Passages Insolites 2023

This year marks the tenth anniversary of the public art event, Passages Insolites, which is now on display in Québec City. This major art celebration, which features a retrospective route and four distinct circuits, showcases the works of 40 artists from Québec and around the globe. Organized by EXMURO arts publics, the event is being presented by the Ville de Québec.

“Double interlaced concentric circles” by Felice Varini (Photo: Stéphane Bourgeois)

Among the prominent artists this year is the internationally acclaimed Felice Varini, who is unveiling a monumental artwork seamlessly blending into the iconic architecture of Place Royale. From large-scale installations like Varini’s to miniature creations such as the playful installations by the Swedish collective AnonyMouse, the contrasting scale has become a central theme of this year’s event.

Visitors will be able to explore the Passage Extérieur outdoor art circuit, featuring 18 public artworks spread across various locations, from the Old Port to Place Royale and Petit Champlain. As a special addition for the anniversary edition of this event, the itinerary will include the Retro Circuit, which will take visitors on a nostalgic journey through photographs honoring iconic works from previous years.

“Big Other” by Pierre&Marie (Photo credit: Stéphane Bourgeois)

Inside the Passage Intérieur indoor exhibitions at the “epicentre” located at 27 Rue Notre-Dame, five site-specific installations interact with the architectural and historical context of the Maison Hazeur on Place Royale.

The Passage Mural, which will launch on Aug. 12, will add life to the well-known graffiti spot, Îlot Fleurie, as 13 muralists create art on the pillars of the Dufferin-Montmorency overpass. A collaborative effort by Street Art In Action, Québec Nova Murale, and EXMURO, this project extends beyond the closing ofPassages Insolites 2023 to ensure as many people as possible can experience it.

The Passage Éphémère interventions series will be offering a range of public art performances until October. Each month, pop-up street performances and participatory installations will immerse visitors.

“The Era of the American Dream” by Jasmin Bilodeau (Photo credit: Stéphane Bourgeois)

Emphasizing parity and diversity in its programming philosophy, the event showcases the talents of Indigenous artists, with six Wendat artists and one Atikamekw artist taking center stage.

The event, which kicked off on June 22, featured Andicha n’de Wendat, an all-women drum collective from Wendake, who performed traditional songs and dances and conducted a smudging ceremony in front of Québec City’s Notre-Dame-des-Victoires church. This collective gesture, held the day after National Indigenous Peoples’ Day, served as an emotional celebration of Indigenous joy and decolonial reconciliation in the public realm.

“Radical Nature” by Baptiste Debombourg (Photo credit: Stéphane Bourgeois)

Guided tours will continue to be available every Thursday and Sunday from 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m., allowing groups of 10 to 30 to explore the event and encounter the artworks in fresh and unexpected ways. The Happy Hour Talks provide public events where attendees can meet the artists from Passage Éphémère, and invited experts will lead discussions on relevant issues. The next one will take place on Sept. 8) at 5:00 p.m.

“Kakike Eckote (Eternal Fire)” by Eruoma Awashish (Photo credit: Stéphane Bourgeois)
“Little Quebec” by AnonyMouse (Photo: Stéphane Bourgeois)

Passages Insolites will run until Oct. 9, 2023.

You might also like