaces. Year round, the Quartier presents artistic video projections on several buildings. The Quartier des Spectacles is an international showcase for new multimedia technology, making Montreal a global leader in the urban exhibition of digital content.