Déracinements: Exploring Design and Imagination in Quebec City’s Walking Theatre

For the past 7 years, Quebec City has hosted the walking theatre, “where you go when you sleep walk”, presented by the Carrefour international de théâtre, which is a journey that leads visitors on a discovery of several paintings created by artists from various specialties. Approximately 70,000 people converged towards Parc des Moulins in 2022 to discover, among other things, the Déracinements painting by creator Lorraine Côté, and architect Étienne Bernier from the firm Agence Spatiale.

Photo credit: 1Px – Dave Tremblay
Photo credit: 1Px – Dave Tremblay

Installed on the site of the recently destroyed Indo-Australian greenhouse, a large wire mesh structure shelters groups of individuals from all eras, from fur traders to climate refugees, who are constantly uprooted. Illuminated, the greenhouse-inspired structure is reminiscent of a zoo’s animals, who have also been uprooted from their environments. As the actors perform, the wire mesh arches take on a vaporous, ghostly look thanks to lighting effects. 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.

This large-scale project is unusual in that it is entirely hand-made, and its construction costs are low due to the use of modest materials. Designed to serve the artwork presented, the concept takes on its full meaning when illuminated, and comes to life when inhabited. This colossal set allowed the artists, as well as the spectators, to immerse themselves in an almost spectral world.

Photo credit: 1Px - Dave Tremblay
Photo credit: 1Px – Dave Tremblay
Photo credit: Stéphane Bourgeois