The City of Quebec presents the 8th edition of PASSAGES INSOLITES, produced by EXMURO under the artistic direction of Vincent Roy until October 11, 2021.

More than 20 works by artists from Quebec and around the world have been adorning the city with  ephemeral installations to unexpected encounters. PASSAGES INSOLITES is open and accessible to all, and the art walk is a safe activity that’s ideal for the whole family

From Petit Champlain and Place Royale, through the Old Port, and on to Saint-Roch and Saint-Sauveur, a yellow line painted on the road will guide visitors along the 5 km circuit of singular artworks. Intrigue, surprise, unexpected joys, and moments of poetry are the order of the day, as visitors enjoy 21 works that will make you see with fresh eyes. Artists and collectives have risen to the challenge with creativity, humour, and audacity, to make art take over the city and create a space of perpetual enchantment.  

Mark Jenkins (Washington, D.C., United States), Untitled, 2021
The city is a stage set for Mark Jenkins’s hyperrealistic characters, who adopt unusual postures and interact with the built environment in surprising ways. They pop up in the alleyways and hidden nooks and crannies of the historic Petit-Champlain neighbourhood, where they are always ready for playful hijinks. Cast at human scale, and dressed in a disarmingly realistic manner, these sculptures fool passersby, who need a double-take to see that they aren’t actually real people in alarming positions.
EXMURO is pleased to present the work of Mark Jenkins in collaboration with Manif d’art – the Quebec City biennial. In 2022, the artist’s work will be presented at Le Manif d’art 10.
Photo credit: Stéphane Bourgeois_EXMURO

Exclusive to this year’s edition, works of public art will showcase Quebec City heritage buildings:

  • King of the Mountain, by Charles-Étienne Brochu, presented in front of the Quebec Parliament Building.
  • ARENA by Benoît Maubrey, presented outdoors on the grounds of the Grand Théâtre de Québec.
  • Through the Walls by Collectif Tel quel, winner of the student competition held through our first collaboration with the Maison des métiers d’art de Québec, presented at the Citadelle of Quebec.
Charles-Étienne Brochu (Quebec City, Quebec), “King of the Mountain”, 2020
A monumental house of cards with colourful illustrations stands before the Parliament Building. The work illustrates the precarious nature of social equilibrium and represents the duality of our precious institutions, which are at once fragile and robust. Much like the fabric of Quebec society, a house of cards requires great care and constant vigilance. All it takes is a gust of wind or one abrupt move to topple everything we have worked so hard to build.
Presented in partnership with the Assemblée nationale du Québec.
Photo credit: Stéphane Bourgeois_EXMURO

In another collaboration, historian José Doré has partnered with two collectives of emerging artists to provide detailed historical explanations of their exciting works: 

  • Last Stop, by Collectif du Tropique, winner of the student competition organized in collaboration with the Art School of Université Laval, is a sculptural installation featuring reproductions of commercial signage that once enlivened the streets of the Saint-Roch district.
  • Delirious Québec, by the collective of the same name, winner of the student competition held in collaboration with the Université Laval architecture students’ association, is an architectural flight of fancy that reproduces and recombines many of Quebec City’s landmark buildings. 
Stop”, 2021
Photo credit: Stéphane Bourgeois_EXMURO

The Espace 400e building designed for Quebec City’s 400th anniversary will welcome the Museum of Bad Art (MOBA), on tour from its Boston home for a first visit to Quebec City. For a single summer, the building will be transformed into an ephemeral museum housing a unique collection of the very best bad art in the world, work simply “too bad to be ignored.”

International artists at PASSAGES INSOLITES this year:

  • Benedetto Bufalino (France): The Lawn Cars, in Petit-Champlain.
  • Benoît Maubrey (Germany): ARENA, an interactive sound work, part of the Grand Théâtre de Québec 50th anniversary programming.
  • Nicole Banowetz (USA): An Adaptive Moment in Bassin Louise.
  • Mark Jenkins (USA): Untitled, characters scattered around the city.

PASSAGES INSOLITES is focusing on women artists through its first-ever partnership with the OpenArt biennial of Örebro, Sweden, which has brought work by three Swedish collectives and artists: STYRELSEN FOR STÖR KONST, Ulrika Sparre, and Susanna Hesselberg. In 2022, three Quebec artists will complete the exchange by exhibiting at OpenArt.

EXMURO arts publics has also begun circulating works from PASSAGES INSOLITES to other cities in Quebec, and around the world as a means of promoting its artists, achievements, and expertise designing and presenting temporary public artworks. This year alone, Longueuil, Trois-Rivières, Terrebonne, Montreal, and Gatineau (as part of its Sentier Culturel initiative) are hosting works initially conceived and presented in Quebec City for PASSAGES INSOLITES.

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