Elderly People Suspended High Above the Streets of Montreal
Angie Heisl is known for her visual art work and performance installations, and has been a fixture on the German art scene since the 1980s. Her pieces have garnered several awards, including the Cologne Honorary Theatre Prize awarded by the SK Foundation for Culture in 2001, and the 1996 Förderpreis from the North Rhine Westphalia ministry of culture. She often presents her art in public spaces ranging from a bridge to former public baths, a train station and subway corridors, as she explores her interest in the notions of floating and suspension.
As part of Montreal’s Festival Transameriques (May 24-27), Heisl’s x-times people chair installation shows a group of senior citizens elevated high above city streets, sitting in a plain white chair. The sight is unexpected and slightly unnerving.
Gallery and additional information on the exhibit and festival below. Enjoy!
X Times People Chair by Angie Hiesl
Twenty feet above the sidewalk, white chairs are attached to the walls of buildings in the Latin Quarter, with ten senior citizens sitting on them. One is knitting, another folds laundry and a third is eating. All of them appear to be floating above everyday concerns, their strange position adding an enchanting note to the cityscape. Old age becomes urban poetry, insisting that we stop and take a look.
Affixed to the façades of buildings on St. Denis Street, they are an evocative display of passing time, blurring distinctions so that life becomes art. Some might walk by without noticing them, but others will raise their heads and stop to gaze at this surprising image of mature angels adding a touch of grace to the urban space.
An undisciplined and interdisciplinary German artist who specializes in site-specific interventions, Angie Hiesl concocted this “human exhibit” so that we might view elderly people as works of art. After winning over audiences in Europe and South America, her group will make its North American début with this beautifully disconcerting performance installation.
[Source: Festival Transameriques]
Festival TransAmeriques, Montreal Since 2007
After two successful decades, in May 2007 the Festival de Théâtre des Amériques gave way to the Festival TransAmériques. Pursuing a similar approach, the new version features a diverse range of genres and theatrical experiences, breaking down boundaries in a cornucopia of theatre, dance, performance pieces and other incredible, often unclassifiable art forms.
The Festival TransAmériques made a spectacular entry on the Montreal scene in 2007 with a program of exciting shows, stirring passion and debate among enthusiastic audiences. Driven by the same taste for risk and daring as its predecessor the Festival de théâtre des Amériques, the Festival TransAmériques continues to present vibrant, striking works.
Every year the Festival TransAmériques presents free outdoor performances of shows by leading artists, events that bring art into the daily lives of ordinary citizens and assert the importance of artistic interventions in the public space. Moreover, the Festival actively supports the creation of new work and over the past six years.
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