If you’ve been anywhere near Place Émilie-Gamelin lately, you’ve seen the artwork floating over the square. Titled 1.26, the monumental net sculpture is the work of American artist Janet Echelman, and it’s the centrepiece of the space’s temporary configuration, Les Jardins Gamelin.
1.26 is a monumental, floating form that stretches above the space below, pulsing with the changing wind and weather. The artwork is completely soft, made of technical fibers that are light and flexible, giving it a fluidly moving form that contrasts with the hard-edged buildings of surrounding urban architecture. At night, colored light is projected onto the installation and it is transformed into a floating, luminous shape.
The installation was presented in Denver (2010), Sydney (2011), Amsterdam (2012), Singapore (2014), and Durham (2015) before this stop in Montreal.
From May 12 to October 2 2016, 1.26 will float again the Jardins Gamelin.
Janet Echelman builds living, breathing sculpture environments that respond to the forces of nature and become inviting focal points for civic life. Experiential in nature, the result is sculpture that shifts from being an object you look at, to something you can get lost in.
The Boston-based American artist’s approach is centred on exploring the potential of unlikely materials, from fishing net to atomized water particles, using techniques that combine ancient craft with cutting-edge technology. Her interest in sculptures made of fishing net began with a residency in India, where she watched local fishermen weaving their nets.
Recipient of the Guggenheim Fellowship, Echelman was named an Architectural Digest Innovator for “changing the very essence of urban spaces.” Her TED talk “Taking Imagination Seriously” has been translated into 34 languages and is estimated to have been viewed by more than a million people worldwide. She recently received the Smithsonian American Ingenuity Award in Visual Arts, honouring “the greatest innovators in America today.”
For more information about the work 1.26, visit the Quartier des spectacles’ website.