Wander through an illuminated wheat field and play robot-populated video games on 100-foot-high screens this winter in Montreal in the name of Luminothérapie, a high-tech public art exhibition in the Quartiers des Spectacles, every night from December 11 to February 2…
Now in its fourth year, Luminothérapie lets local designers, artists and architects build outdoor creations unlike anything the city has seen before, as part of Montreal’s inclusion as a UNESCO City of Design, an international creative urban venture. This year, the exhibition comes in two parts: a field of light and music running the length of Place des Festivals along Jeanne-Mance Street; and an animated projection series that can be played like a game on the facades of seven buildings in the Quartier des Spectacle.
Outside Place des Arts, the stylized and illuminated icebergs of last year’s Luminothérapie give way to rows upon rows of glowing wheat, swaying in the wintry breeze. Walk among the 28,500 flexible stalks of Entre les Rangs, each reflecting light projected from above, and become a living, luminous part of the ethereal exhibition. Created by a team from the Kanva architecture and design firm, Entre les Rangs is also a feast for the ears, featuring all-new melodies from Montreal’s own Polaris-prize-winning Patrick Watson.
Luminothérapie moves from the sublime to the wonderfully ridiculous with Trouve Bob, created in the spirit of the early days of video games, complete with 8-bit music and colourfully pixelated animation. Trouve Bob asks participants to go on a multi-block search for the wacky character Bob as he pops up on screens throughout the Quartier des Spectacles. Local collective Champagne Club Sandwich, who have designed similarly fun material for Cirque du Soleil, Adidas and the National Hockey League, take over seven building façades in the Quartier for the project, from a building right next to Entre les Rangs (play the “Fete Forain” level there) to Parc de la Paix outside the SAT (the “Party BBQ” level) to the National Library (the “Futurville” level) and more.
While on your illuminated journey through the Quartiers des Spectacles, warm up at Places des Arts with the newest staging of Les Grands Ballets Canadiens’s The Nutcracker, see contemporary aboriginal art and hip hop exhibition Beat Nation at the Musée d’art contemporain, and be entertained by even more seasonal events in the heart of downtown.
Luminothérapie, at Quartier des Spectacles, December 11, 2013-February 2, 2014
Photos by Susan Moss
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