Howling at the moon… for art!

October 17, 2011

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By Marie-Christine Beaudry

At the Promenade des Artistes in the Quartier des spectacles, a funny sort of megaphone has been set up in the middle of the pathway for several days. It’s black and… furry! A few passersby – quite more than a few, actually – have imagined it to be a telescope and raised a curious eye to one end, but it’s no such thing.

In fact, the megaphone is just one piece of an artwork entitled Full Moon, created by the Iregular firm. It’s an interactive installation, part of the 40th anniversary celebrations for the Festival du nouveau cinema (FNC).

Let me explain the idea: the work lets the public howl at the moon through the megaphone, and their cries make different images appear on the wall of the UQÀM building near Le Parterre in the Quartier des spectacles.

The images evolve and shift according to the strength and the tone of the voice. Now you’ve probably been wondering just what this all has to do with the FNC. Hold on, I’m getting there.

FULL MOON / Festival du Nouveau Cinema 2011 by Iregular on Vimeo.

Near the installation, you can find QR codes (the visual codes for iPhones and various other gadgets) that will let you see a short film on your smartphone, right there at the Promenade des Artistes. The various films, which we’re calling “cartes blanches”, run as long as four minutes each and are made by one of the ten artists who participated in the project.

Among the filmmakers are Denis Villeneuve, Denis Côté, Marie Losier, Sophie Deraspe and Zacharias Kunuk.

 Fun for everyone

At the Promenade des Artistes, people are at first intrigued by this wolfskin megaphone that gives you the chance to howl at the moon. A few curious strollers make a cautious approach, but it’s almost as if it takes a bit of courage (or humility!) to scream in public, particularly when many people nearby aren’t aware of the nature of the installation.

Couples laugh and challenge each other, while kids go at it with unrestrained gusto, happy to be able to let loose for once without annoying their parents! One thing’s for sure: those who give it a try leave with a smile on their face.

Plus, it pays to take the plunge and yell: you leave with a cinematic work of art in your pocket, and it’s totally free!

To state the obvious, it’s an outdoor projection, so you’ll have to wait for nightfall to enjoy Full Moon.

To conclude, FNC director Nicolas Girard Deltruc made a statement in a recent discussion that applies perfectly to Full Moon: “In this life, you have to know how to share the good things, the nice things.” So come and enjoy a good thing, with your family or your friends! You’ve got until October 22 to raise your muzzle to the moon, let your voice ring out and go wolf.