La plage de sucre - The sugar beach -
Photo credit: Laima A. Gerald
Sugar and beach accessories
Festival Zone HoMa, Montreal
“I remember a river without walls...”
the walls them
remember the absence of the river
La plage de sucre is a public invitation to contemplate the “river” in Hochelaga. For four evenings I built a beach of sugar on La Friche which faces Notre-Dame Street, the Sugar Lantic factory, the Port of Montreal, and... the invisible but very close St-Lawrence River. I occupied that wasteland with the audience and people passing by. That ephemeral and fictive site placed in the actual urban landscape became a place of discussion and collective reflection. The project questions the appropriation of natural resources which engenders, in this neighbourhood, an inaccessibility to the river for the inhabitants. Further, it examines how the industry can construct, but also deconstruct, an area. The refined sugar is therefore used here as a symbol of purity/whiteness that sits on the unrefined/ dirty/torn district of Hochelaga, a gentrified and former working-class neighbourhood of Montreal.
This project was part of La Catherine, an artistic and multidisciplinary itinerary - more details in french here.