31 October 2008


Cote-des-Neiges, MontrealNathalie Heroux, Olivier Boucher and Gabrielle Nadeau
Côte-des-Neiges presents itself as an exemplary axis, representative of Montreal’s harmonious cohabitation of diverse populations. The axis is literally serviced and used by a heterogeneous population, of all ages, all social statuses and of all origins.
Here, the different cultural impressions draw themselves subtly by commercial activities where the local forces express themselves by densely setting up small establishments on the street. The path’s usage does not become less bounded, controlled and regulated, segregating commercial activity from that of the sidewalk and that of street.
Inversely, in many countries, particularly in Asia, the chaotic investment of the street blurs these limits and leaves the way clear for the social forces to saturate all available zones. This standpoint is in complete opposition to the North American attitude concerning the street, which favours the establishment of a controlled environment, and that opposes citizens’ freedom of organisation.
The work sites that are currently dispersed along Côte-des-Neiges road challenge the way that we apprehend the street, transforming the normally banal progression into a true obstacle course, temporarily disturbing the established order. These forbidden zones invade the street in a random and unexpected fashion; they form an ideal alibi for the construction of ludic social installations. Our proposition of using road works as deceptions allows for spontaneous, marginal or foreign practices by using a disruptive code accepted and assimilated by all.

Heroux, Natalie. 'Investments' On Site review, no. 19 Spring/Summer 2008
©Natalie Heroux and On Site review

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