Seconds to the stars


Place Émilie-Gamelin, above Berri-UQAM station, was remade as a perfect spot for summertime. A large terrace lined with flower boxes, a restaurant area, public screenings, and cultural events all renewed it as a place for meeting and relaxation in the heart of the Quartier des spectacles. All through the season this temporary installation, dubbed Les Jardins Gamelin, welcomed passers-by and tourists into a green and friendly environment designed by Pépinière & Co.

A floating dynamic sculpture was installed in the air above the gardens by Janet Echelman, an American artist. Entitled 1.26, this work was a giant kaleidoscopic net whose billowing surfaces were animated by the wind. (The title refers to the 2010 Chile earthquake, which momentarily sped up the earth’s rotation, shortening the length of the day by 1.26 microseconds.) At night, special lighting transformed the work into a floating, luminous form that drew graceful swirls
of colour in the summer sky.

The installation has been presented in Denver (2010), Sydney (2011), Amsterdam (2012) and Singapore (2014). Its appearance in Montréal shows how the Quartier des spectacles is positioning the city at the creative forefront of bold new art projects in public spaces.