Carrefour dément (Mad Crossroad) in Montreal

Friday, October 16, 2015 at 4:30 pm
Artistic performance
Friday, October 16, 2015 at 4:30 pm
At the intersection of rue Jarry and Boulevard Saint-Michel, Montr

On Friday, October 16, Folie/Culture put a spanner in the works of the urban machine by inviting pedestrians to participate in the Carrefour dément, an in situ artistic intervention in the Saint-Michel neighbourhood of Montreal held at 4:30 pm at the intersection of rue Jarry and Boulevard Saint-Michel.

The duration of the performance was timed to the ticking of the crosswalk light: 20 seconds, 30 seconds, 45 seconds. A Folie/Culture team seized these brief moments to encourage pedestrians to exult in a series of “grandiose” actions, choreographed to the rhythm of the traffic and the traffic light, indifferent to human folly.

Through the power of art, this Montreal intersection became the site of a highly resonant experiment examining the human’s place in the urban machine. The fragile balance between cars and humans is concentrated at a point of cohabitation between unequal forces. How does this meeting between two opposing systems with conflicting goals take shape? Different speeds, different functions, different intentions: flânerie or achieving a goal, casual strolling or constant acceleration, animal strength or the hum of internal combustion engines: it’s a crossroad where Folie/Culture, as always, walks a fine line, unafraid to take risks.

Carrefour dément was part of the Transversal ambulatory performance event, which began at 4:15 pm at TOHU with Reconfigurations: La procession des drapeaux by artist Noémie McComber. Transversal was presented as part of Trou de mémoire, a maneuver by Alain-Martin Richard. The event was held alongside the Altérité, pas à pas…! festival organized by Nord Sud Arts et Cultures.