Whether it’s called the Roerich Garden, the Maguire Meadow or Le Champ des possibles, the Meadow’s multiple designations point to its most prized features as an abandoned space, a free space, and, as its French name so eloquently puts it, a field of possibilities.
This green patch of abandoned land in the middle of Mile End has become an essential urban oasis as well as a creative refuge for many inhabitants. Situated in the neighborhood with the highest density of artists in Canada, this terrain vague has fostered creativity and freedom of expression while acting as a much-needed space for leisure and outdoor activities.
The city of Montreal has signaled its intentions to transform the space as part of its plans to reinvigorate the Saint-Viateur est district, but a group of citizens, many of them artists, have taken up the delicate task of preserving both of the Meadow’s biodiversity and the community it supports.
My intervention is an installation called The Infinite Headroom Exhibition Space (2011), a temporary structure on which to make visible the many artistic practices that have taken place in Le champ. I wanted to create a display for the passer-by in keeping with its surroundings: a simple box-like setup using only the most rudimentary materials. However, the frailty of the structure had unexpected results as it struggled against strong gusts of wind to stay aloft. I witnessed this unexpected force of nature take over my project and I realized that it was now the property of the Meadow—that made me quite happy.
Participants were asked to contribute a photograph and small text or Haiku to be published on this blog: maguiremeadow.tumblr.com.
- Louis-Alexandre Douesnard-Malo