Lonely Planet Writer

Unusual Passages: quirky art installations wow visitors to Quebec City

Visitors to the Canadian city of Quebec are being wowed by these quirky art installations. The nine pieces of art, including a spectacularly pink tunnel, are part of an exhibition called Unusual Passages (though it sounds much more intriguing in French ‘Passages Insolites’.)

Impostor: part of the Unusual Passages exhibition in Quebec
Unusual Passages Impostor – les malcommodes. Image courtesy of v2com Stéphane Bourgeois

The installation attracting the most attention is called Impostor, a bright pink passageway that has been attached to the city’s fortifications.In the shadows of the city’s famous citadel, it is designed to seem like it tunnels deep into the 17th century Royal Battery. The Royal Battery had been built to protect the city from attack and occupied a prominent site overlooking the St Lawrence River. However, over time, it became obsolete and was then abandoned, then eventually paved over … until being rescued in 1977 when it was dug up and rebuilt.

An exhibit entitled 'When paper plane stops catching wind' in Quebec
When paper planes stop catching wind Atelier-MAP. Image courtesy of v2com/ Stéphane Bourgeois

The nine works of art are scattered around Quebec city, which is itself a UNESCO world heritage site because of its beautiful and well-preserved historic core. Another of the installations is built in the style of a paper airplane that seems to have crash landed and crumpled into the ground. It is playfully called ‘When Paper Planes Stop Catching Wind’ and is meant to represent the difficult landing that sometimes comes between child and adulthood.

Marie-Eve Marte's Space Cube
Space Cube – Marie-Eve Marte. Image courtesy of v2com/Stéphane Bourgeois

One of the artworks totally transforms between day and night. During daylight hours, Space Cube is a mirror that catches the reflections of passersby and the city’s sky and landscape. By night, it transforms into a magical illuminated blue imaginary world.

Part of the Unusual Passages art exhibition 'Outdoor Ballgames' in Quebec
Outdoor Ball Games – Sculptosaurus. Image by v2com/ Stéphane Bourgeois

Another exhibit is made up of garbage dumpsters turned upside down and suspended on stilts while another features a motor home fitted with a zeppelin for the ultimate road and air trip.

The exhibition was organised by the arts organisation EXMURO and will be in situ for visitors and locals alike to discover until 15 October.