- Ephemeral architecture for the theatre, Déracinements in Québec
The Parc des Moulins is the eastern part of the former Quebec Zoo. The site, covering nearly 30-hectares, most of which is woodland, is characterised by winding paths and stretches of water. The park owes its name to the presence of seven mills whose remains are still visible along the Berger river.
An intriguing landscape context, also thanks to other pre-existing elements from the old zoo, such as an abandoned and dilapidated greenhouse that becomes the setting for the Déracinements installation, hosed by the traveling theatre event "Où tu vas quand tu dors en marchant?" (Where you go when you walk in your sleep), an integral part of the festival for seven years.
An opportunity to discover not only the world of theatre, but also of works of art spanning different artistic disciplines, in this specific case those born from the collaboration between creator Lorraine Côté and Étienne Bernier, architect who in 2011 founded the Agence Spatiale studio, an independent design firm based in Quebec City that combines the spatial disciplines of architecture, art, interior design, urban design, brand design and furniture design. True to their motto that "habits and design evolve, but memories remain", Déracinements, which means "uprooting" in English, also imprints in the memory of those who see the installation.
Already the name of the work represents a strong message at a time when many people experience "uprooting", as they are forced to leave their homelands, not by choice, but by necessity, to earn a living, like the fur traders who once lived in this area or the refugees who find themselves in unfamiliar environments in response to the climate crisis or wars. The concept is skilfully translated into a theatrical scenography, through a large and appropriately lit wire mesh structure. This ethereal volume, vaguely reminiscent of Edoardo Tresoldi's interventions, is inspired by the old greenhouse, but also by the cages that once held the zoo animals, also uprooted from their natural habitat.
As the actors perform, the wire mesh arches change their appearance thanks to lighting effects/strong>. "Sometimes warm, sometimes cold, the luminous tones accentuate the sense of urgency or serenity felt during the performance, allowing the structure to evolve at the same pace", as Étienne Bernier explains.
The particular quality of this large project also lies in the fact that it was entirely handmade, with low construction costs thanks to the use of modest materials that are easily recyclable and therefore inherently sustainable. Designed as a scenography, the Déracinements installation by Lorraine Côté and Étienne Bernier comes to life when it is illuminated and becomes the colossal set for the theatrical performance. An ephemeral architecture, therefore without foundations in the ground, or "uprooted", presented in harmony with its local context to improve the visitor experience for the duration of the festival, held between May and June of this year.
Project: Étienne Bernier and Lorraine Côté
Location: City of Quebec, Canada
Year: May-June 2022
Images: 1Px - Dave Tremblay
Find out more: https://www.carrefourtheatre.qc.ca/