Avide de vide

April 30th 2005
Place: Manif d’art 3

Participant(s): Mélissa Charest, Eugénie Cliche, Benoît Côté, Charlotte Cyr, Guy Sioui Durand, Catherine Plaisance, Charles Rice, Alain-Martin Richard, Jocelyn Robert, Michel Viger.

Folie/Culture presented the artistic intervention, Les grands débordements at the Urbaine Urbanité III event in Montréal. In response to the invitation from the organizers, Folie/Culture spilled out into the Saint-Aloysious Park in an action inspired by the Nef des fous (The Ship of Fools).

The Ship of Fools designated both the boat on which madmen were loaded in order to chase them from the city and the carnivals where, for a whole day, social roles were inversed, and everything was allowed. We inversed the hierarchies as well as the values- an inversion that gave way to excess and irreverence, even vulgarity, when the celebration left the ship, pouring into the streets…

In reference to the internment, Foucault’s “Great Confinement,” which followed the loading up of the mad, Folie/Culture invited the population to give vent to their feelings in texts attached to little paper origami boats, which were then launched on a little pond in the park as a collective liberating gripe session.In Avide de vide, Folie/Culture answered the invitation from Manif d’art 3 to work on the theme of Cynicisms? In order to “propagate the void”, Folie/Culture proposed a public action that took place throughout the month of April and reached its culmination at the opening of the Manif d’art 3.

Faced with the growing number of organizations, media, and publishing houses that specialize in the culture of the void and its dissemination, a team set up by Folie/Culture used stickers with “avide de vide” written on them to “hollow out” a hundred or so “places” around the city and elsewhere: the concrete along the St. Charles River, gossip magazines (Le Lundi, 7 jours, Écho vedettes, Allo Police, etc.), big polluting cars, voluntary simplicity, just to name a few.

The empty places – profoundly useless, nonsensical, non-aesthetic, and pathetically in bad taste – were in our sights. It was an examination of an out-of-control popular culture, too often used as a reference, which unfortunately has become a part of the fibre of a people seeking artifice.
Collaboration: Manif d’art, Inter-marché Saint-Roch