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Revolutionary ideas and artistic protests, all in one cube

by Frédéric T. Muckle October 14, 2014
Revolutionary ideas and artistic protests, all in one cube

Printemps CUBEcois banner installation here to present the history of the Maple

We all experienced the social movement now known as the Maple Spring differently. Some of us participated actively to the countless demonstrations, others protested the movement, some simply read about it in daily newspapers and other media. Do you remember the myriad of banners, signs and even the iconic red cube (a three-dimensional representation of the red square) that roamed Montreal during the spring and summer of 2012?

Well, the exhibit Printemps CUBEcois gives you the chance to revisit those souvenirs of past protests, for better or for worse, with an installation created from iconic banners.

The exhibit, created by Montreal artist and archivist David Wingington, is co-presented by the Concordia Student Union (CSU) and the Artéfacts d’un Printemps québécois Archive.

Visit the impressive installation situated in the EV building atrium. Photo by Frédéric T. Muckle

The installation is described by the artist as a “retelling… of the 2012 student-led oppositional movement,” Wingington said in a statement describing the banner installation. “It is an attempt at self-representation which is key to building upon a movement’s own oppositional cultural heritage.”

Wingington also discards the idea of remembrance that the project could suggest to the audience. “It is a non-nostalgic activation of an archive that seeks to nurture the oppositional consciousness that was tenacious in 2012, in preparation for future struggles,” he said. “The cube’s interior represents a safer-space within which activists can meet and speak freely, to seek collective strength that may lead to future acts dissent and resistance.”

Still, one cannot help but go back in time for just a moment by looking at this unconventional arrangement of artistic protest signs. The cube-shaped canvas is also significant in how it reaches into our collective social imagination. With such a controversial and moving subject, the public is bound to develop their own interpretation of the exhibit. Nobody who was present in Montreal or anywhere else in Quebec can deny the importance of the Maple Spring. Today, remembering this short and socially active period in time can create sentiments of resentment for some, and profound nostalgic effervescence for others.

 For such a short exhibit to experience (most of you will probably simply pass by it whilst rushing to class this week), it can have a surprisingly strong effect on the person who will stop a second to really look at it. It is probably what determines relevant art forms from a simple artistic essay; it humbly but effectively makes you think, remember and feel.

 The banner installation is displayed at the Concordia EV building atrium until Oct. 18. Wingington will be present from Oct. 14 to Oct. 17. For more information about the Printemps CUBEcois exhibit, visit Archives: Imagerie d’un Printemps Érable’s facebook page.

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